MUSIC

Lebanese composer Mansour Rahbani dies aged 83

Mansour Rahbani, one of the Arab world's best known composers, died on Tuesday following a bout of pneumonia. A musician in his own right, Rahbani joined his brother Assi to write songs and poems for the latter's wife, Lebanese diva Fairuz.

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AFP - Lebanese composer and musician Mansour Rahbani, 83, a well-known figure in the Arab world, died on Tuesday following a bout of pneumonia, a hospital official told AFP.

Rahbani was the brother of Assi Rahbani, who was married to Lebanese singing diva Fairuz, for whom the two men composed many poems and songs.

The pair, who became known as the Rahbani Brothers, also wrote several widely-acclaimed musicals including "Petra" and "Biyaa el Khawatem" (The Ring Seller), which was adapted on screen by Egyptian film director Youssef Chahine.

Following Assi Rahbani's death in 1986, Mansour composed several plays on his own, the latest of which, "The Return of the Phoenix", is currently playing in Lebanon.

The Rahbani Brothers focused on themes about village life, growing up, love and patriotism.

Renowned in the Arab world, the brothers were also known to a wider audience, including in the United States where they performed at a sell-out concert at New York's Carnegie Hall in 1971.

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