Iyad Sughayer, pianist

Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music?

I was introduced to music from a very young age. Although my family are not musicians, music was always around the house. My grandfather however collected records and had the radio on constantly; my fondest memories are sitting with him and listening to music for hours. Starting piano lessons at the age of 5 made music a big part of my life. Going to concerts and experiencing the joy of performing inspired me to becoming a professional classical pianist, I think!

Who or what have been the most important influences on your musical life and career?

From my early education in Amman to moving to the UK in 2008, I am very fortunate to have studied and worked with very fine musicians in excellent institutions. Each and every teacher has been a huge influence on my musical identity and growth as a musician. I am forever grateful for the support and guidance of my family and friends too.

Which performances/recordings are you most proud of?

My mentor and friend Murray McLachlan always insists that we should avoid the word ‘pride’ and so I’m very ‘pleased’ to say that the Khachaturian Piano Works on BIS Records was an absolute joy to record and I’m very thankful to have been given this opportunity. The album contains most of Khachaturian’s works for solo piano and is available now to purchase or stream.

How do you make your repertoire choices from season to season?

I go through phases and get fascinated and obsessed by certain composers and sound worlds. I love bringing unknown works to the stage and usually perform works I’m currently in love with!

Do you have a favourite concert venue to perform in and why?

The Royal Northern College of Music Concert Hall. There is something special about that hall and I love playing at my old college, I get a feeling of belonging and being at home.

What is your most memorable concert experience?

It has to be performing the Khachaturian Piano Concerto with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra in June 2019. The incredible feeling of performing the great concerto with one of Europe’s finest orchestras is an experience I will never forget.

As a musician, what is your definition of success?

Enjoying what I do and inspiring myself and others whilst doing it!

What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians?

Never stop learning and listening! Love what you do and enjoy doing it!

What is your most treasured possession?

My music library and debit card.

What is your present state of mind?

Happy, inspired and thankful!

Iyad Sughayer’s recording of Khachaturian Piano Works is available now on the BIS label

Rising star, Jordanian-Palestinian pianist Iyad Sughayer, has already been invited to perform as soloist with many leading orchestras including the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, the European Union Chamber Orchestra, the Manchester Camerata as well as the Cairo and Amman Symphony Orchestras. He has performed on the stage of the Bridgewater Hall, the Stoller Hall – where Iyad made his debut on BBC Radio 3 – the Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Steinway Hall New York, Castleton Festival Virginia, Kings Place and Wigmore Hall in London.

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