From Syria to the Ribble Valley: pianist Riyad Nicolas comes to Clitheroe

Aleppo-born pianist Riyad Nicolas established himself as a leading figure for his generation
Aleppo-born pianist Riyad Nicolas established himself as a leading figure for his generation

An internationally renowned Syrian British pianist will be performing at the Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, on November 13.

Born in 1989 in Aleppo, Syria, Riyad Nicolas has been described as one of the most exciting young pianists to emerge from the Middle East.

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, the Syrian Expat Orchestra and many others, establishing himself as a leading figure on the international performing circuit.

Daniel Barenboim, pianist and conductor, described him as having “a very high level of musical sensitivity and an impressive level of musicianship which speaks a dedication to music.”

Since 2005, Riyad has given solo recitals in many prestigious venues in London, including Royal Albert Hall and Barbican, and through his music he aims to promote peace, and raise awareness for the plights of the Syrian people, promoting music as a means to heal.

He has also performed for many international organisations such as UNHCR, the International Rescue Committee and the Arab British Centre.

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 flautist Wissam Boustany.

The programme he will be performing in Clitheroe includes beautiful pieces such as Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 13, Chopin’s Polonaise Fantasie and Brahms’ Variations on a theme by Paganini.

Riyad Nicolas at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, on November 13.

Concert starts at 7-30pm. Tickets are £18, (children and full-time students at £5 and joining the Clitheroe Concerts Society gives a substantial discount on the season’s tickets).