Syrian harpist Basel William Sara died in Orbero, Sweden on June 13, 2019.
Basel Sara began his musical studies in childhood as a piano student. While studying law at the University of Damascus, his love of music was so great that he left his law program to focus on studying music. Enrolling in the High Institute of Music in Syria, Basel majored in harp and received a secondary degree in piano. Following graduation, he attended the State Conservatory of Rimsky–Korsakov in St. Petersburg where he received his doctorate under renowned harpist Irina Donskaya–Tishchenko. He returned to Syria as the harp professor at the State High Institute of Music, committed to using his Russian training to enhance his harp teaching. When war broke in Syria, Basel was forced to leave for Sweden, as traveling from Homs, his hometown, to Damascus became dangerous. He continued his musical career in Sweden, finding many opportunities to play with orchestras and perform in concert across the country.
Basel was an active contributor in online harp forums, including harpcolumn.com. Many harpists around the world followed his plight as the war in Syria closed in on his personal safety and forced him to leave his homeland.
Basel leaves behind his father, William Sara, mother, Intwanet Achi, sister, Zeina Sara, and brother, Ziad Sara. Zeina shares, “My brother lived with great faith and great love. He was so kind to his friends and his family, and his death hit everyone with a terrible shock. Basel helped everyone: he played concerts and donated his full income to the children of his hometown, Homs. He was an incredible role model.” Ziad adds that Basel opted to live a simple life on earth and that he worked on building his place in heaven.