'Syria's leadingyoung pianist ...A fine account of Debussy's Images Book I ...Jean Francaix work delivered with Gallic Charm, and some superb Messiaen.'
'...this paragon of pianistic prestidigitation...setting 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. He has been complimented by such musicians as Daniel
Barenboim, Vladimir Ashkenazy and John Lill.
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. Concert performances have also taken him to USA including a debut at the Kennecy Center in Washington and Chicago Cultural Center(Dame Myra Hess series), Yehudi Menhin Forum in Switzerland and other concerts in France, Spain, Germany, the Gulf, Lebanon and Syria.
At the UK is regularly invited to give recitals hosted by the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe and the Chopin Society UK, and performed extensively for over 50 music societies at the UK. 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
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 been selected recently to be a Tillett Trust Young Artist and an artist at the Countess of Munster Trust Concert Scheme at the UK . 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.
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 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. In 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, when he won the Gold Medal at the prestigious Chappell Piano Competition.
Through music Riyad has been promoting peace and raising awareness for the plights of the Syrian people and performing for many organizations such as UNHCR, the International Rescue Committee, the Arab British Centre, Said and Asfari Foundation.
Nicolas is one of the most exciting young artists to emerge from the Middle