Diaspo #97 : Nour Ayadi, a Moroccan award-winning pianist in France

She is the first female pianist to win the 2019 Cortot Prize and the Princess Lalla Meryem International Piano Competition. 20-year-old Nour Ayadi is a talented Moroccan student who lives in France. In addition to the many awards she has won, Nour was selected earlier in June to participate in French Academy of music.

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Moroccan pianist Nour Ayadi. / Ph. DR

Nour Ayadi is a rising star in the word of classical music. The 20-year-old Moroccan woman was born and raised in Casablanca before leaving for France at the age of 16 to study at the Conservatoire de Paris. «Their teachers are renowned professionals and that is why I opted for the school», she told Yabiladi.

In addition to her music studies, Nour Ayadi is studying at Sciences Po in Paris. «It is a matter of being organized (…) I split my day into two sections and I calculate everything», she explained.

Her love for music was the main reason why she left Morocco for France. Moving to Paris was an important step in her career, which started years before, back in Morocco.

A childhood love story

«I started playing piano when I turned 6 at the Slamon music school in Casablanca. My older sister was also playing piano. When I was a little girl, I heard my sister play and I wanted to learn the instrument too», she recalled.

«At the age of 4, my sister saw that I was very interested in that instrument. My parents then enrolled me in the same school as my sister. I did ten years of piano at that school before going to France».

Nour Ayadi

On May 17 in Paris, the Moroccan pianist won the 2019 Prix Cortot, becoming the first woman and the first Moroccan national to receive the award. It is thanks to this distinction that Nour was selected in June to participate in the Académie de Musique française.

She also won several international competitions, such as the first prize of the Virtuoses du coeur competition in Paris in 2019 and the grand prize at the Flame competition in Paris. This Moroccan is especially the first woman to win, in 2016, the Princess Lalla Meryem International Piano Competition, won mainly by foreign pianists. «Until then, the pianists did not dare to prepare and take this contest because a Moroccan had never managed to win it, but they now know that we can try and win», she proudly declared.

Talented and competent musicians

Asked about the awards she won, Nour said that it is very important to «have deadlines and objectives at the end of the year, especially for young people». She also stressed the need of having a «special connection» and an «emotional relationship» like the one she has had with each of these competitions.

To Nour, parents also play a big role in contributing to their children’s achievements. Nour said that she had never performed at a concert without her parents’ support. Her mother, a university professor and a coach, always accompanies her. Indeed, some competitions have been attended by her «whole family», her father said.

While girls her age are not necessarily interested in classical music, she believes that «as long as they show interest in art, it is already a positive thing». She also sees it as an opportunity for her to highlight also the efforts in Morocco to promote classical music through competitions and concerts.

«Being the first female pianist and the first Moroccan woman to win the Prix Cortot and the International Piano Competition of Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Meryem can only be a beautiful symbol for my country. It may also be an example for young people and a source of inspiration».

Nour Ayadi

«Despite all the prejudice, there is talent and potential in Morocco and we can always get there», said the talented pianist, who will perform on June 30 at the Chambord Festival (Château de Chambord), scheduled for July 11 at Festival Spiriades (Val d'Oise) in Paris and July 21 at Nohant Festival Chopin 2019.

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