Who Is She

Joelle Khoury
Areas of expertise: 

Personal information

Pianist, composer (classical music and jazz)
Joelle Khoury

What I have done for Lebanon

In the past few years, my music has been performed and/or recorded or broadcasted, sometimes with a portrait of my personal course of life, in several European countries including: Austria, Germany, France, Belgium and Switzerland. The public is often surprised that the music they just heard was composed by an Arab woman. This my greatest accomplishment in the field, since being positively active (and not activist) and producing quality is the greatest means of changing attitudes towards women.

Contact information / Private

Immeuble des 2 palmiers, Cardinal Sayegh Str., Jisr el-Bacha, Sin el Fil
484057 1 961 و 871780 4 961
812959 3 961

Contact information / Work

Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music
El-Hayek Round About, Sin el-Fil
489530 1 961 و 217289 1 961
484951 1 961 و 871780 4 961


  • PhD in Philosophy, Lebanese University, Lebanon. 
  • Master's degree, Philosophy, Saint-Joseph University, Lebanon.
  • Bachelor degree, Economics and Musicology, George Mason University, United States of America.
  • Diploma, Playing and teaching piano, Lebanese National Conservatory, Lebanon.

Areas of expertise

  • Music Composer ( jazz and classical music)
  • Electroacoustics
  • Pianist
  • Philosophy
  • Arabic
  • English
  • French

Work history

  • Lecturer, American University of Beirut.
  • Lecturer, Lebanese American University.
  • Piano teacher, 1994 - present, Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music.
  • Lecturer, 1994 - present, Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music.

Honorary office and memberships

  • Initiator and President of "Meet The Composer", an organization aiming to promote Lebanese contemporary composers, 2009.
  • Member of Eka3, 2008 - present.


Publications highlights: 


  •  Tumbling Up (including a poem by Langston Hughes) and Is It So!, 2 jazz albums, In-Version, the Joelle Khoury Quintet. Joelle Khoury: piano and composition; 2 saxophones, bass and drums.
  • Music and Poetry: 11 chamber orchestra and voice pieces, based on German romantic poetry and texts by 2 Lebanese poets (Goethe, Heine Novalis, Rilke, Nadia Tuéini, George Chehadé). Sponsored by the Lebanese National Conservatory and  Goethe Institut Beirut. Joelle Khoury: piano and composition; Harout Fazlian: conductor; Lylia Dragomir: soprano.
  •  Dream She Is, a 55mn opera monodrama in Arabic. Chamber orchestra and electronics, commissioned by Quart de ton, Belgium. Joelle Khoury: piano, composition and text excerpts from poems by Lebanese poet Jacques Asswad; Fadia Tomb El Hage: voice; Harout Fazlian: conductor. Performed in Beirut, Switzerland and Austria (Esterhazy Palace, Haydn Hall, by Gidon Kremer’s prestigious Kremerata Baltica orchestra).

More compositions including some with video, electroacoustic music, painting, text and dance performance:

  • Electroésie filmed live performance based on Lebanese poet  Antoine Boulad’s book “poésie”, with Kinda Hassan (video art), Dima Hajjar (painting), 3 actresses, Joelle Khoury (composition, sound track, staging and live piano), cello.
  • Jokari project sponsored by the Lebanese Ministry of Culture in the occasion of Beirut Capital of the Book, 2009. Based on poetry by Etel Adnan, Jad Hatem and Ritta Baddoura. Kinda Hassan: video art; Caroline Hatem: dance and choreography; Joelle Khoury: composition, sound track and live piano.
  • How Blue the Sun, commissioned by Quart de ton, chamber and voice composition to be released in 2018, in Belgium, as part of a double album dedicated to living Lebanese composers. Text based on a book by Lebanese poet Sabah Zwein. Singer: Fadia Tomb El Hage. Ensemble Fragments.
Major achievements: 
  • Founded In-Version (a Jazz quintet dedicated to performing original Jazz compositions), 1995.
Exhibitions, lectures & performances: 
  • Monthly lectures around specific musical topics, ASSABIL Public Library, Monot.
  • Of sounds and letters: conference given to the doctoral students in literature at the Lebanese University Doctoral School (October 2018).
  • The Dionysian and the Apollonian in Carmen of Bizet, inspired by Nietzsche. Conference given in 2017, at the Lebanese University Doctoral School.
  • History a Divine Poem: article commissioned by the Lucerne University, relating Bach to Leibniz, for the inauguration of their new department: Music and Theology. Published October 2015 (Grunewald). 
  • Of Arab Composers Today, commissioned by AFAC, the Arab Fund for Culture meeting 2011.
  •  “Bach/Leibniz/Kandinsky: the Unique and the Multiple” conference, Lebanese National Conservatory, December 2007.
  • “My Body Myself and I”, conference in the company of Arab cultural journalists, (about a crisis of subjectivity throughout the history of music) Zawaya:  2006.
  • “About women composers in the Arab world” (Freemuse conference) 2005 
  • “Time Goes One Way” (against classification of art). Heinrich Boll Foundation Lebanon