Lebanese-Polish conductor, Bassem Akiki is based in Warsaw (Poland). As guest conductor he performs with many orchestras and music theaters around the world. He was nominated for The International Opera Awards 2016.
Bassem Akiki began his musical studies at the High National Conservatory of Music in Beirut (Lebanon). Simultaneously he studied philosophy in the Lebanese University in Beirut (Lebanon). He received his master degree in choir conducting at the Academy of Music in Cracow and master degree in symphony and opera conducting at the Academy of Music in Wroclaw with excellent results. His philosophical studies led him to analyze the relation between philosophy and music – after his master thesis concerning Wagner – Nietzsche – Strauss, he wrote his PhD thesis (F. Chopin University in Warsaw) 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 September-October 2012 in Wrocław (Poland).
Beside conducting, Bassem Akiki’s interests gather around the music of the East and the West – their mutual influence is the theme of lectures that he gave from 2007 at the Philips University in Marburg (Germany). He also led many masterclasses in prestigious and highly ranked academic institutions such as Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Waterloo (Belgium), Opera Academy of La Monnaie in Brussels (Belgium) and Swarthmore College (USA).
At the age of 24, Bassem Akiki had his debut conducting G. Verdi’s La Traviata at the Opera of Wroclaw, where he held the position of Conductor until 2013. He has built an extensive operatic and symphonic repertoire and has a very rich experience in the operatic field, conducting such repertoire as W. A. Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Così fan tutte and Don Giovanni, G. Bizet’s Carmen, G. Verdi’s La Traviata, Rigoletto, Giovanna d’Arco and Falstaff, R. Strauss’ Die Frau ohne Schatten, J. Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann, G. Puccini’s Turandot and La Bohème, M. Musorgski’s Boris Godunov, E. Knapik’s La libertà chiama la libertà and H. Kulenty’s The Mother of Black-Winged Dreams. In 2013 he made his debut in the Polish National Opera with G. Verdi’s Nabucco and conducted there the same year Tchaikovsky’s Iolantaand Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle.
Beside the classical repertoire, Bassem Akiki prepared and conducted world premieres of many new compositions by contemporary composers such as N. Lens' and J. M. Coetzee's opera Slow Man performed during the Malta Festival in Poznan in July 2012 or Medúlla with the music of Björk in La Monnaie in 2015.
Bassem Akiki is a guest conductor working with many Music Theaters and Philharmonic Orchestras in Poland (such as National Opera in Warsaw, Teatr Wielki in Poznan, National Forum od Music in Wroclaw or NOSPR in Katowice) and the world (La Monnaie in Brussels, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia).
Recently Bassem Akiki was appointed artistic director of the NFM New Year's Festival in Wroclaw (Poland).