Bashar studied in Vienna, Austria as well as in Kent Ohio and Austin Texas, USA and has a master’s degree in Music Education and Conducting Arts.
Bashar Lulua (Arabic for “Bearer of Glad Tidings”; “Pearl”), is a Vienna-based freelance conductor.
Bashar was born in Damascus, Syria on 19 September 1963 of an Iraqi father and a Palestinian mother – who met in Cleveland, Ohio, while completing their graduate degrees in English literature – and is a naturalised citizen of the United Kingdom.
He was fortunate to have grown up in a literary household, as one or both of his parents have been professors of English literature, as well as active translators up to the present, in Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Syria and the United Arab Emirates since the early 1950′s.
Bashar received his initial musical education at the Baghdad Conservatoire in 1970 from some of the best Soviet and Hungarian conductors and composers to have graduated from the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire, Gnessin Institute, both of Moscow, and the Liszt Music Academy, of Budapest. These include Vladimir Zinovieff, Gennadi Tchernov and Miklós Cser, among others.
Bashar Lulua spent some of his formative years in Kuwait City and Cambridge, England, where he began to learn English. He then developed a passion for translating from and into several languages, e.g., Edward Said’s essay “The World, the Text, and the Critic” into Arabic and Elliott Antokoletz’s essay “Richard Strauss” Elektra: Sources of its Modernism” into German.
Having studied conducting with Peter Richter de Rangenier at the Vienna Music University, with Frank Wiley at Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, and with Louis Gardner Lane at The University of Texas at Austin, Bashar received further practical training from the San Francisco Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Herbert Blomstedt and Esa-Pekka Salonen, Music Directors, respectively.
Having conducted performances of variegated repertoires in the Middle East, Europe and the USA since 1978, Bashar also founded several orchestras, such as The Ur Orchestra in Austin, Texas and Philharmonia Scotland in Glasgow.
Known for championing contemporary composers, as well as neglected works by household composers – including those writing in non-Classical idioms – Bashar was invited by the renowned, London-based American composer Stephen Montague to contribute to the BBC Symphony Orchestra-sponsored “John Cage UnCaged Musicircus” at the Barbican Centre, London in 2004.