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Winning the Young Musician of the Year 2014 award changed the course of my musical career. I won the award for piano performance. Through the guidance and support of the OJCF, I was able to learn with excellent teachers at the l’Académie Internationale d’Eté de Nice, France for two weeks and with Shani Diluka in Paris. As a part of the scholarship, I also spent an additional week in Paris exploring the rich cultural heritage of France and its links to Western classical Music. Visiting museums like The Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Cité de la Musique and Palace of Versailles gave me a lot of insight into French cultural heritage, especially the contribution of the French to the music of the Impressionistic era. After returning to India, I gave solo recitals at various concert venues such as the Bangalore Music School, The Pune Music Society, Musée Musical in Chennai and The Calcutta School of Music. I concluded my tenure with a concert at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Mumbai.

As part of ‘Bringing the harp to India’ vision, I started the ‘Harp India’ project on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube and have given lecture-recitals at the Homeless Street Children’s Project, YMCA outreach for the underprivileged children in Mumbai, Christ University, The Bangalore School of Music, The Octavium Music Academy in Bangalore and The Wandering Artist in Chennai.

Whilst at the l’Académie Internationale d’Eté de Nice in France, I tried out the harp and saw harpists perform. Most Indians have either never seen a harp or only seen it online. I had seen the harp on GOD TV as a child. However, seeing the harp in person and hearing it live, was another experience altogether. The harp as we know it today was developed in France. Visiting the museums and palaces in Paris gave me an insight into the history and development of these ancient instruments. I saw various types of harps created by the French artisans, including Marie Antoinette’s harp at the Palace of Versailles. She was a virtuoso harpist.

On coming back to India, since there are no harps that one can buy in music stores here or no harp teachers, I imported a pedal harp and a lever harp and started learning online. While continuing with my piano and violin studies, I completed three harp exams in two years; the last being the ABRSM Grade 7 pedal harp exam with distinction. I had an orchestral performance with Bohuslav Martinû Philharmonic from the Czech Republic, two recitals at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, performed in all the major cities of India and abroad in Sri Lanka, Dubai, Singapore and Bangladesh, collaborated with maestro A.R.Rahman, Pritam, Arijit Singh, Vijay TV, Zee Yuva and MTV Unplugged. As part of ‘Bringing the harp to India’ vision, I started the ‘Harp India’ project on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube and have given lecture-recitals at the Homeless Street Children’s Project, YMCA outreach for the underprivileged children in Mumbai, Christ University, The Bangalore School of Music, The Octavium Music Academy in Bangalore and The Wandering Artist in Chennai.

I have also been accepted for the Master in Music programme at the University of Nevada, Reno.

This would not have been possible without the support and encouragement of the excellent committee at the Olga and Jules Craen Foundation. They have not only supported me in my piano studies during my one year tenure, but continued to encourage me in my harp and piano studies.

 

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