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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

Tin-roofs and a piano prodigy

Chetna Dua , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 31, 2013
First Published: 16:56 IST(31/8/2013) | Last Updated: 01:41 IST(1/9/2013)

This one’s a musical act with a difference. International pianist Utsav Lal will be playing in the city next week to give some hope to its youngest and most neglected citizens — young slum dwellers.

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Lal, 21, who is currently studying Jazz in Scotland, will be playing at two events in the city this week (at The Oberoi, Gurgaon, today and India Habitat Centre on September 6), organised by NGO Mobile Creches to raise awareness about slum children. “Delhi has a huge population of children living in the slums and streets. I hope my music gives a voice to these young and most neglected citizens,” says Lal.

Though trained in western classical music, jazz and Indian classical, Lal prefers to play Indian ragas on stage and already has to his credit more than 200 solo raga shows around the world. “Though I have enjoyed playing different types of music — rock, jazz, folk and filmy tunes in the past, I feel ragas are my true calling. The vast range of the piano helps me combine the best of east and west,” says the child prodigy, who made his solo debut at the age of nine. He adds, “I’d often play old Hindi songs from Raj Kapoor films for friends and family and discovered that playing ragas on the piano was quite a challenge and I like challenges, so I decided to pursue it further.”

Catch it live
What:
International pianist Utsav Lal in performance
When: September 6
Timing: 7:30pm onwards
Where: Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road

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