The Lebanese National Conservatory was founded in the 1920s. Wadih Sabra (the composer of the Lebanese National Anthem) was the founder of the Music School which later became the Conservatory.
In 1953, President Camille Chamoun requested from the Minister of Education to invite the pianist, composer and conductor Anis Fuleihan to take charge of the Conservatory. The Conservatory became in 1959 an Autonomous National Institution under the supervision of the Minister of Education. Anis Fuleihan was followed as directors of the Conservatory by Nicolas Dahl, Toufic Succar, R.F. Youssef El Khoury, Antoine Hobeika.
During the Lebanese war (1975-1991) the National Conservatory suffered great material damage: all the instruments, documents and library were looted and burnt. The Conservatory resumed teaching in 1991 and was upgraded in 1995 to a National Institution of Higher Education. The President of the Conservatory from 1991 until 2011 was the composer Dr. Walid Gholmieh. After the passing of Dr. Gholmieh in June 2011, Mr. Hanna el Amil was appointed as Acting President. In May 2014, Dr. Walid Moussallem was appointed as Interim President.
Today, the Conservatory has more than 5000 students and has fourteen branches across Lebanon. In Beirut, Jounieh, Dhour-el-Choueir, Ain-Saadeh, Zahle, Saida, Aley, Baakline, Batroun, Tripoli and Choueifat. A new branch will be opened in Zghorta in 2016. In 2000, the Conservatory opened a branch in Roumieh prison.
The role of the Conservatory in the field of musical education and promoting culture in the Lebanese society has been of great importance since its creation in the 1920’s. As a pursuit of educational purposes the Conservatory also functions as a National Archive and Research Center for Music. Between 1957 and 1975 the Conservatory organized concerts with its Chamber Orchestra which was directed by Mr. Raif Abillama. In 1999, The Lebanese National Symphony Orchestra was established and in 2010 it was renamed the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra. In July 2000, the Lebanese National Orchestra for Oriental Arabic Music was created. The Conservatory has also established Musical Ensembles for Students, Western Music Ensembles, Oriental Arabic Ensemble and The Jazz Big Band.
The Conservatory presents more than 70 concerts annually by the orchestras and ensembles.