92. Anis Fuleihan [365 Composers for 2013]


2nd April – Anis Fuleihan

Fuleihan (April 2nd 1900 – October 11th 1970) is our composer for 2nd April, to mark the day of his birth.
Nationality: Cypriot/American
Lifespan: 70 years
Genre: 20th Century
Education: Self-taught
Fame Ranking: 5

Fuleihan was born in the north of Cyprus but came from a Christian Lebanese family. After attending the English School in his home town he emigrated to New York, in 1915, and set about teaching himself how to compose. In 1919 he had his composition debut, with “Oriental Fantasies”, which received a positive reaction.

Fuleihan gained US citizenship in 1925, up to which time he toured around both the United States and the Middle East and Egypt. On his return, he focused on composing contemporary ballet music and also worked as a conductor.

Two of Fuleihan’s most interesting pieces are his “Mediterranean Suite”, and his “Concerto for Theremin”. The “Mediterranean Suite was premiered by internationally acclaimed conductor Eugene Goossens. The “Concerto for Theremin” is one of its kind. The theremin is an electronic instrument which is played without the musician actually touching the instrument in any way. It produces an eerie sound and has been used frequently for special effects, in horror films for example, and is used in the theme tune to the UK detective series “Midsomer Murders”. His concerto is a rare example of the instrument being showcased in its own right. It was premiered by the New York Philharmonic.

Here is Fuleihan’s Theremin Concerto, performed by Clara Rockmore, who also performed at the premiere.


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