Houtaf Khoury

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Houtaf Khoury
هُـتاف مارون خوري
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Houtaf Maroun Khoury

(1967-06-19) June 19, 1967 (age 56)
Tripoli, Lebanon
  • Masters in Music
  • PhD
Alma materTchaikovsky National Academy of Music
OccupationComposer of western classical music
Notable work
5 Symphonies, 17 concertos etc (2020)
Spouse(s)Tatiana Primak Khoury
  • Maroun Issa Khoury (father)

Houtaf Maroun Khoury (Arabic هُـتاف مارون خوري) is a Lebanese composer of western classical music. His music is regularly played by many performers worldwide in concerts or music festivals.

Life and career

Houtaf was born in 1967 in Tripoli, the capital of North Lebanon, and the second-largest city in Lebanon. His father Maroun Issa Khoury (Haifa, Palestine 1935 – Tripoli, Lebanon 2020) was an Arabic teacher and author. Houtaf’s interest in music started rather late, at the age of 15, when he started taking piano lessons with a private teacher Michel Haddad but he progressed very fast so that only three years later he was able to join the Académie de Musique Iqbal to study composition, harmony, and piano with the Lebanese composer Abd-Elhaq M. Al-Masry (1950 – 2007). Lebanon was at the time suffering from the Lebanese civil war and Houtaf decided to benefit from a scholarship and leave the country to continue his studies in Ukraine. From 1988 till 1997 he was at the TNAM, Tchaikovsky National Academy of Music of Ukraine in Kyiv where he studied composition with Yuri Ischenko (1938 Kherson, Ukraine) and earned in 1993 his Masters in Music with distinction and in 1997 his Ph.D. under the tutelage of Ivan A. Kotlyarevsky[1]. During the last years, he taught composition at TNAM, worked as an artistic consultant to the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, and aN assistant producer for the labels Marco Polo and Naxos Records.

In 1997, he returned to his native Tripoli with his Ukrainian wife Tatiana Primak, a world-class concert pianist, and he taught composition and orchestration at the Conservatoire Libanais in Beirut from 1997–2000. All the while he never ceased to compose in what seemed to be an inexhaustible flow of sentiment, talent with to date (2020) 5 symphonies, 17 concertos as well as numerous chamber music, instrumental and vocal works to his credit.


Lebanon is always present in the music of Houtaf Khoury [2]. For him music should convey a message and live in a country where military occupation, wars, and civil unrest are part of everyday life definitely helps the composer define the message: it is a plea for a more humane [3], more just and less barbaric world. However, Houtaf seems to know that this Utopia will never be achieved as his music is full of skepticism and sadness even if at times an inner, helpless revolt or anger can be felt.

Houtaf lyricism inspired by oriental melodies of his natural environment mixed with western contrapuntal texture and harmony become an outcry of despair (Houtaf in Arabic means outcry in condemnation or in praise). Long notes inspire scenes of desolation more than inner peace. Most of the works carry a title which gives the listener a semantic clue to the music, often a dark and ominous clue like Lost, Laments, Exile, Malediction, and the listener taken to a surreal word "beyond Eternity" or "behind a mirror" so that even an "Angel of Light" can hardly create "Light in the Night"

Although he did not use electro-acoustic music, Houtaf did write a concerto for the theremin. He also sometimes uses unusual instruments like the marimba in his Marimbach inspired by Bach’s Goldberg variations or the darbuka (a goblet drum from the Middle East) in his "Mirror of Eternity".


Among the performers of Houtaf’s works are:

  • Pianists: Joachim Kwetzinsky, Anna Magdalena Kokits, Joanna Zmeck but most prominently Tatiana Primak Khoury, his wife, who has been one of the greatest promoters not only of Houtaf’s music but that of many Lebanese composers like Boghos Gelalian, Georges Baz, Toufic Succar, Anis Fuleihan, Bechara El-Khoury, etc
  • Flautists : Oleg Koudriachov, Wissam Boustany and Nabil Mroueh
  • Violinists: Bogdana Pivnenko, Jorge Saade Sacaff, and Inna Tshkan
  • Violists : Inna Boutri -Borisova, Isabel Villanueva and Jacques Mayencourt
  • Cellist: Thomas Bruder
  • Clarinetists: Dimitry Ashkenazy, James Meldrum, Joan Enrich Lluna, Alexander Zeghalov, Octavian Gheorghiu and Vitaly Alfavitsky
  • Saxophonist: Yuri Vasileivich
  • Oboist: Andrea Bischoff
  • Alto: Fadia Tomb-ElHage
  • Baryton: Igor Mokrenko

Orchestral and Ensembles

  • Conductors : Pierre Dominique Ponnelle, Volodymir Sirenko, Juri Yanko, Leonardo Muzii, Petro Tovstukha, Theodore Kuchar, Jordi Mora, Han-Na Chang, Emmanuel Siffert and Natalia Ponomarchuk
  • Amadeus Quartet
  • Weimarer Quartet
  • Alter Ego Quartet
  • MOA trio
  • Orchestras: Philharmonic Orchestra of Lebanon, National Symphonic Orchestra of Ukraine, the Commandaria Orchestra, Qatar Philharmonic orchestra, Kharkiv Philharmonic Orchestra, United Strings of Europe, Bamberger Philharmoniker, Orchestra Sinfonica de Cuenca, Kiev Camerata ensemble, Kiev Chamber orchestra, Lviv Festival Orchestra

In the media



  1. "Houtaf Khoury". The Living Composers Project. Retrieved 13 Sep 2020.
  2. Kayali, Zeina Saleh; Rouques, Vincent (2011). Compositeurs Libanais. Biarritz: atlantica. p. 183. ISBN 978-2-8404-9641-0.
  3. "Houtaf Khoury - Bio, albums, pictures". Naxos. Retrieved 13 Sep 2020.

External links

This article "Houtaf Khoury" is from Wikipedia. The list of its authors can be seen in its historical. Articles taken from Draft Namespace on Wikipedia could be accessed on Wikipedia's Draft Namespace.