Friday 14 July 2023 8pm Music Room
The award-winning Syrian composer and musician, Maya Youssef brings her globally acclaimed album, Finding Home, to Liverpool Arab Arts Festival in what will be a stunning and intimate performance with an ensemble of string musicians and vocalist Hamsa Mounif.
The ‘Queen of the Qanun’ is an artist who crosses boundaries in music and culture. Born in Damascus, she came to the UK in 2012 and her performances at London’s Southbank, Womad, BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall and The Barbican have revealed why she was described as an ‘exceptional talent’. Maya pushes the boundaries of the Qanun, a 78 stringed plucked zither traditionally played by men, leaving many to describe her as a virtuoso.
Maya’s intense and thoughtful music is rooted in the Arabic classical tradition but forges pathways into jazz, Western classical and Latin styles. It explores the emotional and healing qualities of music. For her, the act of playing music is the opposite of death and destruction; it is a life and hope-affirming antidote to what is happening, not only in Syria, but in the whole world.
This performance in Liverpool will see Maya bring Finding Home to the city for the first time since its release. Exploring the loss and grief in leaving Syria, the album depicts the discovery of a place that gives a state of calm and how we can find a sense of home, even when we are far from the place of our birth.
Joining Maya are The Ensemble of St Luke’s:
The Ensemble of St Luke’s was formed in 1992 when a group of friends from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra got together informally to raise money for St Luke’s Church in Crosby. In 2014 they were the first chamber group to feature at the Liverpool International Music Festival.
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