Internationally renowned Lebanese percussionist and composer Rony Barrak held his Darbouka (Middle Eastern tabla) at the tender age of four and began playing it intuitively. Led by early self-confidence, he made his first TV performance at the age of seven and then proceeded to improve his skills through school and family performances. At the age of seventeen, Rony distinguished himself in the world of music by winning the Gold Medal in a competition on the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International (LBCI) television for talented young musicians in Lebanon and the Middle East. This achievement encouraged him to unleash the Darbouka from the chains of its long-standing traditional context and explore its full potential. He moved to London in 1990 where he studied orchestral percussion and drum kit at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and later taught Middle Eastern Percussion at Trinity College of Music. Rony became a British citizen in year 2000 and has dual citizenship of Lebanon and the U.K.
Blending eastern and western flavors, Rony is a versatile percussionist, composer, pianist, and arranger. He plays and composes his own fusion style—a colorful blend of Arabic, Latin, Jazz, funk, New Age and chill-out. In addition to being the world's leading Darbouka player, he assembled his own unique percussion set. He incorporated into his performances fascinating instruments such as car parts, demonstrating an uncanny ability to create rare, exciting combinations out of found objects.
Rony’s love for classical music propelled him to compose symphonic pieces, taking his effort to bring together eclectic music traditions to the next level. Since 2009 he has composed and premiered three compositions—dramatic, graceful, and spontaneous symphonic poems featuring his Darbouka—in the US and Germany. Over the years, he has performed with many world-renowned symphony orchestras and conductors as a Darbouka soloist. Besides original symphonic compositions, Rony has also achieved breakthrough success since 2005 as a soloist with Symphonic Game Music Concerts produced by Thomas Böcker (Merregnon Studios) and with PLAY! A Video Game Symphony, receiving sponsorship from companies such as Electronic Arts for multiple game concerts. Subsequently, Rony was featured prominently in five video game music albums.
Rony makes regular appearances on television and radio shows in Lebanon and throughout the Middle East, including interviews and solo performances, consistently demonstrating a strong rapport with worldwide audiences. Further, Rony served as the Musical Director and Composer for a Saturday night television show (Iktachafna el Baroud) on LBCI TV-Lebanon in 2006 and on “What the viewers want” on MBC TV in 1997.