Applications for the “Young Musician of the Year” Award are open | Apply Today

After a hiatus of two years due to the Covid pandemic, The Olga & Jules Craen Foundation is pleased to invite applications for selection of its YMOY-2023.

The Foundation (OJCF) 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, 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 for half a century!


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. 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, and financial assistance in attending master-classes and workshops in India and abroad.

Tanay Joshi, pianist, and the 2013 Laureate, attended a three-week summer programme at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester and the Royal Scottish Conservatoire in Glasgow. Meagan Alphonso, pianist, YMOY 2014, was sent to the Summer Academy in Nice, and for individual lessons with Shani Diluka in Paris. While at Nice, enchanted by the harp, she started learning it and is performing today nationally and Internationally; she has also gone on to found “Harp India” and her own school of music. 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. Subin Sebastian, counter-tenor, asked to be sent to the British Isles Music Festival and have private lessons with Michael Chance. Kabir Dabholkar, guitarist, attended the Festival at Tignes, France, and had lessons with some of the world’s best. In 2019 two young musicians qualified for the award: Anuvrat Choudhary, pianist, who undertook lessons at Finchcocks School of Music, UK and R. Samyuktha, violinist, who was sent to the Yehudi Menuhin School of Music in Switzerland.   

Udit Gupta, YMOY 2020, unfortunately caught in the Covid lockdowns, will make his selection later this year.

The OJCF has the support of several schools of music/music fora in India where the Laureate is sent to tour & gain confidence as a performer. At the end of the year, s/he is expected to give a full-length recital at the NCPA during which the incoming laureate is 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 27 on 1st June 2022 (relaxed to age 30 in the case of vocals); the age limit has been increased by 2 years to compensate for the lost Covid yearsThere will be no lower age-limit, provided, if selected, the minor understands that if s/he needs to be accompanied, his/her guardian will have to bear his or her own expenses for travel, boarding and lodging.

– The Foundation reserves its right to select merit-worthy candidates to help attain its objectives.

HOW TO APPLY – BY 15th September, 2022:

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

– A detailed C.V. 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 & 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 s/he will play before the International jury in November 2022.

Selected applicants will be informed by mid-October 2022 to attend auditions end-November/early December in Mumbai. Note: All accompanists get reserved early for November examinations. Selected applicants must make their own arrangements for accompanists, their travel to & accommodation in, Mumbai.

The repertoire for this performance is completely free choice. The selection process will entail a 40-45 minute programme for a jury of  3 or more persons. The Laureate will be announced the next day and will perform briefly for 10 minutes as the Incoming Laureate at the NCPA in January, 2023. S/he will  give a full-length recital in Mumbai at the end of his/her guardianship period in January/February 2024.

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.