Published January 26, 2015

Syrian pianist

Riyad Nicolas to present recital in Dahl Chapel on Jan. 30
Riyad Nicolas, one of the most exciting young artists to emerge from the Middle East, will present a piano recital at Monmouth College on Jan. 30. Free and open to the public, the recital will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Kasch Performance Hall of Dahl Chapel and Auditorium.
 
Riyad will play selections by Chopin in the opening half of his performance, then conclude with works by Scarlatti, Ravel and Ligeti.
 
Called “Syria’s leading young pianist” by International Piano Magazine, Riyad was born in Aleppo in 1989. Despite his youth, he has already established himself as a leading figure on the international performing circuit. Among his recent achievements are claiming First Prize at the Francaix International Piano Competition in Paris and his debuts at Wigmore Hall and the Cadogan Hall in London.
 
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. He continued to work with her at the Royal Academy of Music, from which he graduated in 2011.
     
The recipient of numerous international prizes and awards, Riyad won 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 made his first appearance as a soloist with an orchestra at the age of 10 in Aleppo. Since then, he has performed with many orchestras, including the London Chamber Orchestra at the Cadogan Hall, Emirate Symphony Orchestra in Dubai and the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra at the opening of the new Damascus Opera House, as well as with the Gomidas Chamber Orchestra of Aleppo.
      
Riyad has given solo recitals in many prestigious venues in London, including 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.
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