Piano Festival 2017 -The Jury in Concert 11th Nov. - Grand Finale Concert 12th Nov.

 Twin-Cities Piano Festival 2017 –

The Jury in Concert (11th Nov.) & Grand Finale (12th Nov)


Hyderabad Western Music Foundation and Musee Musical are pleased to present two young Indian pianists - who also represent the jury of the Piano Festival 2017 - together live in concert!

When: Saturday, 11th November 2017 – 6pm
Where: Vidayaranya High School (opp. Secretariat; next to Hotel Anmol)
Shantanu Patel
Shantanu finished his M.Mus. (Masters of Music) in advanced piano performance and conducting skills from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and is currently performing across the country. He graduated with B.A. (Hons) in Music specialising in performance from Middlesex University, London and also holds a diploma in higher music education from KM College of Music and Technology. 
His repertoire for the evening:
Mozart: 12 Variations in C Major 'Ah vous dirai-je, Maman' KV.265
Chopin: Scherzo in B flat minor Op.31 No.2
Rachmaninoff: Prelude in G minor Op.23 No.5
Debussy: Pour le piano
Cecil Vineet Abhishek
Cecil is a composer-orchestrator, engineer, and a singer-songwriter, with a Masters Degree in Scoring for Film, Television, and Video Games from Berklee College of Music and a Licentiate Diploma in Piano Performance.
He will present an orchestrated version of Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C# minor, op. 2 no. 3 – where he shall be playing the piano live, with his own orchestral arrangement produced on Digital Performer – a Digital Audio Workstation.
Piano Festival - Grand Finale Concert
with all the selected participants (pianists and other instruments).
Come and listen to some of the best musical talents in town!
Sunday, 12th November, 6pm
at Vidyaranya High School
The Sunday concert is free. All are welcome.



A Celebration of Music Played on Piano

Pratap Antony / 15/11/2017/HWMF www.hydmusic.com

     Hyderabad Western Music Foundation, Musee Musical and Vidyaranya School, whose hallways and playgrounds are imbued with the sound of music, created this two day ‘Twin Cities Piano Festival 2017’ on the 11th and 12th of November.

     The Twin Cities Piano Festival 2017 was really a tribute to pluralism and the composite culture that the twin cities of Hyderabad & Secunderabad. It was also a tribute to the parents of music students, and music teachers, proving that the people of the Twin cities appreciate and encourage good music, even music that is not rooted in local culture.

     Hyderabad Western Music Foundation and Musee Musical were very clear on why this was called a Piano festival. It is a festival because it was not a competition; it was a celebration of the music played on a Piano. And why piano? Why not keyboard? Because the Piano is an acoustic, wooden musical instrument that produces a sound in which the tone colour and timbre is natural and rich. It is the true instrument to bring out the beauty of Western Classical music. A Yamaha Grand Piano was provided for the festival by Musee Musical (Western Musical Instruments and Music education), to celebrate their 175th year in the service of music.

     Western classical music, as we call it, can be described as ‘art’ music that stands the test of time and remains relevant to generations after it has been composed. It is music that’s been composed and written in music notation so that musicians can play it by reading the musical notation, and so Western Classical music, or, really, all Classical music, ‘Carnatic’ and’ Hindustani’ Classical music is played and listened to for centuries after being composed, just as plays by Kalidasa or Shakespeare are ‘classics’ because they are still read, performed and enjoyed even today, centuries after they were written.

     So, the music of Western Classical composers such as J.S Bach (1685-1750), W.A. Mozart (1756-1791), F. Schubert (1797-1827) and F. Lizst (1811-1886), live on even today, and pieces by these composers amongst other older and more recent composers, were performed by the young pianists/musicians on the 12th of November.

Day Two - Grand Finale of the Piano Festival

     The 18 pianists (1 recorder) selected out of 44 who auditioned, displayed their musical abilities on the piano on the 12th of November. And it was impressive to hear so many young piano students aged between 7 and 16 show an interested audience how well they could play.

     It was such great mix of young people and the names of the 18 pianists that played showed how music brings together people of different communities, and regional cultures.

     The order of the young pianists who played, according to the programme, was: Samuel A. Marcus 30 (announced as a special guest), Vivek Mathur - 15, Ananda Gopalakrishnan - 11, Akundi Indravandith Karthikeya - 11, Rushabh Musthyala - 16, Lakshay B. - 12, Samyuktha Nandineni - 13, Dhriti Agarwal - 14 & Omi Vegada (four hands), Bindu Sravanthi - 16, P. Vishal Reddy - 14, Kshittiesh Bharadwaj - 15,& Khiyati Bharadwaj,  Kashvi Aggarwal - 7, P. Harshith Reddy - 13, Ananya Achanta - 13, Christine Grace Khumuckcham - 14, Devulapalli Sai Sri Vaishnavi - 13, Yash Agarwal -13,  Saketh Ram Josyabhatla - 15.  

