The London Syrian Ensemble is a powerful collective of some of the Damascus Conservatoire’s finest musicians. Now based in the UK, these artists mix traditional Middle Eastern instruments – ney (flute), kanun (zither) and oud (lute) with violins, violas, double bass, percussion, and stunning guest vocalists. Their powerful rhythms and impassioned maqams are derived from Syrian musical tradition, creating a truly unique cultural experience. Using their very individual sound, the ensemble skilfully recreates both twentieth-century Syrian classics as well as modern-day music in the form of instrumental pieces, improvisations and songs ranging artfully in emotional depth. Covid-19 has made it challenging for them to get together in person and most of their activities have been moved online, but they recently performed live again in Milton Keynes.