Rony Barrak Creative Page

I.  Early Childhood and the Road to Stardom


Born in Lebanon in 1971, Rony Barrak held his "Darbouka" (Middle Eastern tabla) at the tender age of four and began playing it intuitively. Led by early self confidence, he made his first TV performance at the age of seven and then proceeded to improve his skills through school and family performances. At the age of seventeen, Rony distinguished himself in the world of music by winning the Gold Medal in a competition on LBCI television for talented young musicians in Lebanon and the Middle East. This achievement encouraged him to unleash the "Darbouka" from the chains of its long-standing traditional context and explore its full potential. He moved to London in 1990 where he studied orchestral percussion and drum kit at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and later taught Middle Eastern Percussion at Trinity College of Music. He also performed on stage with other musicians, embracing a wide variety of styles including classical music, jazz, and Latin rhythms.


II.  Greatest Achievements with Role Models


In the course of his career, Rony became involved through performing, touring and recording with great figures such as Sarah Brightman (Harem world tour of 110 concerts in 2004) Dave Grusin, Don Grusin, Patrick Leonard, Vanessa Mae, Bond, Jaz Coleman,Talvin Singh, Richard Galliano, Fairuz, Ziad Rahbani, Abboud Abdel Aal, Simon Shaheen, Richard Galliano, Art Lande, Nelson Rangel, Alex Acuna, Ibraham Loberial, Justo Almario, Oscar Castro-Neves, Ron Blake, Cyrus Chestnut, Antonio Forcione, Eduardo Niebla, Ara Gevorgian, and some of the top Conductors, Arnie Roth, Markus poshner, Eckehard Stier, etc.


III.       Innovations


Blending eastern and western flavors, Rony became a versatile percussionist. In addition to being one of the world's leading darbouka players, he assembled a percussion set that included djembes, cajon, bongos, udu, clay pot, cymbals, and parts of a drum kit. He also incorporated into his performances unfamiliar equipment such as car parts, demonstrating an ability to create melodious and harmonious combinations out of found objects. He has achieved a breakthrough success with the Symphonic video Games Music Concerts as well as "PLAY" – a video game symphony.


    IV.  Orchestral performances


However, classical music remains Rony's first love and provides the basic

framework, technique, and musical grammar for most of his work. In this capacity, he has performed as a soloist and recorded with several orchestras including the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the FILMharmonic Orchestra of Prague, the Chicagoland Pops Orchestra, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, the Toronto Orchestra and choir, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, the WDR Radio Orchestra of Cologne, the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, NDR big band & the Osnabruck symphony orchestra, The Bremer philharmonic orchestra, Moscow symphony orchestra, Armenian symphony orchestra, Tokyo philharmonic orchestra & Choir …


In 2009, he performed with the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra a world premiere of his composition and orchestration, "Beirut Sensations," conducted by Michael Butterman, Followed by a world premier "Darbouka concerto" Improvisation with orchestra" that have been performed with the Bremer Philharmonic orchestra in Bremen June 2011 conducted by Markus Poschner, the concert was broadcasted live on the Bremen Radio, will be followed by a third new world premier “Boulder Sensations” to be performed with the Boulder Philharmonic orchestra in March 2012 in Colorado – USA.



 V.Beyond Performing


Performing on stage, Rony is a composer who arranges music as he plays, integrating evocative improvisations that appeal to all the senses. He is a soughtafter performer at prestigious venues including the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Festival Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Purcell Room in London, the Rosemont Theatre in Chicago, Macky Auditorium in Colorado, the Stockholm Concert Hall in Sweden, the Hummingbird Centre in Toronto, the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, the Köln Funkhaus Wallrafplatz and Kölner Philharmonie in Cologne, Die Glocke in Bremen, the Rudolfinum Concert Hall in Prague, Kremlin palace concert hall in Moscow, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan Hall, Casino Du Liban…


He served as a Musical Director and Composer for a Saturday night show (Iktachafna el Baroud) on LBCI TV-Lebanon in 2006 and on (What the viewers wants) on MBC TV 1997.


He has participated in various workshops and conferences like the Conference on World Affairs at the University of Colorado, to which he has been invited yearly since 2003, and at the American University of Beirut, the conference on "Ziad el Rahbani & Fairuz" 2006.


In addition, Rony has made many TV & Radio Broadcast appearances including interviews & solo performances, affiliating his charismatic flame Worldwide.


 VI. Released Albums


Rony produced his debut album entitled "Aramba" in 1999 followed by Music video clip"Aramba".


Second album "Karizma" with Michel Fadel in 2005 - distributed and published by EMI records music arabia.


His latest new album "Darbouka City" has been recently released in 2010, distributed and published by EMI Records music arabia, followed by Music video clip "Darbouka City".


VII.     Major Quotes about Rony


·      "A Sublime Virtuoso" by Roger Ebert, a screenwriter and a film critic in the Chicago Sun-Times ( 2010 USA)


·      "Boulder Philharmonic goes exotic with tabla virtuoso Rony Barrak" "Philharmonic audience cheers tabla" "Lebanese musician Rony Barrak is anabsolute master of the instrument..." by Daily Camera, (Boulder, Colorado.USA 2009) 


·      “A riveting performance” Camera ( Boulder 2009)



·       “Le percussionniste Rony Barrak a enflammé la foule “             

P   Prestige Le Monde de célébretiés (Liban November 2005)


·      Rony Barrak proceeds to amaze the crowd with technique and speed that many of us would have difficulty matching with sticks. He also has the ability to play musically in a style reminiscent of Airto Moreira’s tambourine solos.

“Rhythm” (August.1989)



Also, Rony has been privileged to be presented with the title of Honorary Citizen of The City Dearborn, Michigan, USA.


VIII.  Endorsement and contact information


Rony Barrak is endorsed by: 


Kevork for Middle-Eastern percussion


Tribes Drums, and The Drum Shop in Boulder CO-USA. Rony Barrak


Updated:  February 29, 2012

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