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Meet Ines Irawati, Pianist and Vocal Coach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ines Irawati.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Ines. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, and started music training when I was 4 years old. When I was 9 years old, I joined Junior Original Concert, a very special program for young musicians where we were given composition lessons as well as opportunities to perform our own compositions around Southeast Asia. I traveled to Singapore, Sri Lanka and Japan to perform my compositions. At age 13, I was discovered by an American violinist who encouraged me to come to the US for a summer music camp in Vermont called Kinhaven Music School. While I was there, I was introduced to Jahja Ling, who at that time was the music director of Florida Symphony Orchestra as well as assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra. He then urged me to come to Cleveland Institute of Music to study piano/music at their special program called Young Artist Program, where the students would divide their time with regular school hours and music lessons at the conservatory. I continued my study at CIM until I got my bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance. I was then accepted into the Master’s program at Yale University and continued my study there for two years. A year after I graduated from Yale with my masters, I decided to move to the west coast, to San Diego with my husband to start a new life. I worked at Point Loma Nazarene University for over a decade as a vocal coach, until recently when I took a new job at San Diego Opera as Music and Artistic Director of the Young Artist Program and Opera Exposed, SDO’s very own community concert series, created to educate the community about the world of opera. Other than working for SDO, I also have created a house chamber music series, called MusiKamar, and have performed in chamber music settings all over Southern California.

Has it been a smooth road?
No, it hasn’t been a smooth road. I came to the US when I was 14 years old on my own was a traumatic experience. I didn’t know much English and was in culture shocked for about two years. I was very home sick and lonely. But I had wonderful mentors and friends who helped me thru those tough early years. Another struggle I encountered was the year after I finished my masters at Yale. I was terribly burnt out with music and questioned everything about my future and career. So, I stopped playing the piano for two years and lost my sense of direction. Not until after I moved to San Diego that I fell in love again with music and with performing.

So, let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Ines Irawati story. Tell us more about the business.
I am a classically trained pianist, a vocal coach, a performer and an educator. I work for San Diego Opera as their Music and Artistic Director of the Young Artist Program where I get to coach and work with selected young professional singers in the area as well as outstanding college singers. I also produce their community engagement concert series called Opera Exposed, where I get to bring some of our young artists to different communities to do free performances about opera. I am also a passionate chamber musician. I perform with many musicians from the San Diego Symphony in a chamber music setting as well as with my trio, the Aviara Trio, which is a trio comprised of piano, violin and cello. We perform throughout Southern California. In the past two years, I also have created a concert series called MusiKamar, where I would invite outstanding chamber musicians to perform concerts in private residents.

I love focusing on not only the music and the level of performance, but in the connection between performers and audience. I love to get to know my audience. Creating a space and opportunities which allow music to be experienced openly and intimately is one of my most important purpose as a musician.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I think my work will continue to be needed and to be seen as an important part of humanity. As our fascination toward convenience and speed grow, I believe that so does our need for human connection and intimacy. I look forward to continue my work and service in providing those experiences to everyone.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Weston Bennett
Angel Mannion

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Rachelle Neher

    March 17, 2018 at 2:17 am

    Thank you so much for discovering Ines, she is an absolute gem! and has so much to share with others. Thanks for [posting.
    Rachelle Neher

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