Great Lebanese Composer Walid Ghulmiyeh Mourned in Beirut Church

Lebanon's great composer Walid Ghulmiyeh's funeral was held at noon Saturday at St. Nicolas Church in Achrafieh. His body will be later taken to his birthplace in Marjeyoun town in the South, to be buried in the family cemetary.

Ghulmiyeh, President of the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music, had died at the age of 73 after a long battle with illness, state-run National News Agency reported Tuesday.

Ghulmiyeh died at the American University Hospital, where he was being treated.

As the news broke out, mourners flocked to the maestro’s residence in Beirut’s Hamra district to extend their condolences.

Ghulmiyeh was considered one of the most prominent Middle-Eastern conductors and composers. Born in the southern Lebanese city of Marjeyoun, he initially studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut before dedicating his education and life to music.

He is the founder of both the Lebanese National Symphony Orchestra and the Lebanese National Arabic Oriental Orchestra.

Established in 2000, the Lebanese National Symphony Orchestra under the leadership of Ghulmiyeh was able to prove itself both locally and regionally. In a period of 25 months, the Orchestra presented more than 60 performances in different cities, including a varied international repertoire by world-renowned classical music composers.

On August 2, 2002, Ghulmiyeh led the Lebanese National Symphony Orchestra at the Baalbek International Festival.

On April 17, 2006, Ghulmiyeh led the Lebanese National Orchestra for Oriental Arabic Music in a captivating evening of Arabic music classics at the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation annual festival.

He had also headed the panel of judges on the renowned Lebanese television talent show, "Studio el Fan," which is credited for launching the careers of many Lebanese and Arab artists.

Ghulmiyeh composed the Iraqi national anthem, "Ardulfurataini Watan" (Land of Two Rivers) that was in use from 1979 until 2003.

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