Top 5 Qanun Artists In The World – Sala Muzik

Top 5 Qanun Artists In The World


Maya Youssef


Maya Youssef was born in Damascus, Syria. She learned to play the violin when she was a child. Then, she switched to the Qanun. Because of the Syrian Civil War, in 2012 she moved to the United Kingdom. She is also a campaigner against sexism in music.

According to Youssef, when she was 9 years old, on her way to a music institute in his hometown of Damascus, she heard the sound of the qanun coming from a taxi next to her. This sound fascinates her. When she said she wants to play this instrument, the taxi driver laughs and says that the Qanun can only be played by men.

Today,  Maya Youssef is known as the ‘queen of the qanun’.

Her first album Syrian Dreams was highly-appreciated in the music press around the world and has led to many awards, performances on prestigious stages such as the BBC Proms and WOMAD.

Khalil Ghadri


Khalil Ghadri is a Syrian composer and musician from Ariha. He graduated from the Syrian University Conservatory in 2001 with a degree in music. He later moved to the United Arab Emirates and continued his life as a music composer and Qanun player.

Ghadri is currently known as one of the best Law players in the Middle East. He has a unique style, mixing traditional Arabic music with modern western tones, giving birth to completely new music for the instrument.

Khalil has received many awards as a music composer and Qanun player. He took third place in Arabic improvisation, which was erected at the Arabic Music festival and the Cairo conference (7th session 1998).

Huda Asfour


Huda Asfour is a Palestinian Qanun player. She is also an oud player, composer, educator, social entrepreneur, and engineer. She began her music training at 13 years old. She went to the National Conservatory of Music in Gaza and the Edward Said Conservatory of Music in Ramallah.

She studied with the Qanun virtuoso Said Receb in Cairo. She is the co-founder of Jehar, where she collaborates with numerous musicians and artists from all over the world. As Asfour says, “Reintroduced tunes that represent our identity, but in new arrangements that represented us as youngsters connected to global music in the early 2000s.''

Göksel Baktagir


Göksel Baktagir was born in 1966 in Kırklareli, Turkey. He started music at the age of 8. He graduated from Istanbul Technical University, Turkish Music State Conservatory in 1988. Then, he started his postgraduate education.

In 1999, he started to work as a Qanun artist in the Ministry of Culture Istanbul State, Turkish Music Ensemble under the general artistic directorship of Tanburi Necdet Yaşar. He gave concerts in England, France, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Canada, and various states of the USA with the "Necdet Yaşar Ensemble".

Göksel Baktagir has around 140 compositions, of which thirty-five are verbal and one hundred five instrumental.

Since 1984, he has been working on a unique technique he developed especially for the "left hand", among other techniques in Qanun practice.

Julien Weiss

 julien weiss

Julien Weiss was born in Paris in 1953. He loved Arabic music when he met the Iraqi oud master Munir Bachir in 1976.

He left the oud for the Qanun, which he learned from the great masters in different countries of the Middle East. He organized the instrumental ensemble Al-Kindi considered as a Takht (grouping of soloists) in 1983.

Throughout his career, Weiss performed more than five hundred concerts, mostly in Paris, Lebanon, New York, and Lyon. He was awarded the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Republic in 2001.

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