EIGHT-YEAR-old Anirban Roy has been playing flute since he was just four. Introduced to the instrument by his father at that tender age, Roy was instantly hooked to it and since then, there has been no looking back.
“The first time I had picked up the flute, I was told to simply blow air into it and hear the sound and I found it fun,” Roy told The Sunday Express.
Roy, who has become a sensation on the social media, was one of 50 promising musicians in the country who was awarded the late Dr M S Subbulakshmi Fellowship in music by Sri Shanmukhananda Fine Arts & Sangeetha Sabha on Saturday.
“The award has been given to 114 music students in the past five years and is the biggest award, other than that given by the government, which is the Bharat Ratna Bismillah Khan award. We want these youngsters to be the ambassadors for Subbulakshmi’s music and carry on her legacy,” Dr V Shankar, president of the Sabha said.
The Sabha has been hosting the award ceremony in the memory of Dr Subbulakshmi to encourage young talent since 2015.
Aishwarya Shankar, 29, a Chennai-based vocalist who has also been performing since the age of four, says the prize money — Rs 1 lakh prize money for three years — can be utilised by musicians to pursue their education in the field of Indian classical music, promote themselves and invest in instruments. “Another thing that I would many of my students to do is to spend it on travelling to places around the world for performance. This will help to put our music on the world map,” she says. Claiming that the fellowship is a source of encouragement for young musicians across the country, she adds, “It is an honour to be felicitated with an award named after the ‘Nightingale of India’.”