Gramophone Reviews Iyad Sughayer’s New Disc

Iyad Sughayer’s new CD KHACHATURIAN The Concertante Works for Piano has been favourably reviewed in Gramophone, with Marina Frolova-Walker commenting that “Sughayer’s exciting delivery has clarity, rhythmic precision, brilliant virtuosity and a translucent impressionism in the gentler passages.” 

Composed in 1936, the Piano Concerto was the work that established Khachaturian’s name. Cast in the customary three movements, it is scored for a sizeable orchestra, with notable contributions from both side-drum and military drum in the percussion section. In the second movement there is also an extensive solo for a so-called ‘flexatone’. Thirty years after the Concerto, the composer returned to the genre with his Concerto-Rhapsody for piano and orchestra. This time the score offers prominent roles for the xylophone, marimba and vibraphone, which contribute towards making this one of the composer’s most colourful works.

The demanding solo parts are here performed by Iyad Sughayer, with spirited support from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under Andrew Litton. Sughayer made his acclaimed début as a recording artist with a disc of Khachaturian’s piano works and sandwiched between the two works with orchestra he here presents the piano version of one of the composer’s best loved pieces, the Masquerade Suite with its yearning opening Waltz and closing Galop.

Born in Amman, Jordan, Iyad Sughayer received his first piano lessons at the age of five from the pianist and composer Mohammed Sidiq. He made his concerto debut three years later. In 2008 he continued his studies with Marie Louise Taylor and Murray McLachlan at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, England. After receiving a full scholarship at the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) in Manchester Iyad continued studying with McLachlan and went on to complete his master’s degree at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London under the guidance of Martino Tirimo and Peter Tuite.


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