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Piano girl

It’s not a name that’ll go unnoticed. Pianist Mishka Rushdie Momen,niece of novelist and grand chronicler of Modern India,Salman Rushdie,is set to play in the city next week at the NCPA.

It’s not a name that’ll go unnoticed. Pianist Mishka Rushdie Momen,niece of novelist and grand chronicler of Modern India,Salman Rushdie,is set to play in the city next week at the NCPA. But that tag — of being Rushdie’s niece — lies lightly on her. She says,“It’s not at all been my experience that people only identify me with relation to my uncle. In fact,his world and mine are quite different and apart.

I really don’t think it has any impact on my work at all. At a personal level I’m really proud of him and I think he’s always been really proud of me too.”

The London-based artiste has good reason for being so confident in her own skin. In the 13 years that she’s been playing the piano,Momen has garnered many awards and accolades,including full four years’ scholarships at all the leading London conservatoires — the Royal Academy,the Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She opted to study at the latter and is in her third year there.

The 18-year-old pianist has been hailed as a prodigious young talent,but unlike many others,she isn’t obsessive about such labels and is certainly not content to sit back and let the compliments roll in. The urge to learn more and improve is always there. She explains,“The challenge at every step has been to improve to reach an even higher level of perfection while remaining true to the music and the intention of the composer. I am constantly inspired by great musicians and am really fortunate in having the most wonderful pianist,Imogen Cooper,as my teacher. The work is hard and there’s always more to do — this is why there’s no time to worry about tags or to feel complacent.”

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Momen is naturally excited about performing in Mumbai,her family’s home city. She admits to a woefully inadequate knowledge of the Indian music scene,but declares that she will find an audience for her music in Mumbai,where she’ll be performing Debussy’s L’Isle joyeuse,Beethoven’s

“Waldstein” Sonata,and Chopin’s Ballade no. 2 and Sonata no. 3 in B minor. She says,“Mumbai is very much an international city and music isn’t a language that’s limited to national borders. I think the audience in Mumbai will be sophisticated and knowledgeable about the traditions of music.”

Mishka Rushdie

Momen performs at the Experimental Theatre,NCPA on April 2

First published on: 26-03-2010 at 12:34:14 am
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