Mohamed Najem represents a new generation of highly-trained musicians from the Middle-East. With ears and eyes for the whole world, he uses classical techniques in an Arabic interpretation, and thus creates an original sound and style on his clarinet. His compositions reflect an eclectic combination of rhythms and melodies.
Born in 1984 in Jerusalem and raised in Bethlehem, Najem won the first prize in Arabic Music at the 2005 Palestinian national competition. He started clarinet and nay at the Edward Saïd National Conservatory of Music (ESNCM) in Bethlehem and graduated in 2011 from the Regional Conservatory of Music of Angers in France, with Professor Emilie Jacquin.
In 2011, Najem returned to Palestine, where he became the first Palestinian professional clarinet teacher. He has taught clarinet and nay at the ESNCM in Ramallah, Nablus and Bethlehem for three years. He was also the academic supervisor of the ESNCM Ramallah branch and the head of the winds section between 2011 and 2014.
Najem is a founding member of the Palestine National Orchestra, Palestine’s first professional orchestra created in 2011. He has played as a soloist for the Palestinian Youth Orchestra for several years. A versatile and in demand performer in Palestine, he has performed and recorded with several Palestinian and international music groups and projects, including traditional, popular and classical ensembles, played in local and international festivals.
Today, Najem is a freelance musician and resides in Paris, where he is developing his project “Mohamed Najem and Friends”. He also plays in a duo with the German accordionist Manfred Leuchter (Encounter).