Maestro Lubnan Baalbaki, PhD | Permanent Conductor of the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra     “Music is an impulse, an inspiration, even a prayer for some. It's a sure way to travel to other dimensions. Talent cannot be learned, even though it can and must be developed. Talent, by itself, will never be enough to be real success, just as hard work without talent will never fully materialize” – Lubnan Baalbaki   Early Life   Lubnan Baalbaki was born in 1981 in the city of Beirut, and remains the youngest appointed permanent conductor at the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra. Throughout his upbringing, Baalbaki was surrounded by an artistic family of painters and musicians who created the inspirational atmosphere that helped pave the way to his musicianship. Academic Journey Baalbaki’s musical journey commenced when he enrolled in violin lessons at the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music in Beirut, at the age of 12 years old. A few years later he pursued his academic journey in music and started his BA in Musicology at the Holy Spirit University in Kaslik (USEK). In 2009, he obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Orchestra Conducting studies at “Gheorghe Dima” Academy of Music under the guidance of Maestro Petre Sbârcea in the Romanian city of Cluj-Napoca, with emphasizing studies of music composition with Szegö Péter. Baalbaki graduated in 2011 with a Masters of Arts in Orchestra Conducting from the National University of Music in Bucharest under the supervision of Dr. Horia Andreescu. Followed by a PhD thesis in 2017 where he researched the “Conductor – Orchestra Psychological Relationship” with Dr. Dan Diu as his mentor. Lubnan Baalbaki pursued another Master’s Degree in Orchestra Conducting at the University of Music and Performing Arts (Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien) in Vienna, Austria, with Professor Johannes Wildner as his mentor between 2018 and 2019. He pursued a module in Cultural Management at the National University of Music in Bucharest with Dr. Lucia Costinescu, from 2009 till 2011. Later in 2012, he participated in a master class in Cultural Management with former Secretary General of the Vienna State Opera, Ioan Holender.  In parallel to his studies, he sought out multiple master classes in orchestra conducting with renowned European conductors such as Kurt Masur, Collin Metters, Konrad von Abel, and Cristian Badea.   Professional Experience In 2013, he was appointed as permanent conductor at the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra and founded the National Youth Orchestra.   Collaborations gradually expanded and took an international appeal with orchestral engagements that included, among others: Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, Bucharest National Radio Orchestra, Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra, Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra - Turkey, The 5 de Mayo Philharmonic Orchestra - Mexico, Queretaro Philharmonic Orchestra - Mexico, Transylvania State Philharmonic Orchestra - Romania, The State Philharmonic Orchestra Sibiu - Romania and The Timişoara Național Opera house – Romania. Additionally, worldwide festivals welcomed his talent and contributions such as Min-On international festival in Japan, Mawazine international festival in Rabat, Festival de Fès des musiques sacrées du monde in Morocco, and Carthage international festival in Tunis. While his artistic work crossed borders, he continuously strived to produce cultural events in Lebanon. He joined forces with Baalbeck International Festival, Beiteddine Art Festival, Byblos International Festival, and Cedars International Festival, on an almost annual basis. Although conducting is his main focus, Maestro Baalbaki carefully produces most of his shows and communicates closely with the different groups present with him, on and off stage. The necessary balance between performance and leadership was recently executed in the latest Sursock Museum concert in June 2021 as a tribute to Beirut. Ever since his career debut Maestro Baalbaki has been working as a musical consultant and principal conductor with Majida el Roumi and Marcel Khalife. As an advocate for music literacy and social development Lubnan Baalbaki aimed at diversifying his repertoire to reach wider mainstream audiences while maintaining musical integrity and showcasing the beauty of classical music through popular and recognizable compositions. Baalbaki’s baton crafted the 1st edition of “Cine-Orchestre”, a cinematic musical experience produced by Ehdeniyat International Festival. Due to popular demand, this successful endeavor carried out a second edition in 2018. In 2016, Baalbaki was honored by the Lebanese Ministry of Culture for his outstanding contribution to the artistic and cultural scene in Lebanon. As a matter of fact, in the last few years Baalbaki has frequently appeared in the media to spread awareness surrounding classical music in Lebanon. Aside from his media appearances, he has given talks and participated in conferences tackling cultural and musical topics. In fact, Baalbaki participated in a Professional Development Retreat titled “Changing Mindsets” in September 2021, a lecture on Leadership and Management at Boston Scientific MENA in February 2018, and a Musical Workshop at the Beirut Arab University (BAU) in November 2018, among others.  

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