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The Olga & Jules Craen Foundation is compelled and disappointed to announce that selection of its Young Musician of the Year for 2021 (YMOY – 2021) has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. It would not be appropriate to have the International Panelists of the three U.K. Music Boards virtually select a musician whose future career is being developed. The Foundation is hopeful of being able to continue the award as in previous years and shall make its next announcement in May 2021.

YMOY 2019 held on 12th January 2020

The Olga & Jules Craen Foundation held its annual event in collaboration with the National Centre for the Performing Arts and Furtados Music on Sunday 12th January 2020. As a deviation from the norm, joint laureates were selected for the year 2019 by the three U.K. Board examiners on behalf of the OJCF – Anuvrat Choudhary, a pianist from New Delhi and R. Samyuktha, a violinist from Chennai.

L to R: Incoming YMOY 2020 Udit Gupta, Joint YMOY 2019 R. Samyuktha and Joint YMOY 2019 Anuvrat Choudhary

ABOUT ANUVRAT CHOUDHARY

21-year old pianist, Anuvrat Choudhary in the last ten years under the tutelage of Ms. Priya Chaturvedi, has had rigorous training in piano performance and has achieved a Distinction in the Licentiate level Diploma at the Trinity College London examination (equivalent to a Bachelor of Music) in Performance. He is the joint recipient of The Olga and Jules Craen Foundation’s  (OJCF’s) ‘Young Musician of the Year – 2019’ national level award. In October 2019 he was selected as a finalist at the Brillante Nagaland Piano Festival, an all India piano competition, where he was adjudged first runner up.

During the summer of 2019 under the aegis of the OJCF, he attended an advanced pianist’s course at the Finchcocks Residency in UK under the eminent piano pedagogues, Graham Fitch and Penelope Roskell. The OJCF had also arranged for his performances at The Poona Music Society, The Goa Art Forum, The Bangalore School of Music and the Mysore Chamber Concert Series. Anuvrat has other solo performances to his credit, notably at NCPA’s Tata Experimental Theatre in Mumbai, the India International Centre in Delhi, the Trivandrum Centre for Performing Arts, and at the Delhi and Calcutta Schools of Music. He has also explored his great interest in conducting and in arranging music for orchestral performance at The Doon School’s annual concert, and intramural events.

The academic nature of music also enthuses him, and his dissertation at the International Baccalaureate’s Diploma programme – on Lizst’s piano transcriptions of Beethoven’s symphonies – received the highest grading. He enjoys sharing his passion for the pianoforte and music in general, and finds the concert stage and teaching young musicians the ideal platforms to do so. He has been training younger musicians both at his school and his university for the past five years, and has taught at two specialist music academies, Lorraine Music Academy and One World College of Music, in Gurgaon, India.

Since completing his IB Diploma at The Doon School, he has graduated with honours in Philosophy from the Ashoka University, with a focus on the philosophy of music. He has also begun preparing for his Fellowship Diploma from Trinity College London (FTCL), in addition to studying for a Licentiate in Music degree with the goal of attaining a holistic musical training that includes performance as well as academic study. He will be attending Trinity Laban on a scholarship this September and will in the future, make a mark as a passionate performer and worthy pedagogue!

ABOUT R. SAMYUKTHA

A multi-faceted musician, 18 year old Samyuktha hails from six generations of Carnatic musicians and is as comfortable with Western Classical Music as she is with Carnatic music. She completed her LTCL examinations for the violin with a distinction under the tutelage of Mr. V.S. Narasimhan and has recently graduated with distinction from the Besant Arundale Senior Secondary School in Chennai.

Since the age of 10, Samyuktha has participated at various talent competitions and has given recitals at various music fora. She has performed with the Indian National Youth Orchestra, the Madras Musical Association and with the Oscar Award Winner A.R. Rahman’s music ensemble. Samyuktha was invited to perform along with The South Asian Symphony Orchestra, a humanitarian project aimed at using the platform of orchestral music to promote peace and mutual understanding in the region of South Asia. She enjoys composing and has written and performed some of her own music too. She has attended master classes with Professor Nic Pendlebury (Head of Strings, Trinity Laban) in the UK. Through The Olga & Jules Craen Foundation she has trained with Lana Trotovsek at Trinity Laban Conservatoire; and had masterclasses with Renaud Capuçon (Director), Oleg Kaskiv and Anna Orlik of the International Menuhin Music Academy in Switzerland.

Samyuktha’s objective is to become an acclaimed solo violinist on the global arena in the field of Western Classical Music and has been granted a four-year scholarship to study music at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire in the UK. She has a bright and promising future ahead of her!

Joint YMOY 2019 Anuvrat Choudhary

Anuvrat Choudhary performed Beethoven’s Appassionata Sonata, Scarlatti’s Sonata in D minor and John Field’s Nocturne in A major.

Joint YMOY 2019 R. Samyuktha accompanied by Assel Dautpayeva on the piano

Samyuktha, accompanied on the piano by NCPA’s own Assel Dautpayeva performed Mozart’s Sonata in A major, Spanish Dance no. 5 by Enrique Grandos and Thaïs Meditation by Jules Massenet.

YMOY 2020 winner Udit Gupta

The Incoming Laureate YMOY 2020, Udit Gupta from Pune, performed “Un Sueno en la Floresta” by Augustin Barrios Mangore, on the guitar.

Anuvrat and Samyuktha were also recipients of the Olga & Jules Craen Foundation’s Young Musician of the Year trophy in memory of Sheroo and Jal Vakil, both avid fans of Western classical music as well as skilled musicians themselves. The Sheroo and Jal Vakil rotating trophy goes hand-in-hand with an annual financial award; as also a medal to the YMOY. At the event last January, all past and present YMOYs were given a commemorative medal and their names engraved on the bottom of the trophy.

Anuvrat and Samyuktha with Rustom and Shehnaz Vakil of the Sheroo & Jal Vakil Foundation