Abdalla Hani El-Masri

(b. 1962, Beirut).

Lebanese–Russian composer, now resident in Kuwait, of mostly orchestral and chamber works that have been performed in Europe and the Middle East.

Mr. El-Masri studied guitar with Isaac Escaf at a music school in Hammana from 1977–79 and studied guitar and music theory with Joseph Ashkhanyan at the Instituto Cervantes in Beirut from 1979–82. He then studied composition with Konstantin Batashov and Roman Ledenyov, harmony with Yuri Kholopov and orchestration with Nikolay Rakov at the P. I. Tchaikovsky State Conservatory in Moscow from 1982–93, where he earned his MFA in 1991 and his DMus in 1993.

Among his honours is an honourable mention in the competition for young composers of the P. I. Tchaikovsky State Conservatory (1988). His music has been performed in Egypt, France, Germany, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Russia, and Switzerland.

He is also active in other positions. As a guitarist, he worked with the vocal ensemble Al-Mayadin from 1977–82 and arranged music for this group. He worked as a guitarist in various ensembles in Lebanon from 1979–82 and toured Europe and the USA in 1982. He founded the vocal ensemble Al-Jabal in 1977 and wrote songs for it from 1977–82. He later founded the vocal ensemble Al-Wilada in 1984, which performed in Germany and Russia, and disbanded in 1990. In addition, he has written the books Practical Course of Orchestration (1995, Higher Institute of Musical Arts in Kuwait City) and Instruments of the Orchestra (2001, Conservatoire Libanais National Supérieur de Musique in Beirut).

He has taught composition at both the Higher Institute of Musical Arts in Kuwait City and the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training in Kuwait City since 1994. He has lectured in Kuwait and Russia.

He has lived in Kuwait since 1993.

In addition to the works listed below, Mr. El-Masri has composed much music for stage productions.


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Samaii, ney (flute from the Middle East), riq (tambourine from the Middle East), string orchestra, 1983–86 (section of In Arabic Mood II; may be performed separately)

Symphony No. 1, 1991

Symphony No. 2, small orchestra, 1994

Concerto, violin, orchestra, 2001

Concerto, piano, orchestra, 2003

Symphony No. 3, 2009


Sonata, violin, piano, 1985

String Quartet, 1985–86

Quintet, clarinet, harp, violin, viola, cello, 1986

Suite, flute, piano, 1986

In Arabic Mood I, 1986–87 (its four sections may be performed separately: [1] flute, clarinet, bassoon; [2] string quartet; [3] oboe, violin, cello, piano; [4] 2 trumpets, 2 trombones)

Three Moods, E-flat clarinet, clarinet, bass clarinet, basset horn, 1988

Elegy, violin, cello, piano, 1989

Guitar Quartet, 4 guitars, 1996


In Arabic Mood II (vocalise), 1983–86 (its two sections may be performed separately: [1] Samaii, ney, riq, string orchestra; [2] mixed chorus, string orchestra)


Poème (text by Paul Shaoul), baritone, cello, piano, 1987