Considered to be one of the best conductors of the young generation, Bassem Akiki, a Polish musician of Lebanese origin has been developing a dynamic career on an international scale. In 2016 he was nominated for the most important opera prize – the International Opera Awards in the “best young generation conductor” category.
Simultaneously with the study of philosophy at Lebanese International University, Akiki studied at the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music in Beirut. He graduated with honours from the Faculty of Composition, Interpretation and Musical Education at the Academy of Music in Cracow (choral conducting under the direction of Professor S. Krawczyński) and has completed his master’s thesis with top marks in the conducting class of Professor M. Pijarowski at the Academy of Music in Wrocław. In 2007-2009 Akiki gave lectures at the Philipps University in Marburg devoted to mutual influences of the music of the East and the West. His musical interests also cover relationships of philosophy and music (his master’s thesis discussed the relations between Richard Wagner, Friedrich Nietzsche and Richard Strauss). At the Fryderyk Chopin University in Warsaw he successfully defended his doctoral dissertation titled “Anthropocentrism and Theocentricism in Music of the 21st Century based on the Example of Peter Eötvös’ Opera “Angels in America”. The opera was performed for the first time in Poland under Akiki’s direction during the Contemporary Opera Festival in 2012 in Wrocław.
The artist conducts an extensive range of symphonic and opera compositions, including works by Mozart, Verdi, Bizet, Strauss, Offenbach, Puccini, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Bartók, Szymanowski, Górecki, Mykietyn, Kulenty and Knapik.
Bassem Akiki regularly conducts on leading stages in Europe. In the Royal de la Monnaie Theatre in Brussels he conducted the world première performance of the opera Medùlla with music by Björk and the first performance in Belgium of Pascal Dusapin and Gertrude Stein’s opera To Be Sung. He also conducted the first performance of the first opera by Nicholas Lens and John Maxwell Coetzee “Slow Man” in Teatr Wielki in Poznań. The performance was produced jointly with Malta Festival Poznań. Akiki works together with many orchestras and ensembles in Germany, Belgium, Lebanon, Poland, France, Italy, the United States and Canada.