Marcel Khalifé named UNESCO Artist for PeaceMarcel Khalifé, the Lebanese musician and writer, will be named UNESCO Artist for Peace on June 7 by UNESCO Director-General, Koïchiro Matsuura, at a ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters (7th floor restaurant 6.30 p.m.).
Born in 1950 in Amchit, Mount Lebanon, Mr Khalife first studied, then taught, the oud, or Arabic lute, at the Beirut National Conservatory. He began his career as a soloist and went on, in 1972, to create a group in his home village, to preserve the Arabic musical heritage with the oud.
The “Al Mayadine” ensemble became an instant success in Lebanon and its reputation soon spread abroad. They went on to tour other Arab countries as well Africa, Europe, the United States, Canada, South America, Australia and Japan. The group is regularly invited to perform in internationally renowned festivals.
Mr Khalifé is also a composer of Oriental dance and film music, inspired by major, contemporary Arab poets. At the vanguard of innovative Middle-Eastern music, Khalifé’s original music makes him an ambassador of his culture. He has written several books on music.
Mr Khalifé will be named UNESCO Artist for Peace in “recognition of his fervent and generous commitment in favour of musical heritage”.
Mr Khalifé joins other UNESCO Artists for Peace, which includes Russian conductor, Valery Gergiev, the Gypsy composer and singer Chico Bouchikhi, Japanese ballet dancer Miyako Yoshida, U.S. writer and painter N. Scott Momaday, Brazilian singer Gilberto Gil and Nigerian painter and sculptor Prince Twins Seven-Seven.
UNESCO Artists for Peace are internationally-renowned personalities who use their influence, charisma and prestige to help promote UNESCO’s message and programmes.
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