Founded in 2017, London Syrian Ensemble perform on the enticing combination of ney (wooden flute), kanun (zither), daf (frame drum), riqq (tambourine) and darbuka (hand drum), violins, violas, double bass and percussion. The ensemble is comprised of Syrian musicians who, since leaving Syria, are now long-term residents in the UK, and have performed across England from London’s Southbank Centre and British Museum, to the Liverpool World Museum and many more.
The London Syrian Ensemble (LSE) is led by Louai Alhenawi, a composer and ney soloist who studied and taught at the eminent Damascus Conservatoire. He recently held the position of the Musical Director for the first Arabic Musical in the UK, ‘Umm Kulthum’ which made its worldwide premiere at the London Palladium. Alongside his work with the LSE, Alhenawi also leads the SOAS Middle Eastern Ensemble and has recorded and toured with acclaimed artists including Fairouz, Shakira, Brian Eno, Damon Albarn, Terry Hall, Gabriel Yared and Natacha Atlas.