© Olga & Jules Craen Foundation


The Olga & Jules Craen Foundation was established to revive the memory of two formidable twentieth-century musicians who left a lasting legacy on the Western Classical Music scene in Mumbai. Olga Craen, pianist and teacher par excellence, taught several generations of students, producing teachers and performers of repute both in India and abroad. Jules Craen, as a violin teacher and Founder-Conductor of the Bombay Symphony Orchestra, was closely associated with the orchestral scene in Mumbai. The Foundation aims to highlight their achievements, bring them back into public focus and create awareness in the young musicians and music-lovers of today regarding the couple’s immense contribution to music in India.


The Olga and Jules Craen Foundation’s “Young Musician of the Year” (YMOY) award for Western Classical Music – in any instrument or voice – is offered to an Indian citizen or Person of Indian Origin (PIO) resident in India, who will be nurtured over a period of one year. The Laureate will be entitled to an award of upto Rs. 5 Lakhs in value, to pursue a musical development plan mutually agreed with the Trustees. While continuing lessons with his/her own teacher, the YMOY will receive scholarships for quality training with visiting musicians and International teachers resident in India, financial aid for music books and assistance in attending master-classes and workshops in India and abroad.

Subin Sebastian (YMOY of the Year 2017) and Kabir Dabholkar (YMOY of the Year 2018) © Olga & Jules Craen Foundation

Tanay Joshi, pianist, and the 2013 Laureate, had received tuition from visiting faculty and teachers at the OJCF and had attended a three week summer programme at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester and the Royal Scottish Conservatoire in Glasgow in August 2013. Meagan Alphonso, pianist, the YMOY 2014 was sent to the Summer Academy in Nice, and thereafter for a week at Paris for individual lessons. Meagan became so enchanted with music for the harp while in France that she started learning it and is performing with many ensembles in India and internationally today. Shirish Malhotra, flautist preferred one-on-one lessons with world-renowned flautists including a former Principal Flautist of the London Symphony Orchestra. Apurva Devarajan, pianist  attended the Festival Music des Alpes summer program in Tignes, France and Chetham’s International Summer Program at Manchester. She also undertook private lessons with Shani Diluka in Paris. Kabir Dabholkar, guitarist and current incumbent will also be going to the Festival Music des Alpes at Tignes, France, and shall take individual lessons as well.

The Laureate will also be sent to perform at various schools of music/ music fora in India and at the end of the year, the Laureate is expected to give a full-length recital at the NCPA during which his/her successor will be announced. The award will be made annually to the best young talent India has to offer.


  • A high level of competence equivalent to Grade 8 (TCL, ABRSM or LCM)
  • Indian passport holder including a Person of Indian Origin (PIOs) with residence in India for at least 8 months in the past year
  • Aged not more than 25 on 1st June 2018 (relaxed to age 27 in the case of vocals); there will be no lower age-limit, provided, if selected, the minor understands that if he/she needs to be accompanied during the course of his/her travels, his/her guardian will have to bear his or her own expenses for travel, boarding and lodging.
  • The Foundation will select (reserves its right to select) merit-worthy candidates to help attain its objectives

HOW TO APPLY – BY 31st August, 2018:

Please submit the following documents via email to [email protected]

  • A detailed curriculum vitæ of the applicant including his/her work in the field of music
  • A biography of the applicant with a recent photograph (artist picture, not passport)
  • A statement of purpose, roughly 500 words, highlighting the applicant’s philosophy and ambition indicating how the award will help achieve his/her goals
  • A scanned image of the first and last pages (data pages) of the applicant’s passport
  • Mandatory: An online link to a recent video of the applicant performing some (if not all) of the music he/she will play before the International jury in November 2018

Selected applicants will be informed by early October 2018 and will have to arrange to come to Mumbai end-November or early-December for auditions. Note: November is music examination time so all noteworthy accompanists get reserved early. Selected applicants will have to pay for their own travel and accommodation in Mumbai and must make their own arrangements for accompanists, should they be required.

The repertoire for this performance is completely free choice. The selection process will entail performing a 40-45 minute programme for an International jury comprising of visiting examiners of schools of music. The Laureate will be announced soon thereafter and will perform briefly for 10 minutes as the Incoming Laureate at the NCPA end-January/early-February 2019. He/she will give a full-length recital in Mumbai at the end of his/her guardianship period in January or February 2020.

All applicants are advised to consult with their teachers and parents when preparing to apply. Queries may be emailed to [email protected]

The Foundation looks forward to receiving your application.