The oud virtuoso Rabih Abou Khalil was born in Beirut Lebanon in 1957 and grew up in Beirut in the 60’s and 70‘s, when it was one of the most cosmopolitan of all cities. He studied traditional Arabic music on the oud, western classical music on the flute and was exposed at home to both rock and jazz.
In 1978 he moved to Munich Germany due to the Lebanese civil war and continued his study of classical flute. In fact he played flute on his first album, but shortly afterwards switched to the oud, which he plays on all his subsequent recordings.
Rabih Abou-Khalil not only integrated classical Arabic musical ideas into western improvisational music and jazz but also started experimenting with traditional musical genres from other parts of the world. His music thrives on creative encounters and not on exoticism. From a combination of diverse cultural elements something very personal and coherent emerges. With his original composing technique, his unconstrained, yet daring approach to classical Arabic music, he has found a musical language entirely his own. Rabih ABou Khalil has released 22 albums until today, most of them on ENJA records. He has also recently turned to composing for orchestra and contemporary classical ensembles.