from the Shubbak Festival/Royal Opera House work-in-progress performance in July 2017

from the Shubbak Festival/Royal Opera House work-in-progress performance in July 2017

Press Kit

Short Biography 

Bushra El-Turk's music of 'ironic', 'arresting' and 'limitless imagination' forebears the influence of her Lebanese roots and straddles Eastern and Western idioms. 

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. She has written works for the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Orchestre National de Lorraine, Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra, the Latvian Radio Choir and Atlas Ensemble, amongst others, and in 2018 has had her BBC Proms debut. Performances have been at venues including Lincoln Center, Deutsche Oper Haus, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Southbank Centre and Barbican. 

Summer 2017 saw excerpts of her new opera Woman at Point Zero performed at LSO St Luke’s, presented by the Royal Opera House and Shubbak Festival during the unique Snape Maltings Open Space artist residency programme (2016-2018). 

2019 will see the world premiere of Tmesis for Symphony Orchestra, performed by the BBCSO at the Dubai Opera House at the BBC Proms Opening night. 

Bushra is artistic director and leader of Ensemble Zar, which is a fresh and fearless cross-genre ensemble, and is published by Composers Edition.

Photo credit: Ben McDonnell

Very short biography 
Selected by the BBC as one of the most inspiring 100 Women of today, Bushra has written various works for the concert hall, the stage and multi-media, performed and broadcast on radio and television worldwide, including the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Latvian Radio Choir amongst others, and in 2018 has had her BBC Proms debut. 298 characters

Photo credit: Ben McDonnell

Photo credit: Ben McDonnell

Long bio 

Born in London, Bushra El-Turk's music of '...ironic...', '...arresting...' and 'limitless imagination' forebears the influence of her Lebanese roots and straddles Eastern and Western idioms 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 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), Bridgewater Hall (Manchester), Birmingham Symphony Hall, Cadogan Hall, the Southbank and the Barbican (London). 

Summer 2017 saw excerpts of her new 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 is also supported by the unique Snape Maltings Open Space artist residency programme during the years 2016-2018. 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 has witnessed Bushra's BBC Proms-commissioned debut, a piece for the soprano Carly Owen at National Opera Studio’s 40th Birthday production and Berlin's Babylon Orchestra to be premiered at Tischlerei, Deutsche Oper Haus. 

2019 will see the world premiere of Tmesis for Symphony Orchestra, performed by the BBCSO at the Dubai Opera House at the BBC Proms Opening night. 

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 the Royal College of Music Junior Department. 

Bushra is published by Composers Edition.

Photo credit: Crooked Door Images

Photo credit: Crooked Door Images

Reviews

 'the six-minute wonder that is Bushra El-Turk’s Crème Brûlée on a Tree is an unexpected little thriller that flies past using every possible sonority... the piece felt not only idiosyncratic but also – a serious rarity – properly witty.'

- David Benedict, The Arts Desk

'Performed with wit and physicality by Giunta and Sikich, the piece (Crème Brûlée on a Tree) was perfectly balanced between challenging and entertaining its audience, and based on the raucous laughter and applause seems destined to become a hit.'

- Kevin W Ng, Bachtrack

'an arresting new piece of music theatre' on Woman at Point Zero Opera excerpts.

- Bill Barclay, The Guardian

'Tmesis is really fascinating. It’s kind of deceptive at the start...kind of nervous frantic repeated notes fluttering and fanning outwards into space, but then before we know it we’re into the world of her Lebanese heritage with a great big Arabic song moving through the orchestra and then we’ve got electronic dance like beats and it ends with a beautiful closing section with rocking string music over a drone.' 

-Gillian Moore, BBC Radio 3 Record Review

 

A new name to me, this GuildhallSMD graduate has an impressive CV and I shall be looking out for more examples of her "ironic and allegorical musical vocabulary"....An arresting piece which should be widely taken up by 21st C flautists. Marionette heralded a great hour of music making. 

- Peter Grahame Woolf, Musical Pointers 

...a dramatic work which makes full use of the flute’s arsenal of sounds, including the voice of the flute player, heard shouting the three Lebanese words for ‘no’ (reminiscent of Takemitsu’s Voice in this respect). This short and exciting work was well-conceived and highly convincing in performance and looks set to be an accepted part of twenty-first century flute repertoire. 

- Carla Rees, MusicWeb  

'...Eating Clouds was indeed a work that showed limitless imagination' 

- Alan Cooper, Aberdeen University Press 

‘One live-wire firecracker of a composer’ 

- Julie, Groves, The British Flute Society 

‘her structure of freely-shuffled fragments, coalescing into quasi-Byzantine chant before dissonantly climaxing, allowing her to incorporate harmony from Das Lied von Der Erde and to salute multi-culturalism of Mahler’s use of Chinese poetry.’ 

- Paul Driver, The Sunday Times 

‘Listen to the music of Bushra El-Turk and the impression you get is that of someone who enjoys their music with a wry smile. Her compositions cover a wide range of emotions, to be sure, but in many of them a quirky turn here, or an unexpectedly outrageous moment.’ 

- Jonathan Wikely, Classical Music Magazine 

‘...That was not all that was special about the concert, though. Bushra El-Turk’s Mosaic had original (and rewarding) writing for the wind instruments and a haunting and atmospheric lament for its muted strings...’ 

- Robert Beale, City Life 

‘“Silk Moth" was the most significant debut overheard by this journalist in 2015....Bushra El-Turk’s opera is at once aesthetically intelligent and culturally engaged...“Silk Moth" is a well-wrought piece of composition, powerfully performed.’ 

- Jim Quilty, Daily Star, Beirut

Silk Moth Opera (2019 Production) with Ruthless Jabiru, Stage Director: Heather Fairbairn, Set and Costume Designer: Charlotte Henery, Lighting Design: Sean Gleason, Video Artist: Sapphire Goss (Photo credit: Lidia Crisafulli)

Silk Moth Opera (2019 Production) with Ruthless Jabiru, Stage Director: Heather Fairbairn, Set and Costume Designer: Charlotte Henery, Lighting Design: Sean Gleason, Video Artist: Sapphire Goss (Photo credit: Lidia Crisafulli)

LSO On Track (2019): world premiere of 'Tuqus' cond. Sir Simon Rattle, (Photo credit: David Parry)

LSO On Track (2019): world premiere of 'Tuqus' cond. Sir Simon Rattle, (Photo credit: David Parry)