Rony Barrak
« Back

Born in Lebanon in 1971, Rony Barrak began playing the darbouka (Middle Eastern tabla) at the age of four. At the age of 17, Barrak won a gold medal in a televised competition for young musicians in Lebanon and the Middle East. He moved to London in 1990, where he studied orchestral percussion and drum kit at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He later taught Middle Eastern percussion at Trinity College of Music.

Through performing, touring, and recording, Barrak became involved with great figures such as Sarah Brightman, Dave Grusin, Don Grusin, Patrick Leonard, Vanessa Mae, Bond, Jaz Coleman, Talvin Singh, Richard Galliano, Fairuz, Ziad Rahbani, Abboud Abdel Aal, and Simon Shaheen.

In addition to being one of the world's leading darbouka players, he assembled a percussion set that included djembes, cajon, bongos, udu, clay pot, cymbals, and parts of a drum kit. He also incorporated into his performances unfamiliar equipment such as car parts, demonstrating an ability to create melodious and harmonious combinations out of found objects. He has achieved a breakthrough success with the Symphonic Game Music Concerts, as well as PLAY!, a video game symphony.

Classical music remains Barrak's first love, and he has performed and recorded with numerous orchestras. In 2009, he performed with the Boulder Philharmonic the world premiere of his composition Beirut Sensations. In June 2011, Improvisation for Tabla and Orchestra had its world premiere in Bremen, Germany. His third world premiere, Boulder Sensations, was performed with the Boulder Philharmonic, in March 2012, in Colorado.

Barrak has participated in the Conference on World Affairs yearly since 2003.