Thursday, Sep 19, 2019 | Last Update : 10:14 PM IST

The right note

THE ASIAN AGE. | PRIYANKA CHANDANI
Published : Sep 14, 2019, 3:36 am IST
Updated : Sep 14, 2019, 3:36 am IST

Music prodigy Lydian Nadhaswaram, who recently won an American reality show will be performing in the city.

Lydian Nadhaswaram in the United States after a concert
 Lydian Nadhaswaram in the United States after a concert

In the month of March this year, when 13-year-old Lydian Nadhaswaram from Chennai emerged as a winner and went on to bag $1 million prize at The World’s Best reality talent competition television series in the USA, little did he know that among all the accomplished musicians and pianist, he will stand the tallest. Alluding to the Lydian mode, the first mode of scale in music, the little can play more than 325 beats per minute.

“I have a lot of blessings from elders, parents, music lovers and my well-wishers and that’s the reason I can play even the most toughest compositions by any composer,” says Lydian, who is in the city to perform Haydn piano concerto in D Major for the fourth edition of Mumbai Piano Day followed by The Symphony Orchestra of India Autumn 2019 at NCPA.                

Lydian’s performances have earned him some of the best concerts abroad including A Great Night in Harlem — an annual gala by the Jazz Foundation of America at the Apollo Theatre in New York. He has also made an appearance at the The Ellen DeGeneres Show. And during his Mumbai stints, he will be playing with Russian conductor Alexander Lazarev, Louis Bank, among many others. “It is a learning to play with all the veterans but at the same time, I absolutely don’t feel threatened when I play with anyone,” he declares.

Lydian Nadhaswaram at The Ellen DeGeneres Show.Lydian Nadhaswaram at The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

For Lydian, his musical journey started when he was barely two-years-old. At an age where toddlers can hardly get a grip on their bottle, Lydian could play the drums in a perfect rhythm. The homeschooled teenager practices for more than ten hours a day under the guidance of his father Varshan Satish, who is also a music director. Hailing from Oscar winning musician A.R Rahman’s music school KM Music Conservatory who has described the young star as one of India’s treasures, Lydian can play blindfolded and can handle two pianos simultaneously. Apart from piano, he can also play guitar and mridangam. “Rahman uncle loves me very much and always tells me to practice well and be an inspiration for others. So I am learning newer techniques in the piano,” shares the pianist and adds “I get advice and guidance from my parents and sister.”

Although he can play any beat on piano, his favourite composition to play is Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven. Ask if has a wish list of musicians to collaborate with, he responds in negative. “I would love to work with all legendary musicians and directors globally and have no particular favourite,” he reveals.

Lydian NadhaswaramLydian Nadhaswaram

As of now, Lydian is investing a lot of time on technical learning like mixing sounds and learning new languages. “I watch a lot of music videos and apart from that, I like watching motivational speeches,” he shares. Ask if he finds time a constraint due to excessive travel for various concerts, he says, “I love playing in concerts, so accordingly, I manage time for my practice and concerts. So there is no challenge of time,” he concludes.

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