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The Lebanese-born French composer and poet Bechara El-Khoury was born 18 March 1957 in Beirut, where he began music studies with Agop Arslanian. He moved to Paris in 1979 and studied composition with Pierre Petit, but by this time had already written more than a hundred works. He was granted French citizenship in 1987, and appointed Knight of the National Order of the Cedar of Lebanon in 2002. His lyrical, poetic compositions, inspired increasingly by Western musical styles, have been played worldwide.