Larbi studied piano and horn before entering the Conservatoire Nationale Supérieur de Musique de Paris or CNSMP, where he was awarded five prizes.
His CNSMP training was capped by two postgraduate degrees, which he pursued simultaneously. Larbi completed his PhD program at the Ecole Normale Supérieur with a doctoral thesis on aesthetics. Fascinated by the possibilities of synthesizing mathematics and music, Larbi investigated the application of computer science to musical compositions at the IRCAM for a year. There, his theories came to life in numerous works of diverse and exciting musical forms.
Master class lessons in conducting and composition followed, under the tutelage of S. Célibidache, P.Boulez, F.Ferrara, O.Messiaen, and L.Berio. By this time, Larbi’s talents had been recognized beyond his native France. He was invited as a special musical guest by Italy’s Chigiana Musical Academy in Sienna, by Canada’s Banff Center for the Arts, and by Japan’s Kujoyama Villa. He had several stints as assistant to the celebrated Seiji Ozawa in Tokyo, and during the famous Saito Kinen Festival. As a conductor, Larbi was also officially invited by the Symphonic Orchestra of Beijing, where the repertoire of Varèse, Messiaen and Boulez were performed to great acclaim under his baton.
With three degrees in music awarded by the Ministere de la Culture under his belt, Larbi further solidified his mastery of composition and orchestral conducting by winning the CNFPT and the Ville de Paris competitions. He is the director of the Nationale Conservatoire, and currently runs the conservatory of the 19th arrondissement in Paris. He finds time to teach musical composition, chamber music, and orchestra direction at the city’s conservatory, the CFEDEM, as well as the university. Larbi’s desire to spread his knowledge of music transcends national borders. He teaches master classes all over Europe, in Kyoto, Beijing and Xi’an. He is a member of the experts’ commission at the Direction des Affaires Culturelles de la Région Ile de France, and the Conseil Artistique de l’Auditorium Saint-Germain, staying at the forefront of cultural development and artistic linkages.
Under the sponsorship of François Cheng, Larbi served as artistic director of the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, which advocates the organic connection between painting and music, a project started by the Administrator of the Grand Palais, Marie-Claude Vitoux. Larbi is currently musical director of the Entretemps Ensemble and the GAIA Orchestra, Paris’s Chamber Orchestra. In great demand all over the world, Larbi serves as featured conductor for Miguel Angel Estrella’s Orchestra for Peace, the Orchestra of Bartok’s Festival in Budapest, the National Orchestra of Algiers, the Paris Orchestra, the Calgary Orchestra (with which he made a recording for Harmonia Mundi), the Ensemble Intercontemporain, the musicians of Kyoto, and the Berlin Symphonie Orchestra.
Larbi contributed greatly to the Harmony for Peace Foundation in the 2010 Peace Concert as he created a new piece just for this event.