     Music is the greatest communication in the world and these young musicians were so proficient; of course, some more so than others - a few showed so much promise that it looks like there will be more concert pianists from India in the making - so that we in the audience marvelled at their gift of music. Both Mamta & Jagruti of Musee Musical, and Joe Koster of Hyderabad Western Music Foundation acknowledged that it is the parents and teachers of these musically endowed young musicians who have to be lauded, for recognising the children’s need for music and for encouraging them to learn, practice and develop their talent. 

Day One The Concert pianists of the Piano Festival

     We will now come back to the first day of the Piano Festival, the 11th of November 2017. As part of the two day piano festival, two judges who were brought in from Ahmadabad and Mumbai to audition and select the pianists for the 12th of November, performed a selection of classical pieces on the 11th November.

     The musicians were Shantanu Patel, a concert pianist from Ahmedabad who has returned from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with a Masters of Music (MU) in performance and conducting, he is also an B.A. (Hons.) in music, specialising in performance, from Middlesex University, London. Cecil Vineet is a composer orchestrator, singer/songwriter, with a Masters degree in scoring for Film, Television and Video games from the Berklee College of Music, Boston, he also holds a Licentiate Diploma in Piano performance.

     Though I love classical music, I am not a musician enough, or expert enough, to tell whether the pianist interprets a composer well or not, I will only say this about Shantanu Patel’s playing, that he plays very naturally, fluidly and effortlessly, he could bang the hell out of the piano and then play as softly as a whispered secret, he balanced lyricism and piano gymnastics skilfully, yet captured the sentiment of all the pieces he played.

    Shantanu Patel began the evenings programme with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Twelve Variations on theme "Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman"(English: “Ah, Mother, if I could tell you”), K.265, based upon a French folk song.

    Mozart’s work began by stating the basic theme, the familiar tune “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and then with such a simple theme, Mozart creates variations of the theme with modifications and embellishment in rhythms, harmonies and texture and yet we recognise the melody throughout. Mozart's genius is mind blowing.

     Next he played Scherzo No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 31 by Frédéric Chopin, composed and published in 1837. Chopin, many feel, is the best composer for the piano. Shantanu Patel introduced this piece by saying that though the composition is in B flat minor, most of the work is written in D flat major.

     The third work Shantanu played was Prelude in G minor, Op. 23, No. 5, by Sergei Rachmaninoff, which he completed in 1901. The pianist displayed speed and subtlety both in the very intense fast sections and also in the calm ones!

    Shantanu Patel concluded his programme with Prelude pour le piano, L. 95, a three movement piano suite, Prelude, Sarabande and Toccata composed  by Claude Debussy, one of the most innovative composers who completed this work in 1903. Prelude pour le piano did not seem easy to play but was played in a way that seemed effortless.

     Cecil Vineet Abhishek, the modest and self effacing musician, in his introduction, said, he had added orchestral accompaniment to Prelude in C-sharp minor Op. 3, No. 2, one of Sergei Rachmaninoff's most famous Piano compositions, electronically, as is done in many movie and television serials. He then displayed his skill in not only playing the piano, but in programming, scoring and arranging the Rachmaninoff Prelude in C-sharp minor in a tasteful arrangement like a Concerto for piano and orchestra.

     The programme concluded with a surprise, with both the pianists getting together to play a four hand piece.     

     It is not common for the Twin Cities to hear a bona fide concert pianist play live, and so this was a rare auditory treat for this writer, and for all the other Western Classical music enthusiasts, thanks to the ‘Twin Cities Piano Festival 2017’ and the phenomenal effort put in by Joe Koster the chief organiser on behalf of the Hyderabad Western Music Foundation.  (write-up Pratap Antony HWMF).

Here some feedback HWMF received after the concert:

1) It is completely heart-warming to know the diversity and depth of musical talent that we have here! And special thanks to everyone who made it possible for such a lovely event to take place here.... Was really happy about the spirit of Excellence overpowering everything else !

2)I felt overwhelmed when my son played between such well established pianists. Tears rolled out. I think every Mother will feel the same. It was the most inspiring programme for us. I sincerely thank you and Musee Musicals for organising such event. Looking forward for more such Events

3)You made brilliant arrangements for the fest. I really appreciated your letting kids warm up before playing. It showed sensitivity. The certificate and voucher made all the kids feel happy and they didn’t stress about first second third prize. Congratulations again. I hope we can participate in your next Event

4)I deeply admire the spirit in which the festival was held. Truly you inspired a generation to love the piano and gave them a platform. Thank you