Fayha National Choir of Lebanon

Fayha National Choir is a mixed Lebanese a cappella choir, internationally renowned for revolutionizing Arabic choral music. It was founded in 2003 by Maestro Barkev Taslakian, who remains its principal conductor and artistic director. The choir was originally based in Tripoli and adopted the city’s local ­nickname ‘Fayha’, meaning fragrant, due to the orange groves that surround it. In 2022, after branching out across Lebanon to Beirut and Chouf, the choir was named the first Lebanese National Choir.

Globally recognized as a standard for Arabic a cappella, the choir aims to develop and spread Arabic musical heritage. Its repertoire revives and sustains classics from across the Middle East and North Africa - offering unique interpretations while remaining faithful to Arabic musical tradition. This called for the innovation of new techniques by Maestro Taslakian and Dr. Edward Torikian to harmonically arrange and perform melodies in Arabic microtonal scales. 

Over the past two decades, their collaboration has amounted to an extensive archive rendering Fayha National Choir the prime resource for Arabic choral arrangements. These arrangements are generously shared with choirs worldwide in an effort to spread Arabic culture and promote collective singing in the region. 

Fayha consists of around a hundred amateur singers coming from all walks of life, proudly coexisting and thriving despite their diverse religions, nationalities and socioeconomic status.  The choir aimed to reproduce similar coexistence in the various fractured communities spanning Lebanon. This manifested in the form of several social projects centered on musical education and collective singing. They primarily target vulnerable communities such as refugee camps and impoverished areas across the country. In recognition for the success of those projects, Fayha National Choir earned the IMC Music Rights Award in 2016. 

Despite only budding at the turn of the century, Arabic a cappella has rapidly ascended to a world-class standard. To ensure the sustenance of this art form despite the lack of proper educational opportunities, Maestro Taslakian has taken several aspiring choir conductors and musicians under his wing. As of today, Fayha has given rise to several professional conductors and arrangers who have gone on to found new choirs and expand the archive of Arabic choral arrangements.