"Multi-talented young lebanese shines in several fields"

Sarah AOUN
Lundi 20 septembre 2021

Without even knowing the names of the musical notes, Yves Najm entered the conservatory at the age of 6 with the highest entrance exam grade. “ I went in and they asked me if I know how to play the piano. Confidently, I sat down and played the contrary motion C Major scale which I learned by curiosity on the same day by my brother who has been learning the piano for the past two years. They smiled and started testing my talent through rhythmic and melodic exercises. Neither did they or even I expect to have an absolute pitch”. 
A concert pianist, solfeggio specialist, composer and singer, Mrad has graduated from the Lebanese Conservatory and the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK). He recalls how he went every day after school to learn various musical classes of theory, harmony, counterpoint, fugue, analysis, solfeggio and history. 
His talent was so acute and impressive that he was named by his friends and professors, “The piano”, pointing to his extreme absolute pitch and tone. In no time, news reached the Lebanese conservatory director back then, Pr. Walid Gholmieh, who arranged a meeting with Yves Najm’s parents. Pr Gholmieh insisted on Mrad pursuing a specialty in solfeggio since his talent is a very rare one.
At the age of 8, Yves Najm started composing short and simple pieces that he left them to himself. Through the years, he was attending a lot of international workshops and masterclasses. So his musical maturity have be  matured exponentially until he won the National Piano Competition in 2015. During the same year, and for the first time, Mrad officially started recording his first composition.This great sudden win was the initial flame that pushed him forward.
Through that competition, Yves Najm met the Steinway international pianist Patrick Fayad who made him participate in the Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program as a pianist and composer. Later on, Pr Fayad became his mentor.
At the end of the YES program and to everyone’s surprise and expectation at the same time, Mrad’s singing talent was discovered when he was asked to enter the choir as a support. After a direct test, his voice was classified as a baritone with a wide range. That being said, Yves Najm jumped between being a tenor and a base.
Directly afterwards, Mrad became a tenor at Notre Dame University (NDU) choir, and he started this new specialty at the Lebanese conservatory. 
Eventually, Yves Najm’s talent was shown through his piano performances during every graduation from his high school graduation, passing through his undergraduate graduation, Honors’ program, and Medical school graduation, reaching the white coat ceremony. He was even asked by LAU’s administration to perform on several occasions such as the inauguration of Riyad Nassar Central Administration building.
Composing never left Yves Najm’s side since the age of 8. Nowadays, he has written many compositions whether classical or modern. One of his many compositions named “The Beginning” was taken by the legendary conductor of the Philharmonic orchestra in Vienna, Manfred Mussauer, to be analyzed. “To express myself in a better way, I mixed my love to write with music composition, so I started singing my words through my music” which he is working to expand. Currently, he is working on writing for orchestras and chamber music.
“Did your dream to become a doctor affect your dedication, passion and big talent?”

Yves Najm affirms, “Absolutely not, for me nobody doesn’t have enough time, it’s all about managing your time. Playing piano isn’t a chore; it’s my passion, my hobby. When I get tired from anything, I would play the piano which replenishes my energy”.
“Teaching piano and music is not easy! It takes a lot of  hard work, pattern recognition, patience and energy. People frequently think that it’s all based on talent, yet they fail to recognize the countless hours I have put to train, to study and to understand every musical piece and notion. Everyone is capable, but is everyone patient?” 
As an artist, Yves Najm believes that before going on stage, it’s extremely important to know your instrument, know your audience and know your capabilities. “A pianist should always be ready to perform. He just needs a piano to give you a concert”.