Maya Youssef

Virtuoso Syrian kanun player. Her virtuosity and unique innovative approach to playing the kanun, originally a traditional instrument, have expanded her audiences to international platforms. She combines her extraordinary musical gifts with a generosity of outlook, warmth, humour and optimism.

Her project ‘‘Syrian Dreams” is her own way to fight the conflict that destroys her country. She relates…

The war started in my homeland in 2011. From that point on making music was no longer a choice, it was a crucial means to express and come to terms with intense feelings of loss and sadness from seeing my people suffer and my homeland destroyed. 

Accompanied by percussion and cello, she performs music lamenting the war in her homeland and celebrating its rich cultural and architectural heritage. Following the release of her highly-praised debut album Syrian Dreams last November, she performs her own compositions, tunes from the Syrian folk tradition and the wider Arabic repertoire in what the Guardian describes as: ‘an often exquisite, emotional set that constantly changes mood, from sorrow to hope’.

more infos:

Maya Youssef
Maya Youssef
Maya: Youssef: Bombs turn into Roses

Line Up

Territory: Austria, Germany, Switzerland

Travelparty: 4 – 5

Maya Youssef Quartet / Trio

  • Maya Youssef (kanoun) 
  • Elizabeth Nott (perc) 
  • Basel Saleh (oud) 
  • Barnabas Morse-Brown (vlc)


“Without words, ‘Syrian Dreams’ speaks of the victory of beauty over death”
– Hanni Bode (The German Record Critics’ Award)

She plays as revolution, she plays as rejuvenation, she plays for peace, she plays to heal and she plays to remember.” Outline Magazin

“I challenge anyone to listen to this album and not to weep and in weeping, turn their face to gaze at the stars”
Suhayl Saadi