Lebanese-born conductor, Bassem Akiki studied at the High National Conservatory of Music in Beirut. Simultaneously, he studied philosophy at the Lebanese University in Beirut. Bassem Akiki received his master degrees in choir conducting at Cracow Music Academy (2008) under Professor S. Krawczyński and in symphony and opera conducting at the Academy of Music in Wrocław (2010) under Professor M. Pijarowski with excellent results. In 2007-09 he delivered lectures on the mutual influences of Eastern and Western music at the Phillip University of Marburg. His philosophical studies led him to analyse the relation between philosophy and music – after his master thesis concerning Wagner – Nietzsche – Strauss, he wrote his PhD thesis (F. Chopin University in Warsaw 2013) about P. Eötvös’ Angels in America – anthropocentrism and theocentricism in the 21th century music, and has conducted the Polish premiere of this piece during the third Festival of Contemporary Opera in 2012 in Wrocław (Poland).
He conducts such repertoire as W. A. Mozart’s Così fan tutte and Don Giovanni, G. Verdi’s La Traviata, Nabucco, Rigoletto, Giovanna d’Arco, Otello and Falstaff, G. Bizet’s Carmen, R. Strauss’ Die Frau ohne Schatten, J. Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann, P. Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta, G. Puccini’s Turandot and La Bohème, M. Musorgski’s Boris Godunov, B. Bartók’s The Bluebeard’s Castle, H. Kulenty’s The Mother of Black-Winged Dreams, and E. Knapik’s La libertà chiama la libertà. He has built an extensive symphonic repertoire. As guest conductor he performs with many orchestras and music ensembles in Lebanon, Poland, Belgium, France, Italy, the USA, and Canada. Bassem Akiki conducted the world premiere of N. Lens’ and J. M. Coetzee’s opera Slow Man at the Poznań Opera House in 2012.
Photo: artist’s archive