Natural path

By Tara Whitsed

James Guan, 27, always wanted to be a pianist.

Coming from a musical family, it was the natural path for the Australian National Piano Award finalist.

Already taking to the stage for the awards in 2012, Mr Guan will return this year to battle it out, hoping to ‘‘play some awesome music’’.

He said he enjoyed the fact he could play the equivalent of a full orchestra on a single instrument when playing the piano.

Based between Perth and Sydney, Mr Guan said he hoped to build toward a teaching career in Sydney while still maintaining his performing activities.

‘‘I just want to learn and play awesome pieces available to the instrument,’’ he said.

Inspired by his girlfriend who plays the violin, Mr Guan travels to Perth to stay with her every two weeks, where they rent a house together.

Mr Guan has studied at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music Primary School, Sydney Conservatorium of Music High School and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music under Dr Paul Rickard-Ford, where he was the recipient of the Vimpani and Bessie Cook Scholarship and the Nugawela Scholarship.

He has frequently performed in Australia, New Zealand, China, the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy and has performed with orchestras such as the Tait Chamber Orchestra in London, Shanghai Opera Symphony Orchestra and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.