Riyad Nicolas is one of the most exciting young artists to emerge from the Middle East. He was born in Aleppo, Syria, in 1989, and has already established himself as a leading figure of his generation on the international performing circuit. Among his recent achievements he lists First Prize at the Francaix International Piano Competition in Paris and his débuts at the Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall and the Cadogan Hall in London and the Kennedy Centre in Washington. In June 2015, he graduated with a distinction in a Master of Performance course at the Royal College of Music, studying with Dmitri Alexeev and Vanessa Latarche, as a Steinway Scholar supported by a Frederick Johnston Award, when he he won the Gold Medal at the prestigious Chappel Piano Competition . Riyad first came to London in 2005 when he was awarded a two-year scholarship to study at the Purcell School of Music, and graduated from the Royal Academy of Music in 2011. He 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 was also selected to be a Tillett Trust Young Artist in 2012 and an artist at the Countess of Munster Trust Concert Scheme in 2014 and also 2016.
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 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. He is regularly invited to give recitals hosted by the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe and the Chopin Society UK, and performed extenvisly for the majority of the UK music socities. Concert performances have also taken him to France, Spain, Switzerland, USA (including a debut at Kennedy Centre in Washington and Chicago clutural Centre) and some Arab States.