KEYNOTE – Les musiques sacrées du Moyen-Orient

Friday, Feb 24, 2023

9:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Music occupies a central place within the great religious traditions, both as an integral part of collective worship and of individual spiritual experience. The sacred works created in this way over the centuries form a substantial heritage intrinsically linked to the approach of many composers through the ages. For Katia Makdissi-Warren, a composer of Lebanese-Quebec origin, Christian, Muslim and Jewish musics, although rich and diverse, present more similarities than differences and offer a privileged field of exploration to promote dialogue between peoples. In this presentation, the composer will discuss some musical projects conceived as meeting spaces between different communities. She will describe the relevance of sacred music for contemporary musical creation in resonance with current social-cultural issues.

Katia Makdissi-Warren

An innovative composer, Katia Makdissi-Warren stands out nationally and internationally for her unique style where Middle Eastern, Western and Indigenous music meet. In 2001, she founded the Ensemble Oktoécho, specialized in miscegenation. She studied composition in Quebec City and Hamburg, then Arabic and Syriac music in Beirut with Ennio Morricone, Franco Donatoni, Manfred Stahnke, P. Louis Hage and Michel Longtin.

With her ensemble, she has won several awards including the OPUS Award for Best Album in 2019 and the Diversity and Inclusion Award from the Conseil des Arts de Montréal in 2020. She was recently awarded the 2022 Betty Webster Prize by Orchestras Canada to celebrate her long-standing contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion in the Canadian music community.

 In 2019-2020, Katia was chosen to be the composer of the Hommage series of the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec. Her works have been performed by various ensembles from all over the world. She has created numerous soundtracks for theatre, dance, cinema, television, and exhibitions, including the permanent exhibition of Burl-Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest tower in the world.