Bassam Halaka

(b. 6 April 1977, Al Jahra).

Egyptian composer, born in Kuwait and now resident in Austria, of orchestral, chamber, choral, and piano works that have been performed in Europe and the Middle East.

Mr. Halaka studied piano as a child in Kuwait, then in Cairo. He taught himself guitar at age 14 and bass guitar at age 18, then studied bass guitar privately with Ahmed Anwar and Vasily Shenkarenko in Cairo from 1996–2001. He studied cello with Mahmoud Abdel-Maksoud and piano with Elena Dzamashvili at the Conservatory of the Academy of Arts in Cairo, where he graduated with distinction in 2000, and where he studied composition with Rageh Daoud, composition, harmony, orchestration, and score reading with Ahmed El-Saedi and counterpoint with Awatif Abdel-Karim from 2003–07. In addition, he studied singing privately with Sobhi Bidair, Violet Makkar and Raouf G. Zaidan in Cairo from 2000–07.

Among his honours are the Composition Prize from the Committee of Music, Opera and Ballet in Cairo (2003, for Egyptian Suite; 2005, for Destiny and Nightmare) and selection to participate in the seminars Global Interplay of ISCM in Cairo and Germany (2005). His music has been performed in Austria, Egypt, Germany, and Jordan.

He is also active in other positions. As a tenor leggero, he sang as a member of the A Cappella Choir in Cairo from 1998–2007.

He lived in Egypt from 1985–2007 and has lived in Austria since 2007.


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Classical Chamber Symphony, 38/39 strings, 1997

Concerto, flute, 38/39 strings, 1997

Spin (concerto), piano, orchestra, 1998

Concerto, cello, orchestra, 2000

Concerto, bassoon, percussion, string orchestra, 2005

The Lonely One on the Other Side of the Story, string orchestra, 2005

Martyrs of Invading Badr (symphonic poem), 2005


Periods of Night and Blaze, French horn, piano, 2001

The Drunk One, mime ad libitum, flute, 2003

Egyptian Suite, cello, piano, 2003

Elegy (in memoriam Gamal Abdel-Rahim), clarinet, bassoon, piano, 2004

Brainstorming, flute, piano, 2004

Misty, violin, 2004

The Mummy, flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, bassoon, 2004

Nightmare, string quartet, 2004

Sorrow, oboe, 2005

Destiny, bassoon, piano, 2005

Escaping, 3 French horns, 2005

Resonance, cello, piano, 2005

Dancing on dead bodies (all players also kick their feet), violin, cello, piano, 2005

White, piccolo, flute, E-flat clarinet, clarinet, bass clarinet, 2 violins, viola, cello, piano, celesta, timpani, glockenspiel, bass drum, triangle, percussion, fixed media, 2005

String Quartet, 2005


Requiem, soprano, alto, tenor, bass, mixed chorus, trumpet, orchestra, 1998–2001

Birth Certificate (text by Mukhtar Ali Abu Ghali), soprano, alto, bass, 2003

Zoroni (text from the words "zoroni kol sana marrah haram tensoni bel marrah"), mixed chorus, 2004


The Bedouin and the Fortune-Teller, 2003

Four Little Pieces, 2003

A Case of Love, 2 pianos, 2004

Visit Me, 2004

Prelude and Piece (Farewell Friend), 2005

Fantasy, 2005