“A musician of extreme caliber and pure expression…a welcome experimental detour from the norm of today and in the relatively conformist world of classical composition…he is positively brand new”
— DAILY STAR
Rami Khalife was born in September 25, 1981 amid the rough and tumble of civil war in Beirut, Lebanon. While best known for his re-envisioning of the classics, Pianist Rami Khalife, who graduated from the prestigious Juilliard school of New York, was featured as a soloist alongside some of the world’s most prized orchestras including Globalis Orchestra, Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Belgium and the Philadelphia chamber orchestra, Orchestre national d’Île de France, just to name a few.
Rami Khalife has extensively toured in the U.S, South America, Asia, Canada, Europe, Australia, in such venues as the Kennedy Center (Washington, USA), the Sydney Opera House (Sydney, Australia), Place Des Arts (Montreal, Canada), Queen Elizabeth Hall (London), Salle Pleyel (Paris, France) and Philharmonie de Paris among others.
Rami Khalife’s work is as eclectic as it is bold, ranging from improvised concerts, recording a Prokofiev concerto to performing with his father Marcel Khalife. He also composed contemporary works for orchestra, producing soundtracks for films and documentaries, only to switch it all up with his classic electro group AUFGANG. His body of work includes several piano and orchestral pieces, a requiem, a cello concerto and several orchestral pieces including “Tunnel to the Moon”, all of which, he premiered with the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra. He was also commissioned by the Philadelphia chamber orchestra to write his new piece ‘’Stories’’.
Heralded as a “musician of extreme caliber and pure expression…a welcome experimental detour from the norm of today and in the relatively conformist world of classical composition…he is positively brand new” by the Daily Star, it’s no wonder that Rami Khalife has emerged as one of the most exciting young composers and pianists of the 21st Century.
RAMI KHALIFE – LOST/Return to Beirut
The astonishing fusion of Rami Khalife and his piano captured by the camera of François Rousseau and the award winning photography of Lebanese war photojournalist Jamal Saidi:
“My encounter with Rami and Marcel Khalife was a chance encounter. My passion for their music took me, with a camera on my shoulder, to a surprise encounter with Lebanon, their Lebanon.”
LOST/Return to Beirut is a 1:00 hour of Music- Visual Art performance. It’s the meeting of a feature film and a documentary with a powerful solo piano performance. I observed the return of Rami Khalife to his homeland, Lebanon, a rediscovery of his country that he painfully left as a child because of the war, a scar of the exodus that has never healed.
LOST puts the entirety of the album (13 titles) into an image.
LOST is the most personal work that Rami has ever composed. This film is his story, his suffering and his fragility, a sensitive, violent and inventive dialogue with his instrument. For the film, the piano from his childhood was lifted to the top of a building under construction, near Byblos, to an open platform overlooking Beirut and the Mediterranean sea. The camera captured these bright moments when Rami interpreted his album. The film is conceived as a road-trip movie, going from place to place, physically very close to each other, yet clearly distinct. Crossing Lebanon, attentive to Rami’s look, my camera recorded encounters, all the contradictions of Lebanon: the frenzy of the city, the serenity of the cedar forests, the harshness of refugee camps, the coexistence of multiple religious communities …
I recall the tears of a young Syrian refugee girl in a refugee camp, the beautiful energy of Chadi dancers, the courage of a woman whose husband disappeared along with nearly 100,000 people during the Lebanese civil war that ended 30 years ago. I witnessed the challenge of conservative thinking and behavior towards the choreographer and dancer of the LGBT community, Alexander Paulikevich. I saw the confinement in the Palestinian camps of Sabra and Shatila, the emotion in front of the discovery of the war images of photographer Jamal Saidi, the poetry of street artists, the soothing of prayers, the environmental and ecological degradation of Lebanon, and a confident, loving, and tolerant youth in spite of the collapse, and the benevolent eyes of a father, the great composer and singer Marcel Khalife.
Teaser to the movie
LOST was shot in Digital Cinema, 4K format, in RED camera MONSTRO & LEICA SL. Color & NB. Beirut / Paris. Spring 2018 / Spring 2019 François ROUSSEAU
Rami Khalife is a composer and pianist, graduate of the Julliard School of Music, New York. Rami Khalife – son of Marcel Khalife – has been carrying on a path outside the conventional rules and norms since the turn of the century.