Maya Youssef


Maya Youssef qanun
Elizabeth Nott percussion
Barney Morse-Brown cello

Born in Damascus, Maya Youssef is a virtuoso performer on the qanun, the traditional Syrian 78-stringed plucked zither. Maya is the first musician from a progressive and intellectual Damascus family of writers and artists. She has performed all over the world and is the winner of the exceptional Talent award which enabled her to migrate to the UK in early 2012. Her unique innovative approach to playing the qanun has expanded her audience to international platforms, combining her extraordinary musical gifts with a generosity of outlook, warmth, humour and optimism.

When the war started in Syria, writing music was ‘no longer a choice’ and that was the birth of her highly acclaimed debut album Syrian Dreams (produced by the legendary Joe Boyd). For Maya, the act of playing music is the opposite of death; it is a life and hope affirming act. For her, music is a healer and an antidote to what is happening not only in Syria, but in the whole world.