(b Beirut, 1934). Lebanese singer. She was the eldest child of Liza Bustānī and Wadī‘ Haddād, a print-shop technician who had moved to Beirut with his family from Dbayyah, a village in the Shūf area of central Lebanon. While at high school she was reportedly discovered by Muhammad Fulayfil, a local composer who was interested in bringing young talent to Lebanon's newly established radio station. Halīm al-Rūmī (d 1983), director of the music department at the station, was moved by her voice and introduced her to the aspiring young composer ‘Āsī Rahbānī (1923–86). Al-Rūmī is also credited with giving her the professional name Fayrūz (‘turquoise’). In 1954 she married ‘Āsī Rahbānī and thereafter became artistically associated with him and his brother, Mansūr Rahbānī (b 1925), two highly prolific and influential composers and lyricists.
In 1957 she was featured in a Rahbānī musical play presented at the Baalbek International Festivals. Subsequently she starred in about two dozen similar plays with other well-known male counterparts such as Nasrī Shams al-Dīn and, occasionally, Wadī‘ al-Sāfī. Between the late 1950s and the early 1970s she sang hundreds of widely admired songs composed by the Rahbānīs, whose music included numerous adaptations of Lebanese traditional and popular tunes and incorporated elements from both Arab and European musical traditions. She also performed songs by other composers including the Lebanese Philemon (Filimūn) Wihbah, who wrote some of her best known songs, and the Egyptian Muhammed Abdel-Wahab. In addition, she recorded hymns, acted in films and appeared in major theatres in the Arab world, Europe and the Americas. Fayrūz possessed an unusual voice with a veiled, velvety timbre combined with a certain head-voice quality, and this contributed to the distinctive and novel character of her songs. Addressing pan-Arab topics and sentiments in some of her songs, she became a celebrated singer, one of the most highly acclaimed artists of the Arab world.
After her separation from her husband around 1979 and the eventual cessation of collaboration between the Rahbānīs, Fayrūz continued to perform internationally. Many of her more recent songs were composed by her son Ziyād Rahbānī (b 1956), an accomplished pianist and composer whose compositional style combined elements of Lebanese popular music and Western musics, including jazz.
ALI JIHAD RACY
Finnish music company. It was founded in 1897 by K.G. Fazer in Helsinki and was at first mainly concerned with importing instruments and sheet music but from its inception also had a considerable publishing interest. In 1918 K.G. Fazer was succeeded by his son Georg Fazer, who substantially increased its scope, particularly in radios, gramophones and records. The company moved to their spacious premises in Alexanterinkatu, later further extended to become one of the largest premises in Europe. In 1925 they opened a concert agency with several branches. After World War II the company developed under Roger Lindberg, grandson of the founder, who was appointed general manager in 1940; it became the agent for leading record companies and instrument makers. The firm was making its own pianos as early as 1935 and founded a piano factory in 1963. Oy Finnlevy Ab, which rapidly developed into the leading record company in Finland, was founded in 1966 (general manager John Eric Westö). The music publishing division has expanded through the incorporation of several art and popular music publishing firms (e.g. R.E. Westerlund in 1967) and by publishing school music books. The leading guitar factory in Finland, Ab Landola Oy, belonged to Fazer from the 1960s until 1983. In 1971 John Westö became general manager of Musik Fazer. In 1993 the company was acquired by Warner and two years later Warner Chappell Music Finland Oy was established to continue Fazer's publishing activities. It is now the leading music publisher in Finland.
E.Marvia: Oy Fazerin Musiikkikauppa 1897–1947 (Helsinki, 1947)
O.Lampinen: Musik Fazer 1897–1972 (Helsinki, 1972) [in Eng.]
EINARI MARVIA/FABIAN DAHLSTRÖM
(b Rome, 16 July 1944). Italian piano maker. After graduating in mechanical engineering from the University of Rome and taking a piano diploma at the conservatory of Pesaro, he first devoted himself to directing his family's furniture business. In 1978 he assembled a team of acoustic physicists, timber experts and piano makers and players. His aim was to bring about the production in Italy of a new professional grand piano, each one handcrafted individually, produced in small quantities, and having a sound quality that is distinct from pianos made by other leading manufacturers. The new firm, Fazioli Pianoforti, was officially founded in 1981, the year in which Fazioli exhibited the full range of his instruments at the Frankfurt music fair. The public was incredulous and sceptical at first, but success followed rapidly, and today the models F278 and F308 are considered at least the equal of concert pianos produced by the best international firms. The F308 is the largest concert piano available on the world market. These are the first Italian-made grand pianos with their own character and with a worldwide distribution.
Fazioli Pianoforti srl, based at Sacile (60 km north of Venice), comprises a team of 25 technicians and produces only grand pianos, 90% of which are sold outside Italy. Early in 1999 around 850 instruments had been made. Output was around 70 instruments a year, and further growth was planned. Among Fazioli's principal innovations are completely adjustable Duplex scaling (the capo tasto and the two bronze bridges are all independently movable, which affords accurate tuning of each of the three resonating sections of the string, improving each string's overall resonance and boosting the tone) and the addition of a fourth pedal which brings all the hammers closer to the strings, thus permitting a reduction of volume without (unlike the una corda pedal) altering the timbre.
H.K.Herzog: Europe Piano Atlas (Frankfurt, 7/1989)