Winning the CBS talent show, The World’s Best and labelled as a ‘Treasure’ by maestro A R Rahman, Lydian Nadhaswaram has hit the high notes at a young age.
Lydian stunned the audience at The World’s Best stage in the final by performing a medley of Beethoven’s ‘Fur Elise’ and Chopin’s ‘Etude’ on two pianos simultaneously. During the show, he also played three versions of Niolia Rimsky-Korsakov’s ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’, from its original marking of 160bpm to 208bpm and finally reaching 325bmp. His blindfolded performance of ‘Turkish March’ by Mozart left everyone in awe.
Lydian never seriously took to playing blindfolded before his performance at The World’s Best talent show. He would perform blindfolded to please his family and friends.
“I play blindfolded for fun, never really practiced it. I am happy that I can perform like that without disappointing my family and music lovers,” smiled Lydian.
Before winning the World’s Best
Lydian’s inclination towards music was discovered when he was just two as he would peck away at the drums. He would later go on to accompany his music composer father, Varshan Satish to his recording sessions. When his sister, Amirthavarshini began piano lessons, Lydian replicated whatever his sister played. He was just eight!
When his father showed him a video of the Hong Kong piano prodigy Tsung Tsung, Lydian was overawed. Lydian produced a decent rendition of Mozart’s ‘Rondo Alla Turca’ for Sathish to recognise his son’s inborn talent for the piano and taught him the musical scales. His sister taught him to interpret the little squiggles on sheet music.
“My father and my sister are my first inspirations and teachers,” said Lydian.
Satish suggested Lydian to play two pianos after watching a video of the great pianist Hazel Scott. Lydian would eventually execute his fathers idea at the final round of the World’s Best contest.
“To be honest I just practiced for two days to play on two pianos before the finals of the World’s Best,” said Lydian, leaving me astonished.
As children, most of us would have suffered from stage fright. Well, Lydian suffers from none of that. He was anything but nervous while performing at the World’s Best contest stage.
“I was very happy to perform at such a stage. I could finally play what I had practiced for hours in front of the world. This stage was my dream,” gleamed Lydian.
The Educational Journey
Lydian is largely self-taught which is possible because he is gifted with a perfect pitch and musical memory. Lydian has learned the tabla student at the KM College of Music and Technology, founded by AR Rahman. It was here that he would pick up different notes of the piano at the Russian Piano Studio on the campus. He would effortlessly play the piano at mind-boggling speed while delivering soulful pieces. Speed alone does not make you a master pianist, he should also be apt at slow, melodic pieces. To learn the traditional piano playing methods, Lydian enrolled under Augustine Paul at the 125-year-old Madras Musical Association. As a 10-year-old Lydian breezed through the Grade 8 piano examination conducted by Trinity College, London. The candidates for this exam are usually college-age or older.
If you Google for ‘world’s best child pianist’, first on the list is Lydian. But he is still a kid with similar likes. He loves riding his bicycle, gorging on his favorite food that his mother cooks and learn more about space. But for the World’s Best talent winner will have to wait for some time to spend time alone.
Lydian has been felicitated globally and has been attending some of the biggest TV shows since winning the contest. He also shares the honour board with Chennai greats Iiaiyaraj, A R Rahman, L Subramaniam and L Shankar who hold Trinity College certificates or diplomas. Lydian has stars in his eyes as he dreams to compose for a music album and animated Hollywood movies. He also wants to a concert pianist.
But above all he,
“Would love to go to moon and play music there.”