“Piano ain’t got no wrong notes”

He was applauded a year ago in Damascus Opera House in more than a concert with a thousand marvelous notes ... We find him today with renewed pleasure, even more exquisite in his playing and reserving for his listeners a top program of range, dominated by a choice of absolute romanticism.

It’s hard to put the joy of making music on the piano into words, but this difficulty hasn’t stopped many great minds from trying! To celebrate the beauty of this grand instrument, Al Hamra Theater has hosted a live concert by Dr. Gazwan Zerkli, an internationally recognized Syrian pianist and composer.

For his journey in Al Hamra Theater, he has concocted a compact program which offers music lovers the music of Chopin, Beethoven, and Mozart. But what a music! Surges and murmurs of one of the most brilliant princes of the keyboard. Gazwan Zerkli, exceptional performance, made us believe that using the piano as a single instrument, is really capable of expressing every possible musical idea, despite the fact that piano keys are only black and white but they sound like a million colors in mind.

Gazwan Zerikly, a student at the Damascus Conservatory, studied at the Berlin Academy of Music and followed with distinction the masterclasses of D. Zechlin. Subsequently he attended the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow to complete his training under the direction of G. Axelrod. Winner of international awards (Portugal, Spain, Russia) Zerikly currently gives numerous concerts which have taken him to Europe as well as to the United States, Asia and Africa.

Dr. Zerkli has been working as Solo-Pianist and composer for the Syrian Radio and Television since 1977; and has composed numerous melodies and music for TV, film and others, as well as contributing to the western-style art song in Arabic. He has performed Liszt for the opening ceremony of the new Damascus Opera.

One may say that Zerkli is the creator of a school of piano and a school of composition. In truth, nothing equals the lightness, the sweetness with which the composer preludes on the piano; moreover nothing may be compared to his works full of originality, distinction and grace. He decline to conform to a standard method of playing and believed that there was no set technique for playing well. His style was based extensively on his use of a very unique finger technique.

Dazzling pages revealing both the innumerable resources and the astonishing sonic possibilities of the piano and at the same time subtly declining the range of multiple feelings that inhabited, to the sublime bewilderment, this genius composer touched by the grace and the turmoil of romanticism. Long sonata with a fluid and unpredictable narration ranging from peaceful moments of calmness, like an embellishment carried by a ray of light; to bubbling like a lava passing through liquescent chromatics where surges of the heart, the heartbreaks of separations and the bitterness of disappointments.

A Bouquet of lively and fiery notes, sparkling like a rough diamond. It is obvious that the music of the master of Syria has not finished seducing us, surprising us and above all captivating us.

Warm and deep sounds, perfect melodies, and this simplicity specific to real musicians are the attributes of Gazwan Zerikly applauded at length by an audience conquered by this evening - a rare phenomenon - exclusively classical piano.


Interviewed & reported by: Lama Alhassanieh