JEDDAH: Chloe Chua, the 11-year-old Singaporean violinist and winner of the international Menuhin competition, is certainly an impressive performer, as her concerts in Riyadh and Jeddah show. But the Kingdom, too, is brimming with musical talents waiting for their moment to shine.
Among them is 21-year-old pianist Eman Gusti, who opened for Chua with songs of her own after the General Culture Authority offered her the chance to widen her audience and make a name for herself in the music industry. Gusti developed her passion for music watching her mother play the keyboard when she was a child. Her earliest memories were of lazy afternoons spent listening to her mother playing, and late nights watching performances of classical music.
“My mother bought me my first keyboard when I was 5,” Gusti told Arab News. “She instilled a love of music in me. I was inspired by her. I started practicing on my own, but found myself more into the piano than the keyboard.”
Seeing her growing interest in music, Gusti’s father presented her with her first piano when she was almost 15, just before she began high school.
The young pianist continued to refine her skills and grow as a musical talent, performing at 32 events before her debut alongside Chua. For Gusti, performing for the sell-out Saudi audiences was unlike anything she had experienced.
“It was such a wonderful feeling to see people interact with my music and to watch them enjoy it. I was nervous at the beginning, but once the music seeped into my veins, it was strange and beautiful.”
Gusti said that she was left speechless when she saw how enthralled the audience was with the music, especially since she was playing original pieces. In the future, she hopes to “continue growing as an artist professionally and internationally.” She also wants to learn the harp. “My belief is that everyone should follow their dreams and work hard to make them a reality. I wish to set an example for girls in my country and show them that this is their time, and that now everything is possible.”