Abdel Rahman El Bacha
El Bacha was born in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1958 to a family of musicians - his father was a well-known composer and his mother was a singer . He remarked in an interview that his mother possessed a sharp ear for music without the ability to read it in written form, and that this taught him the importance of learning music by ear.
He was offered scholarships in France, the United Kingdom and then USSR. He opted for France, studying at the Paris Conservatoire and graduating from there with four prizes: piano, chamber music, harmony and counterpoint.
At the age of nineteen, in June 1978, El Bacha won the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition by a unanimous judgment. He was also awarded the Audience Prize at the same competition.
El Bacha has had Franco-Lebanese dual nationality since 1981, and has lived in Switzerland since 2012.