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Bushra El Turk: Classical Composer Influenced by Her Lebanese Roots

Bushra El-Turk's music of '...ironic...', '...arresting...' and 'limitless imagination' forebears the influence of her Lebanese roots and life as a Londoner.

Bushra El Turk: Composer with Lebanese roots

Bushra El-Turk (b.1982) was born in London where she studied 'cello with Ingrid Perrin and Robert Bailey, piano with Catherine Riley and composition with Simon Speare at the Centre for Young Musicians. She then went on to study composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Julian Philips, where she graduated with a Bachelor and then gained a Master in Composition, supported by a PRS Foundation Scholarship, with Distinction.

She has written various works for the concert hall, most recently with her piece Le Fantôme de Rebecca Griffiths for Wind, Brass and Percussion performed at the City of London Festival and a concert in aid of the children of Lebanon at St John's Smith Square which included her piece, Ta'atallat Loughatul Kalami for singing cellist and piano.

She has had a particularly fruitful artistic partnership with choreographer Aya Jane Saotome, with whom she has exchanged dealings with the surreal and absurd in music and movement with the dance productions Tende(r)age and Peck! (The PlaceTheatre, London).

Most notable theatre productions include I Capture The Castle (dir. Christian Burgess) and Twelfth Night (dir. Christopher Luscombe).

Recent projects have included a piece for Orkest de Ereprijs after being selected to participate in the 13th International Young Composers Meeting with Louis Andriessen in the Netherlands following on from a recent invitation to the Sentieri Selvaggi International Composers Masterclass in Milan with Julia Wolfe.

Her string quartet, Eating Clouds, was among the five selected pieces in the University of Aberdeen International Music Prize and was performed by members of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in April 2007.

She was pleased to be invited to participate in the 'Composing for Voice' scheme with Opera Genesis at the Royal Opera House in London.

Her collaborations include the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Royal Opera House, OrchestUtopica, Orchestre National de Lorraine, Manchester Camerata, Ensemble Nox, Opera Holland Park, Orkest de ereprijs and Wissam Boustany amongst others.

With the pianist Tala Tutunji, she has established the Chelsea Music Academy, a centre for music education, inter-cultural events and research specialising in Middle-Eastern and Western idioms, which was launched at the start of 2010. Please check out:

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An amazing piece titled "Ta'attalat Loughatul Kalami" based on Ahmad Shawki's love poem to Zahlé (her home town in Lebanon).   It premiered in July 2006 with the mezzo/cellist Cordelia Weil and pianist Phil Richardson.

Bushra's Influences:

.. Shostakovich, Sofia Gubaidulina, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Schnittke, Tchaikovsky, Ligeti, Lutoslawski, Bartok, David del Tredici, Ravel, Henri Dutilleux, J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Berio, Xenakis, Haydn, Richard Ayres, Oliver Knussen, Jonathan Harvey, Simon Holt, Peter Sculthorpe, György Kurtág, Astor Piazzola, Ginastera, Thomas Ades, Julian Philips, Mauricio Kagel, Louis Andriessen, Valery Gergiev (cond.), Gabriel Garcia Marquez (lit.)Fernando Pessoa (lit.), William Shakespeare (lit.), Tarab Music (classical Arabic), Eastern European Folk Music, Indian Music, Milan Kundera ..

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