Considered the “queen of qanun”, the Syrian Maya Youssef has trained in Arabic, Turkish, Armenian and Azeri musical traditions. In London, her adoptive home, she played at the BBC Proms alongside Damon Albarn. Her first album Syrian Dreams is an ode to hope, life and peace.
Maya Youssef, “the queen of qanun” has had an atypical career, to put it mildly. One day, when she was just 9 years old, the young Syrian was taking a taxi to the Academy of Music in Damas where she studied the violin. A qanun piece was playing on the radio... She had made her decision, she would play the qanun! “This instrument is only for men”, the taxi driver replied; a warning which was not enough to stifle Maya’s determination. After training in the Arabic, Turkish, Armenian and Azeri musical traditions, the musician moved to England where she appeared, amongst others, at the BBC Proms alongside Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz). Deeply moved by the war which afflicted her native country, she decided to release her first album in 2017, Syrian Dreams, produced by Joe Boyd (Pink Floyd, Nick Drake...). At BOZAR, Maya Youssef invites you to share her infinite love of music, which she sees as a celebration of life and hope, a powerful antidote to the problems of the world.