RIYADH: A young Saudi pianist winning fans with his dazzling displays in Nabd Al-Riyadh as part of Riyadh Season has revealed he is self-taught — and began playing only two years ago.
Suliman Al-Mayouf’s performances have marked him as one of the season’s outstanding talents.
However, the young musician told Arab News his passion for piano developed completely by chance while on a family holiday in Paris.
“I woke up late and there was a piano in our hotel. Out of curiosity I went and played it,” he said.
“The next day I watched a tutorial on how to play and went back and tried the same piece. My father was listening and was amazed. He said, I can tell from your fingers that you are made to be a pianist.”
The self-taught pianist wants to make music that Saudi audiences enjoy. His unique compositions explore Arab heritage and culture, while he also performs popular pieces including the theme to “Titanic” and “Fur Elize,” one of Beethoven’s best-known works.
Al-Mayouf said that his main source of inspiration for creating his pieces is the Italian pianist and composer Ludovico Einaudi.
Creating art is a basic part of building a society.
Suliman Al-Mayouf, Saudi pianist
The lack of music institutes in Saudi would have forced many others to quit, but Al-Mayouf refused to give up and kept following his passion by learning from YouTube and other sources. Now he wants other Saudi beginners to follow the same path.
“Creating art is a basic part of building a society,” he said.
The pianist said that Vision 2030 reforms have brought endless opportunities for talented artists and musicians to perform in public places such as cafes, restaurants, events and festivals.
“The best part of being a pianist is the love of the people,” he said.
Al-Mayouf said that the future belongs to “artists and dreamers” who will express the beauty of the Kingdom through art and music.
“You don’t need to learn from a music institute. You only need to be passionate about music, and to rely on yourself and teach yourself,” he said.