Born in London, Bushra El-Turk's music of '...ironic...', '...arresting...' and 'limitless imagination' forebears the influence of her Lebanese roots and rides the continuum between Eastern and Western idioms in sound and ideology, all the while leaning towards the absurd and theatrical.
Selected by the BBC as one of the most inspiring 100 Women of today, Bushra has written various works for the concert hall, dance, theatre and multi-media, both performed and broadcast on radio and television worldwide. Her pieces have been performed by ensembles and organisations including the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Royal Opera House, London Sinfonietta, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (BCMG), Manchester Camerata, Opera Holland Park, OrchestUtopica (Portugal), Athelas Sinfonietta (Denmark) Hermes Ensemble (Belgium), Orchestre National de Lorraine (France), Latvian Radio Choir, Ensemble Saraband (Germany), Atlas Ensemble, Ensemble Zerafin, Orkest de ereprijs (Holland), Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra, Lunatics at Large (USA) and Wissam Boustany. Performances have been at venues including the Lincoln Centre (New York), Deutsche Oper Haus (Berlin), Bridgewater Hall (Manchester), Birmingham Symphony Hall, Cadogan Hall, the Southbank and the Barbican (London).
Seeing art as a means for social change, Bushra’s works never shy away from highlighting important socio-cultural issues that need to be voiced. Summer 2017 saw the outcome of a Research and Development residency of her second opera, Woman at Point Zero, (libretto by Sabrina Mahfouz, directed by Maria Koripas, Merit Ariane Stephanos as Firdaus) performed at LSO St Luke’s, presented by the Royal Opera House, Shubbak Festival and supported by the Abu Dhabi Festival, Arts Council, Jerwood Foundation and PRS Foundation. The Woman at Point Zero opera R&D phase was also supported by the unique Snape Maltings Open Space artist residency programme during the years 2016-2018. During the residency Bushra and her collaborators explored a language where the musical gesture exploded into movement. She has also completed an AHRC funded PhD in Musical Composition at the University of Birmingham under the supervision of Michael Zev Gordon, where she explored the integration of Middle-Eastern and Western art music.
2018 witnessed Bushra's BBC Proms-commissioned debut performed by the mezzo soprano Wallis Giunta and pianist Michael Sikich, a piece for the soprano Carly Owen at the National Opera Studio and two pieces for Berlin's Babylon Orchestra performed at Deutsche Oper Haus.
2019 saw the world premiere of Tmesis for Symphony Orchestra, performed by the BBCSO at the Dubai Opera House at the BBC Proms Opening night and is excited to be commissioned by the London Symphony Orchestra again to perform Tuqus'for multi ability orchestra conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, a London Sinfonietta commission and a piece for Studio Dan, commissioned by the MusikProtokol festival in Gratz.
Bushra is currently writing an opera based on Nawal El-Saadawi's novel Woman at Point Zero which will be premiered in April 2021 (details to be announced)
Bushra enjoys teaching composition at all levels. Research areas include contemporary composition, cross-arts and cross cultural collaborations and the integration of composition and improvisation. She currently teaches at Royal College of Music Junior Department.
Bushra's music is published by Composers Edition.
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