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Pianist aims to finals for orchestra experience

Completing the trio of whomeschoolers in the 2021 National Youth Music Competition (NYMC) is pianist Emile Maralack, 17, from Gordons Bay in the Western Cape.

The upcoming star seems to be a blue-blooded analyst. Although he started playing music at age six, he was not interested in music. As both his parents are musicians, he used the initial music playing period to appease them, analysing his options.

He only started to take the piano seriously at age 12. “There was a time in my life where I didn't think piano was for me. I have learned a little bit of saxophone up to Grade 1 with my sad,” he says.

The young pianist nowadays loves the piano as the instrument has so many possibilities. His mother was his first music teacher. Currently, he studies piano under Portuguese-born José Dias.

On an average day, he practises two hours for lessons. With eight works to prepare for the NYMC he now rehearses between four and seven hours a day.

His father is strict with his training, criticising the way Emile plays. His mother feels the same but is gentler with her critique.

“Even though my father is hard, I appreciate it as it is one of the reasons for having a strong reason to grow,” he muses.

His sister is not playing a musical instrument. Her interest is more in the fine arts and preaching.

In his free time, the young musician loves Basketball, Games. His other interests are art and reading. He loves the concept

Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff is Emile’s favourite composer as his music is warm and soothing. “It can also change into different colours and scenes, like warm changing forms in a season,” he explains.

The 2021 NYMC is his maiden contest. He aims to be one of the six finalists as it will offer him the opportunity to do his first performance with a symphony orchestra.

He aims to obtain a university degree to become a classical concert pianist. “Through my playing, I want to show what the composers felt and thought and express the weight of their music,” he says passionately.

His motto in life is: “I can always learn”. He sees himself as a slow learner but a great analyst.