Born in Lebanon in 1971, Rony Barrak began playing his darbouka (Middle Eastern tabla) intuitively at the age of four and made his first televised performance at the age of seven. When he was 17, Barrak won a gold medal in a competition for young musicians in Lebanon and the Middle East, encouraging him to unleash the darbouka from its traditional use and explore its full musical potential. In 1990, he studied orchestral percussion and drum kit at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and later taught Middle Eastern percussion at Trinity College of Music.
Barrak is a versatile percussionist who blends eastern and western flavors in his performances. Arranging music as he plays, he integrates improvisations that appeal to all the senses. In addition to the darbouka, he utilizes djembes, cajons, bongos, udus, clay pots, cymbals, drum kit parts, and other unusual objects to create his music. His work has been featured in the Symphonic Games Music Concerts and in PLAY!, a video game symphony.
Classical music remains Barrak’s first love and provides the basic framework, technique, and musical grammar for most of his work. In this capacity, he has performed as a soloist and recorded with numerous orchestras in prestigious international venues. In 2009, he performed with the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra in a world premiere of his composition Beirut Sensations.
Barrak is a sought-after artist who has recorded and performed with a wide range of renowned musicians. He has worked in television, produced several albums, and participated in various workshops and conferences, including the Conference on World Affairs annually since 2003. His latest album, Darbouka City was released in 2010.