Star Syrian pianist on tour

THE acclaimed Syrian pianist Riyad Nicolas comes to Dorset and Somerset for a short three-date tour with Concerts in the West on 5th and 6th November.

Born in Aleppo in 1989, Riyad Nicolas made his first appearance with an orchestra there at the age of ten. He came to Britain in 2005 on a scholarship to study at the Purcell School of Music and later, the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music, collecting several prizes and distinctions in the process.

Since his student days, Riyad has won prizes at international piano competitions and received notable awards in the UK and several European countries. Beside his performances at prestigious venues in London – Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall, Barbican – Riyad has performed in many countries including France, Spain, Germany, and the USA as a soloist with orchestras, as a recitalist and chamber music player at numerous festivals and music societies.

His Concerts in the West dates are Friday 5th, an 11.30am coffee concert at Bridport Arts Centre and 8pm that evening at Ilminster Arts Centre, followed by The Dance House at Crewkerne on Saturday 6th at 7.30pm.

Works by Schubert, including two sonatas, form the core of his solo Concerts in the West programme, plus transcriptions of two Schubert songs by Liszt and an Étude by Scriabin.

Through music Riyad has been promoting peace and raising awareness for the plight of the Syrian people and performing for organizations such as UNHCR, the International Rescue Committee, the Arab British Centre, Said and Asfari Foundation.