“Music is an agreeable harmony for the honor of God and the permissible delights of the soul”, said Johann Sebastian Bach once. Musical art and the Christian religion were never really unattached, according to Fr. Toufic Maatouk, O.A.M., who had excelled in the field of theatre and church music, showing an incredible talent since the age of four.
Since his early years, he was fully dedicated to music, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Opera Singing (197/1998), and another one in Piano Performance in 2001 from the Lebanese National Conservatory. At the same time, he joined the Antonine Monastery to become a priest. Father Maatouk is currently pursuing his Ph.D. studies in musicology while he is performing as bandmaster in Europe and the United States of America.
FIDAA’ (translation of redemption), his latest work of art, is a combination of 1975 musical pieces composed by Fr. Youssef Waked, the spiritual mentor and influencer of Fr. Maatouk. Written by the late Father Michel Mouawad, it was performed during two full hours with no interruption by the Philharmonic Orchestra of Kiev alongside with the Université Antonine Choir, which includes Lebanese and Syrian soloists, and led by Fr. Maatouk.
“Opera music is not the most popular and preferable among Lebanese people because of the lack of competencies, interests, culture and investments in that matter,” thinks Fr. Maatouk. However; his vision has come to life through this innovative operatic theatrical piece interpreting Christ’s last moments amongst his disciples in the Gethsemane garden prior to his crucifixion.
Being an international music conductor himself, Fr. Maatouk had launched “Saison De Musique De Chambre”, which convenes every month and a half at the Université Antonine chapel with the participation of international musicians.