'Syria's leadingyoung pianist ...A fine account of Debussy's Images Book I ...Jean Francaix work delivered with Galic Charm, and some superb Messiaen.'
'...this paragon of pianistic prestidigitation...seeting a new gold standard",
'..he had given a prodigious recital which rose head and shoulders above everything else we have heard this year','...every aspect of his performance...melding all together into an indissoluble unity of conception.'
Beethoven Piano Society of Europe.
'A wonderful blend of intelligence and technical mastery with its huge range of colours and rhythms, deftly negotiated by Riyad with great virtuosity'.
Riyad Nicolas “Syria’s leading young pianist” (International Piano Magazine
2012) was born in Aleppo, Syria, in 1989, and has
already established himself as a leading figure of his generation on the
international performing circuit. Among
his recent achievements he lists First Prize at the Francaix International
Piano Competition in Paris and his débuts at the Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall and the Cadogan Hall
in London and the Kennedy Centre in Washington.
June 2015, Riyad graduated with a distinction in a Master of Performance course at the Royal College
of Music, studying with Dmitri Alexeev and Vanessa Latarche, as a Steinway Scholar supported by a Frederick
Johnston Award, when he he won the Gold Medlal at the prestigious Chappel Piano Competition . Riyad
first came to London in 2005 when he was awarded a two-year scholarship to study
at the Purcell School of Music with Sulamita Aronovsky, continuing to work with
her at the Royal Academy of Music, where he graduated in 2011. He has
participated in masterclasses and was complimented by such musicians as Daniel
Barenboim, Vladimir Ashkenazy and John Lill.
Riyad has won numerous international
prizes and awards including First Prize at the Norah Sande Award in the UK, the
Christopher Duke Recital Prize in the UK, the Ciutat de Carlet International
Piano Competition in Spain, and First Prize with a recording contract at The
Francaix International Piano Competition in Paris. He also won Second Prize at
the Seiler International Piano Competition in Greece, Educational Award Prize
at The London International Piano competition and Top Prize at the 1st Syria
National Piano Competition. He was also selected to be a Tillett Trust Young
Artist in 2012 and an artist at the Countess of Munster Trust Concert Scheme in 2014 and also 2016.
Riyad made his first appearance as a
soloist with an orchestra at the age of ten in Aleppo. Since then, he has
performed with many orchestras including the London Chamber Orchestra at the
Cadogan Hall, Emirate Symphony Orchestra in Dubai, Young Musician Symphony
Orchestra at St. John's Smith Square, Todmorden Symphony Orchestra, the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra at
the opening of the new Damascus Opera House,the Syrian Expat Orchestra as well as with the Gomidas
Chamber Orchestra of Aleppo.
Riyad has given solo recitals in many
prestigious venues in London, including Royal Albert Hall, Cadogan Hall, Wigmore Hall, St. Martin-in-the-Fields,
St. James’s Piccadilly, and Leighton House. He is regularly invited to give recitals hosted by the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe and the Chopin Society UK, and performed extenvisly for the majority of the UK music socities. He has also been invited to perform
in numerous UK musical festivals such as Harrogate, Norfolk-Norwich, King’s
Lynn, Brighton, Devon, Darlington, Stratford-upon-Avon, Lincoln, Crediton, and
Eastbourne. Concert performances have also taken him to France, Spain,
Switzerland, USA (including a debut at Kennedy Centre in Washington and Chicago clutural Centre) and some Arab States.
Besides solo performances, Riyad is also a
keen chamber music player, and has performed regularly in duos with violin and
flute, collaborating with artists including the eminent flautist Wissam
Riyad has been invited to play for many fundraising concerts especially for Syria from various prestigious organizations such as The International Rescue Commitee, The UN refugee Agency,The Arab British Centre amongst many others.
Nicolas is one of the most exciting young artists to emerge from the Middle
gratefully acknowledges the support of Said Foundation, Asfari
Foundation, Countess of Munster Trust, Talent unlimited and Help Musicians UK Fleming Award.