Born in Lebanon in 1971, Rony Barrak first held a darbouka (a Middle Eastern tabla) at the age of four and began playing it intuitively. Blessed with an early self-confidence, he performed on television at the age of seven and then continued to perform at school events and family ceremonies. When he was 17, Barrak won a gold medal in a televised competition for young musicians in Lebanon and the Middle East.
This achievement gave him the chance to move to London in 1990, where he studied orchestral percussion and drum kit at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Later he taught Middle Eastern percussion at Trinity College of Music, London.
Barrak has recorded and performed with many great musicians such as Jaz Coleman, Youth, Vanessa Mae, Bond, Talvin Singh, Dave Grusin, Don Grusin, Art Lande, Nelson Rangel, Alex Acuna, Ibraham Loberial, Antonio Forcione, Fairuz, Ziad Rahbani, Arnie Roth, Lilliane Boutte, and Sarah Brightman. Blending Eastern and Western flavors, he has become a versatile percussionist employing djembes, cajon, bongos, udu, clay pots, cymbals, parts of the drum kit, as well as even more unusual instruments such as car parts. He is able to form melodious and harmonious compositions with these objects. However, classical music is Barrak’s first love, and it is this that provides the basic framework, technique, and musical grammar for most of his work.
He has played with numerous orchestras, including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chicagoland Pops Orchestra , and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as performing solo at prestigious venues worldwide. He recently appeared in concert with the composer and accordian player, Richard Galliano.