“For us musicians, being a musician is not a job, it is a way of life,” says Jana Semaan. To be a musician, you must have passion, determination and the courage to fight for your melodies to touch the hearts of everyone and most importantly you must have the talent. And because Jana Semaan, the cellist, owns them all, HOME had the chance to listen to her beautiful melody of inspiration.
It all started when she decided to leave Lebanon and her hometown Byblos to chase her uniqueness. Jana Semaan, 26 years old, is now pursuing her second masters in Baroque Cello in Stuttgart, where she also lives. “It wasn’t hard to leave Lebanon. I know I’m leaving to come back,” At the Age of 18, Jana was only thinking about accomplishing her own dreams “The idea of reaching self-satisfaction was more important for me,” she says.
"It wasn’t hard to leave Lebanon. I know I’m leaving to come back"
In 2010, Jana got a scholarship to study music in Germany for one year. She left Lebanon and auditioned at the University of Stuttgart for Music and Performing Arts where she got accepted to pursue a bachelor's degree in Cello Performance and later a master’s degree in it. She is a board member in her own faculty of art, a tutor and a freelancer. She also has her own projects to spread classical music.
A Love Relationship
Her relationship with her cello is a sacred and intimate one. It was difficult for her to describe her feelings during performances. “While I’m playing during the concert, I can be looking into someone’s eyes but can’t be seeing them,” she describes.
For her, the cello is not just an instrument she is specialized in, it is a unique friend. “The voice of the cello is the closest to the voice of human being,” she says.
Giving Back: Musik Überall
With the cello, Jana believes she can make a difference. She can spread love, peace and classical music everywhere. Music frees the soul and her “Music Everywhere” project is Jana’s tool to free classical music. It is a project she initiated Christmas 2009 when she was already living in Berlin. She was invited to play a classical music concert in a church where she started wondering about the places where the concerts are usually performed. “It should not be only for people who can afford it. It should be for everybody,” says Jana.
“I had a list with so many places where I felt I needed to bring classical music to,” she adds.
Once the list was set, she started a journey of performances. She performed in nursing homes, hospitals and many other places in Berlin during the holidays. She performed mainly the music of J.S Bach for a solo cello for around 15 to 30 mins depending on the place and people. All her performances are for free. She also organized a trip to Lebanon where she had the chance to perform in Roumieh prison for the prisoners, in a nursing home for old people with mental or physical disabilities, in hospitals, in primary schools to inspire children to learn musical instruments and factories for workers. She also played at a gas station, at a supermarket, in a restaurant for employees and chefs, at the highest peak of the Lebanese mountains, and in the middle of the sea.
Although Jana is facing many challenges today, she didn’t quit because she still believes in the importance of her message; spreading classical music everywhere is not impossible. “Maybe one day I will also be able to perform at a mosque and music will be welcomed everywhere,” she says.
Many musicians are ready to share with her this beautiful experience. “The more we are, the bigger our impact is,” she concludes.