Pianist Rami Khalifé was born in Beirut, Lebanon, on September 25, 1981. After a short introduction to the keyboard, he left Lebanon at age seven, eventually resuming his musical training in Paris, France, at the Conservatoire National de Région de Boulogne-Billancourt under the direction of Alfred Herzog. There he studied with Louis-Claude Thirion and Marie-Paule Siuguet, while taking concurrent private studies with Abdel Rahman El Bacha. Khalifé received several awards during those years in Paris, most notable among them at the Radio France, UFAM, and Claude Kahn piano competitions. Subsequently, he was able to perform a concert at the Gaveau Music Hall in 1994. On a tour of the Middle East with the Boulogne-Billancourt Orchestra, he performed Sergey Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 4 and Maurice Ravel's Piano Concerto in G. From 2000 to 2003, Khalifé pursued his higher education at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. Working with Francesco Schlime, he gave several improvisational concerts for two pianos, one of which was the first of its kind in the history of Juilliard. He studied piano under the Hungarian pianist Gyorgy Sander, a disciple of Béla Bartók. He graduated from Juilliard in May 2003. Since 2000, he toured with his father, Lebanese composer and oud player Marcel Khalifé, in performances around the world. With the clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, they have concertized in the Middle East and the United States, performing classical and improvised repertoire, and toured in South America collaborating with Brazilian cellist Fabio Presgrave. In 2005 Khalifé reunited with Schlime and founded the group Aufgang, utilizing two pianos and computer, performing original compositions of new, modern, and experimental music. He has released two albums -- Live in Beirut, which contains solo piano interpretations of classical music, and Scene from Hellek, an original solo piano recital of new music. Khalifé has also worked with the Russian Globalis Symphony Orchestra based in Moscow, and scored a movie by Lebanese filmmaker Wael Noureddine.
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