News & Media

From July 10 to 12, 2014
International Conference “Wadih El Safi”

The Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK) organized an international conference on Wadih El Safi from July 10 to 12, 2014. This event, hosted by the Faculty of Music in cooperation with the Arab Academy of Music (League of Arab States), was held in the John Paul II Amphitheater at the University’s main campus. The conference was attended by a crowd of Lebanese and Arab researchers who enriched the conference with their research revolving around Wadih El Safi, the man, the artist, the singer and the composer who developed what might be considered a unique “school” and approach in singing, performing and composing.

The inaugural session began with the speech of Rev. Fr. Youssef Tannous, Dean of the USEK Faculty of Music, who stressed that “El Safi enjoyed an innate talent crystallized and refined through practice and contact with the artistic circles that only accepted outstanding talents capable of enriching and developing their music and singing. Wadih El Safi was unique for his distinctive voice, and masterly performances. His captivating innate composition talent empowered him to excel in his composition and singing styles. The ‘mawwal’ and improvisation had their share in his creativity. They were enriched by his wide homogenous voice coupled with refined and innovative artistry, which was based on a variety of musical sources”.

Dr. Kifah Fakhouri, representing the President of the Arab Academy of Music, shed light in his speech on the importance of research in the Academy since 1971, the various proposals that it has been receiving ever since, and the main encountered difficulties. He then reminded the audience of an incident that happened during one of Wadih Safi’s concerts in Algeria and which reflected the artist’s humorous and pleasant character. At the end of the inaugural session, the Arab singing choir of the University’s Faculty of Music, led by Ms. Ghada Chbeir, performed a collection of Wadih Safi’s memorable songs.

USEK closed the conference on July 12, 2014, with a concert performed by the USEK choir and conducted by Rev. Fr. Youssef Tannous, delighting the audience with the famous songs and musical compositions of Wadih Safi. The concert was attended by a number of cultural and musical dignitaries, a big crowd of Wadih Safi’s fans, besides his family members. The concert was followed by the awards presentation of the singing competition of Safi’s songs in which eight participants from Lebanon, Syria and Jordan took part.

At the end of the conference, Rev. Fr. Tannous underlined in his closing speech the importance of preserving the Lebanese and Arab musical identity that Wadih El Safi sought to consolidate, of encouraging Lebanese and Arab composers to be inspired by heritage, of integrating Safi’s composing and singing style in the musical curriculum of schools and music institutes, and of enriching the Arab musical repertoire with research and books about Wadih El Safi that scientifically document the “school” of El Safi and his works. While Rev. Fr. Hady Mahfouz, USEK President, praised the outstanding achievements of Wadih El Safi and thanked his family for entrusting the University with his library in order to archive it, preserve it, study it, and make it accessible for researchers. 
Holy Spirit University of Kaslik
Tel.: (+961) 9 600 000
Fax : (+961) 9 600 100
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