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12 December 2019
Fourth Edition 2019
26 February 2019
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20 August 2018
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Griffith Magazine

Bequest gives Nina the keys to stardom

Alumni

Fourth Edition December 2019

Gold Coast piano virtuoso Nina Fan is the inaugural recipient of the Emily Reinhardt Piano Scholarship – part of a $1 million bequest to the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University.

Nina studied at the Young Conservatorium before winning the scholarship that ensures a fully-funded place at the Queensland Conservatorium.

“The scholarship has made a huge difference to my life,” she said. “I want to be a concert pianist, which isn’t easy, and winning this scholarship allows me to chase my dreams. I’m shooting for the world stage. I want to play Carnegie Hall. I want to perform with the Berlin Philharmonic.”

The Emily Reinhardt Piano Scholarship covers full tuition for an outstanding piano student, with a new recipient announced each year.

Ms Reinhardt’s husband Peter came from a famous artistic family in Austria, whose stunning home provided the setting for the iconic film, The Sound of Music. But like so many people of Jewish descent, Peter was forced to flee Austria during World War II.

He found refuge in the Netherlands, where he met Emily. They worked for the Dutch Resistance before emigrating to Australia in 1950 to start a new life on the Gold Coast.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the German government compensated the Reinhardt family. Emily and Peter decided to nurture the careers of young musicians.

Nina began learning the piano at the age of seven. At 13, she was chosen to

participate in the Griffith University Young Conservatorium Rising Stars Program, taking lessons with the Queensland Conservatorium Head of Keyboard, Natasha Vlassenko.

In 2018, Nina won the Young Virtuoso National Award. She is also a previous winner of the Brisbane Eisteddfod Piano Award, and was one of the Top 20 finalists in the 2017 Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition.

“The feeling of performing on stage with an orchestra and just getting lost in the music is amazing,” said Nina. “When I play, it comes from my heart, and I love that music helps interpret all of my emotions.”