WAEL FAROUK, Pianist , Professor, Academy of Arts, High Institute of Music, Cairo Conservatory, Giza, Egypt
2002-2003 Egyptian Fulbright Scholar, Catholic University, Washington, D.C., U.S.A
“As a concert pianist and conservatory professor, my experience as a Fulbright Scholar was invaluable to my career and professional development. I attended the Cairo Conservatory from a very young age through my undergraduate degree, where I received excellent instruction. During the second year of my undergraduate studies, I was fortunate to meet Douglas Weeks, a Senior Fulbright scholar who was spending several months as a visiting professor at the Cairo Conservatory. Dr. Weeks heard me perform and encouraged me to apply for this prestigious program so I could expand my studies in the United States.”
During his Fulbright grant at Catholic University, Dr. Farouk studied with the world-renowned piano pedagogue Marilyn Neeley for nine months. “During this time, I was able not only to focus intensively on my piano studies but also to expand my musical knowledge more generally,” he recounts. “Being in such an important musical center of the world enabled me to attend performances by world-class musicians and orchestras and gave me opportunities to listen to hundreds of important recordings by artists of past generations as well as influential contemporary musicians. These were experiences I would not otherwise have been able to have,” he added.
At the age of 32, Egyptian pianist and Fulbright alumnus Wael Farouk has had an extensive performing career. With a vast repertoire spanning from Scarlatti to Bolcom, he commands more than 70 concertos and more than 60 solo programs, including the complete piano works of Chopin and Rachmaninoff. He has appeared as a soloist with the North Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, the Saint-Etienne National Orchestra, the Academy of the Arts Orchestra, the Manhattan Symphony, and the Cairo Symphony Orchestra for more than 20 concertos, including the Egyptian premieres of Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3, Brahms Piano Concerto No. 2, and Prokofiev Piano Concertos Nos. 1, 2, and 3.
Dr. Farouk performs regularly in Cairo with the Cairo Symphony, gives master classes there and works with younger Egyptian musicians. “Because of my Fulbright experience, I am also better equipped to help expand the musical horizons of the next generation of musicians in Egypt,” he said.