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Jad Azkoul (Arabic: جأد عزقول) is a teacher and concert classical guitarist who was once the student of Abel Carlevaro, and translated much of his work.
Abel Carlevaro was a classical guitar composer and teacher born in Montevideo, Uruguay. He established a new school of instrumental technique, incorporating a fresh approach to seating and playing the guitar, based on anatomical principles.
In 1997, Carlevaro declared that Azkoul was his "genuine representative", as well as being a "great master teaching alongside" him.
Azkoul is renowned both as a performer and teacher; he is often invited to give masterclasses in various festivals throughout the world.
Azkoul's father is Karim Azkoul, the Lebanese diplomat and philosopher. Azkoul was also the cousin and close friend of fellow Lebanese-American musician, the late Paul Jabara, an esteemed Disco composer.
Dr Karim Azkoul, PhD was a Lebanese diplomat and philosopher born in Rashaya, Lebanon on July 15, 1915. His most notable achievements include his participation in the original writing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Paul Jabara, also known as Paul Frederick Jabara, was an American actor, singer, and songwriter of Lebanese ancestry, born in Brooklyn, New York City. He wrote Donna Summer's Oscar-winning "Last Dance" from Thank God It's Friday (1978) and Barbra Streisand's song "The Main Event/Fight" from The Main Event (1979). He cowrote The Weather Girls hit "It's Raining Men" with Paul Shaffer. Jabara's cousin and close friend Jad Azkoul is also a Lebanese-American musician specialising in classical guitar.
Jad Azkoul was awarded the Order of the Cedar, making him a Knight of Lebanon, for his musical contributions to the country.
The National Order of the Cedar is the highest state order of Lebanon, established on 31 December 1936. It is offered in five grades.
A knight is a man granted an honorary title of knighthood by a monarch, bishop or other political or religious leader for service to the monarch or a Christian church, especially in a military capacity.
Lebanon, officially known as the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south, while Cyprus is west across the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon's location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland facilitated its rich history and shaped a cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity. At just 10,452 km2, it is the smallest recognized sovereign state on the mainland Asian continent.
Joseph McLellan of the Washington Post had this to say on the subject of Jad Azkoul's guitar-playing:
Joseph Duncan McLellan, known as Joe, (1929-2005) was The Washington Post's music critic for more than three decades as well as a chess and book reviewer.
“Azkoul can make his instrument sing. This is a skill far more important than the ability to whip out thousands of notes per minute accurately and expressively, which he can also do.”
On another occasion, McLellan was quoted as saying:
"The guitar can be many different kinds of instrument, and Azkoul is a master of all its potentials: the raw power of the amplified guitar used in rock (which is how Azkoul began as a boy in his native Lebanon), the delicacies of music composed for the lute, the fire and energy of Flamenco, the rhythmic complexities of Latin American dances and the experimental techniques of modern composers."
Jad Azkoul has been teaching at the Conservatoire Populaire de Musique, Danse et Théàtre (CPMDT) in Geneva since 1984.
Two notable absences were when he lived and taught in Washington DC from 1991 to 1996, and when he was in London on sabbatical leave (2010-2011). Since 2010 he has also been on the music faculty at the London College of Music. He gives regular summer master classes in France at "Musicalta" in Alsaceand at the "Musicales de Grillon" in Provence.
Moroccan music is characterized by its great diversity from one region to another. It includes Arabic music as the chaâbi and the aita of the Atlantic plains, the melhoune of the Andalusian cities as well as the Hassani in the Moroccan Sahara. There is also Amazigh music such as the Rif reggada, the ahidus of the Middle Atlas and the Souss ahwash. In addition, young people synthesize the Moroccan spirit with influences from around the world. Each genre and musical group is made up of regional subgroups, and is further divided between 'modern' and 'traditional' music.
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Joseph Louis Wilfrid Pelletier, was a Canadian conductor, pianist, composer, and arts administrator. He was instrumental in establishing the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, serving as the orchestra's first artistic director and conductor from 1935-1941. He had a long and fruitful partnership with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City that began with his appointment as a rehearsal accompanist in 1917; ultimately working there as one of the company's conductors in mainly the French opera repertoire from 1929-1950. From 1951–1966 he was the principal conductor of the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec. He was also a featured conductor for a number of RCA Victor recordings, including an acclaimed reading of Gabriel Fauré's Requiem featuring baritone Mack Harrell and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and chorus.
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The Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Lyon, sometimes referred to as the Conservatoire de Lyon, is a conservatory for the study of music and dance, located in Lyon, France.
César Nicanor Amaro Carlevaro was a Uruguayan classical guitarist. He was well known to many guitar players and listeners.
Simon (Szymon) Laks was a Polish composer and violinist, who became head of the prisoners' orchestra at Birkenau-Auschwitz
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