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Father Louis Hage, OLM, 1938-2010: Home

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Please note that USEK Library houses the Archives of Father Louis Hage.


Father Louis Hage (1938-2010) is recognised as a leading figure in sacred music in Lebanon and worldwide. He played a crucial role in the International Society of Sacred Music (Consociatio Internationalis Musicae Sacrae – CIMS). He made significant contributions to the preservation of both oral and manuscript Maronite music, as well as the revitalisation of Syriac and Arabic sacred music. Fr. Hage authored numerous books and studies on the topic and also organised many conferences and seminars to educate, promote, and safeguard this crucial cultural heritage.

Father Louis Hage was born on May 1st, 1938, in Bteddine El-Leqch, in the district of Jezzine, South Lebanon,  He began his primary education in his village in 1944, and from 1947 onwards he studied at the Monastery of Our Lady of Machmoucheh, which belongs to the Lebanese Maronite Order (OLM).

In 1962, he finished his two years of philosophical studies at the College of the Holy Spirit in Kaslik, while at the same time studying philology at the École Supérieure des Lettres in Beirut.  At the same time, at the College of Kaslik, he was a teacher of music and of Latin. Moving to Rome, he pursued his theological studies at St. Anselm University where in 1966 he earned a Bachelor Degree in Theology. He was ordained a priest in Rome by Bishop Peter Sfeir on December 2nd, 1965. 

While in Rome, he pursued music studies at the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music and also studied the Gregorian chant at the St. Jerome Monastery of the Solesmes Congregation of the Order of Saint Benedict.

Between 1967 and 1970, Fr. Hage pursued a doctorate in Musicology at the University of Paris-Sorbonne, under the supervision of Professor Solange Corbin. In 1971, he earned a diploma from the École Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris. In 1980, he received the Doctorat d'État in Musicology from the Ministry of National Education in Lebanon, and, in 1990, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Arts from Stonehill College in Massachusetts, USA.

After studying at the Sorbonne, he travelled across Europe, America, Mexico, and Brazil studying ethnomusicology. Upon his return to Lebanon in 1970, Fr. Hage became a professor at the Faculty of Theology and the Institute of Liturgy at USEK.

His passion for preserving and studying the Syro-Maronite chant was consistent with the artistic ambience in Lebanon during the 1950s and 1960s. This period saw a thriving artistic movement, with concerts, festivals and theatre, and the involvement of national and international artists and composers in religious, folkloric, popular, and classical music. This environment helped to promote music studies in Lebanon, meeting academic and methodological standards.

On October 31st, 1970, he founded the Institute of Musicology, which later became an independent Faculty in 1996,  which is considered pioneering in Lebanon.  He remained the director of the Institute of Musicology and the School of Music until 1986. and then served as the dean of the Faculty of Music from 1999 until his passing in 2010. During these years, various musical events, concerts, and orchestral performances took place, organised in collaboration with Lebanese and foreign institutions, such as Jeunesses Musicales du Liban (JML), the International Federation of Catholic Universities (FIUC), the Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique (ACCT), which later became the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie, and UNESCO.  He also organised competitions to encourage musical talent and showcased successful performers of both Western and Eastern instruments. Furthermore, he supervised numerous academic research projects and theses for Lebanese, Arab, and Western students

Fr. Hage assumed leadership of the Kaslik Choir in 1970, 20 years after its establishment, and transformed it into a mixed, diverse choir.

In 1986, He was elected president of USEK, serving until 1992.

Between 1992 and 1995, he served as the abbot of St. Anthony's Monastery in Montreal, Canada. While there, he established the Eastern Cultural Centre, which served as a hub for documentation and research, providing resources on Lebanon, the Arabic language, and music. In recognition of his efforts, he was honoured with the Medal of the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada on April 13th, 1993, and the ‘Grand Prix’ from the French Academy for his contributions to the French language on December 2nd, 1993.

Fr. Hage served as the president of the Consociatio Internationalis Musicae Sacrae (CIMS) three times, in 1996, 2000, and 2005 until his passing in 2010.

Fr. Hage was a prolific author, writing around 100 scholarly works, including books, articles and speeches on various subjects, particularly Syriac and Maronite music.

Father Louis Hage died on July 1st, 2010, at the age of 72. A formal memorial service was held for him at the Pope John Paul II Amphitheatre on the USEK campus. He was posthumously honoured by the President of the Lebanese Republic, General Michel Suleiman, with the National Order of the Cedar at the rank of officer in recognition of his contributions to Lebanon.


Achkar, C. (2008). Père Louis Hage, enfant de Dieu et frère des hommes : homme de prière, homme de musique, homme d’action. Beyrouth: Auteur.

Maatouk, T. (2020). Vers une prosopographie du Père Louis Hage (1938-2010), musicologue francophone du chant syro-maronite. Revue des traditions musicales des mondes arabe et méditerranéen, 14 ,71-84.

Quick Links

Father Louis Hage


Holy Spirit University of Kaslik. Phoenix Center for Lebanese Studies.  Archives of OLM

Authority Records

The Authority Record combines:

Hage, Louis

Ḥaǧǧ, Luwīs

Ḥājj, Luwīs

الحاج، لويس، (الأب)

حاج، لويس

حاج، لويس، (الأب)

ISNI 0000 0000 8190 3615