Every winter for the past 26 years, the Emile Bustani Auditorium comes alive for a unique and unprecedented tradition in Lebanon: a winter music season. The Al Bustan International Festival of Music and the Performing Arts is one of the Middle East’s iconic cultural events, established by Myrna Bustani as her contribution to reviving culture and the arts in Lebanon after the devastation of 17 years of civil war.
The Al Bustan Festival keeps alive Lebanon’s rich tradition of hosting international cultural events. Held over five weeks in February and March, the festival hosts some of the world’s greatest international musicians and artists who present about 18 performances of predominantly chamber music opera, orchestral concerts, choral concerts, dance and theatre.
The Festival showcases a rich and homogeneous programme focused around a special theme, celebrating the culture of a country or a city, or exploring a special subject. The Festival likes to be daring in its choice of artists, works and performances.
Amongst the many artists who have taken part in the Festival are: Accademia Bizantina, June Andersen, Olaf Baer, Kristian Benedikt, Boris Berezovsky, Berlin Philharmonic Sextet, Khatia Buniatishvili, Javier Camarena, Gautier Capuçon, Renaud Capuçon, Maria Ewing, Richard Galliano, Georgian Philharmonic Strings, Carmen Giannattasio, Evelyn Glennie, Trilok Gurtu, Helikon Opera of Moscow, Sergei Khachaturyan, Angelika Kirschlager, Patricia Kopachinskaja, Friedemann Layer, Yundi Li, Jacques Loussier Trio, Labeque sisters, Gianluca Marcianò, Montpellier Philharmonic Orchestra, Edgar Moreau, Inva Mula, Irek Mukhamedov, Paolo Olmi, Emmanuel Pahud, Paco Peña dance Company, Jean Piat, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Elena Prokina, Vadim Repin, Yury Revich, Katia Ricciarelli, Anita Rachvelishvili, Salzburg Marionettes, Fazil Say, Arabella Steinbacher, Sergey Smbatyan, Shakespeare’s Globe, Soweto Gospel choir, Alexandre Tharaud, Vienna Boys Choir, Wiener Kammerensemble, Kevin Zhu, the Medici, Skampa, Belcea, Chilingirian, Takacs and Leipzig quartets as well as the Schubert Ensemble and many others…