Wissam Boustany


Amongst the Greatest Flautists of our Time

Music allows us to see life through our hearts. Furthermore, it allows us to contemplate the divine and seek to bring it into our daily existence. It is also fun and (if you play) great exercise! My flute has taken me to countless countries and has been the catalyst to so many great friendships and deeds. Thanks for passing through this website - we hope you will find it inspiring and effective in revealing the wonderful projects that have been created, literally out of "thin air". With the power of love, thin air that enters my lungs is transformed into a catalyst for so many exciting projects. This is the power of love, the power of music... (Wissam Boustany)

Born in Beirut on the 1st of October 1960, Wissam went to primary and secondary school at the German School in Ras Beirut. He began his music studies on the piano, aged eleven, at the National Conservatory of Music but was not completely engaged by the piano.

Encouraged by his stepfather Emile Noun, a violin professor and director of the Conservatory orchestra, he took up the flute when aged twelve. The instrument fascinated him and he wondered how ''a thin strand of air could produce such harmony''. In 1977 he left Lebanon and the war to settle with his family in Canada.

His parents, preferring to be in Lebanon, returned there that same year, sending Wissam alone to continue his music studies in Manchester at Chetham's School of Music and then, in 1979, at the Royal Northern College of Music, from which he graduated with the Professional Performer's Diploma.

He won several prestigious prizes and performed brilliantly in many international competitions. In 1978 he won second place in the BBC's Young Musician of the Year Competition, woodwind section. In 1981 he was silver medalist in the London Symphony Orchestra/Shell competition and in 1982, silver medalist again in the Madeira International Flute Competition.

In 1997 he was awarded the highest honor in Lebanon, Knight of the Order of the Cedar, and in 1998 he received the Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Wissam Boustany is one of the few rare flute soloists to have had such an outstanding musical career. He draws record audiences to his concerts in Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, and in North and South America. He also gives Master classes in top musical institutes throughout the world, most notably in the United Kingdom where he lives. In the UK, his Master classes take him to the Royal Northern College of Music, the Royal Scottish Academy of Music, Chetham's School of Music and his main teaching base, the Trinity College of Music. He also organizes music workshops in the United States, especially at U.C.L.A., Illinois State University, the University of Northern Carolina and the University of Santa Barbara.

One of the most notable elements of his playing has been to introduce a modern style to a classical repertoire, thus combining the modern and the traditional.

He has performed with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Mozart Players, the London Bach Orchestra, the London Soloists Chamber Orchestra and the English Symphony Orchestra.

The war in Lebanon left an impact on Wissam's life and music and he founded the project Towards Humanity, which uses music as a catalyst to support humanitarian projects on an international scale. Thus, an association that brings support to communities suffering from the tragedy of war, and bearing the name of his project was born in 1995.

He is married to Shermine, a Public Relations executive, and travels mainly by motorcycle, his favorite pastime.

His recordings include his interpretation of the following works:

Sounds from Within (Musica Attaca)
Wandering Winds (Towards Humanity)
Vivaldi's Children (Towards Humanity)
Beat Furrer Concerto (Deutsche Grammophon)
ll Viaggio a Rheims, with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, conducted by Claudio Abbado (Deutsche Grammophon)

Wissam Boustany has also collaborated with many composers to produce contemporary works:

Beat Furrer in Chamber Concerto
Simon Holt in Miaistra
Boghos Gelalian in Quatre jeux
Walid Hourany in Lifecycle
David Anderson in A Fisherman's Flute
Alan Hoddinott in Nocturne and Caprice
Tarik Younis in Rising From the Ashes
Paul Read in Concerto
Peter Cowdrey in Land of the Prophets
Carl Witt in This Invisible World
Pierre Thilloy in Les Arbres aux étoiles
Houtaf Khoury in Miroir d'éternité
Dai Fujikura – Poison Mushroom
Michael Oliva – Fluid Cities
Shaun Bracey – Fragments of Hope