Diabolus in Musica
By Duane Hewitt
His name is Nathaniel Cross. He is young, brilliant, driven, obsessed, arrogant, and gifted – and he is on his way to becoming one of the leading piano virtuosi of his era.
Cross has devoted his entire life to music. From his early youth he has matured as a gifted and fiercely disciplined prodigy who has studied with the greatest names in music and, step-by-step, he has risen at a meteoric pace to be positioned for the International stage where there will be no stopping him.
But on the cusp of a much-heralded performance at The Lincoln Center of Performing Arts in New York that stands to launch his international career, the worst of all possible fates intervenes to smash his world and send him spiraling on a downward course of destruction: Nathan suffers a psychotic collapse onstage during the performance. His world shatters. He is left broken, traumatized, and ostracized. He is no longer the great piano wunderkind all had imagined.
What follows is the unraveling of a brilliantly gifted young life when that promising career is dashed – and the only thing that keeps Nathaniel Cross from falling into the abyss of ruin is his own ever relentless path trying to understand what happened to him and why – that, and his remarkable resilience.
Diminished Fifth is a story of dreams dashed and reclaimed, and of faith lost and reborn. It is the story of a brilliant young mind that crashes in depths of mystery and despair. Then, through a journey of self-discovery, Nathaniel Cross finds a renewed energy through the one thing he comes to understand better than all else: the incredible transformative and healing powers of music.
Duane Hewitt is the author of four novels, collections of novellas, short stories, and more. He also has a passion for music, and, at the time of this writing, was working to complete his fifth symphony, Symphony No. 5 in C Major “The Sunlight.” Duane lives in Toronto.