Barkev Taslakian

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Barkev Taslakian
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  • Artistic director
  • Principal

Maestro Barkev Taslakian (b. 1964, Lebanon) is the founder, artistic director, and principal conductor of Fayha National Choir. Since 2003, he has led the choir as it explores the potential of Arabic a cappella and sets international standards for its performance. Nicknamed the Godfather of Arabic choral music, his leadership and vision over the past two decades have gradually cemented this art form into Arabic musical culture.

Maestro Taslakian had no formal musical education as a child, but his Armenian ancestry exposed him to choral music as he started conducting at his local church. In the 90s, he studied conducting under Maestro Harutyun Topikyan and Professor Yervant Yerkanian at the Parsegh Ganatchian Musical Academy in Beirut. Since then, he has conducted various choirs including Komitas Choir (Beirut), Koussan Choir (Beirut), Komitas Chamber Choir (Armenia) and founded others, most notably Fayha National Choir, The Lebanese Palestinian Chamber Choir, and Angham wa Salam.

Maestro Taslakian is well-known for his pinpoint musical vision, using harmony in subtle ways to complement the breadth of emotion present in Arabic traditional melodies - often including microtonal scales. But among his singers, he is also adored for his leadership. He is constantly strengthening the group’s cohesion, musically and socially, always emphasizing that a choir is a unity of voices, and not merely a collection.

Under his leadership, Fayha National Choir has achieved international success, performing in more than 30 countries worldwide spanning from Canada to China. In 2007, the choir came first at “Varsovia Cantat”, the renowned Warsaw International Choir Festival, and Maestro Taslakian was awarded the “Best Conductor”. More recently, the choir was awarded the 2015 “IMC Music Rights” award, in recognition of the positive impact of their social projects across Lebanon.[1]

Among his efforts to further strengthen the school of Arabic a cappella and broaden its reach, Barkev has founded the Lebanese Choral Association, the Lebanese International Choir Festival, and co-founded the Arab Choral Network. Besides currently serving as the president of the former two, he is also an active member of the IFCM, the European Choral Association, and the Lebanese Syndicate of Professional Artists.[2]


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