Skillful pianist, Jonathan (Nathan) Inkiriwang (11D), is impressing anyone fortunate enough to hear him play his music at Wesley College.
On the stage sits a grand piano, in darkness aside from a single spotlight. A musician walks towards it, sits and begins to play. The sound is that of a virtuoso – emotion evident in every fluid keypress.
He expresses light and shade, joy and regret – a love story brought to life through the power of the music.
But our pianist isn’t wearing a tuxedo or performing in a sold-out auditorium. Not quite yet, anyway. Instead, Nathan Inkiriwang is in the Goatcher Auditorium wearing the same shorts and green jumper as any other student in Year 11.
Despite being only 16, Nathan possesses an ability to imbue incredibly complex pieces of music with sentiments that go beyond his years.
‘I don’t like talking to people all that much, but when I sit at a piano I see that as my chance to express how I feel,’ he explains. ‘With every song there’s something that I want to express or a story I want to tell so I try to convey that as well as I can.’
Of course, such prodigious talent doesn’t come without years of work. Nathan began learning piano when he was three and a half and living in Indonesia. ‘My mum thought it would be a great way to link the left and right sides of my brain, and I enjoyed it,’ Nathan remembers.
The tinkling of that toddler has turned into a much more concerted effort – with Nathan practising two to three hours a day as well as having additional lessons at the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts a couple of times a week.
Moving to Australia has been a big step forwards for Nathan, who joined Wesley at the start of the year. ‘It’s been a big change, but Wesley is a great school. I needed time to adapt – the curriculum is quite different from the one in Indonesia – but Wesley is so supportive, I feel as if I’ve really settled in.’
So if you’re walking through the College and you hear the sound of Chopin or Rachmaninoff in the air, take a moment to stop and enjoy Nathan’s immense talent. After all, in a decade, you’ll probably have to pay to see him play in a concert hall.
This article first appeared in the Wesley College magazine, The Wesleyan. To read more articles, please click here.
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