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Meet the ‘raga pianist’

While most piano players specialise in the genres of Western classical, jazz or even Indian film music, 19-year-old Utsav Lal is known for his unique rendition of Hindustani classical music on the piano.

music Updated: Apr 07, 2012 01:25 IST
Shruti Dargan
Shruti Dargan
Hindustan Times
Utsav Lal

While most piano players specialise in the genres of Western classical, jazz or even Indian film music, 19-year-old Utsav Lal is known for his unique rendition of Hindustani classical music on the piano. Born and brought up in Delhi, but currently based in Scotland, UK, Lal began to play the instrument from the age of seven. “The tonal quality and the sheer size of the piano used to fascinate me,” says Lal, whose first solo concert took place at the age of nine.

Talking about his unique musical style, Lal, who is known as a ‘raga pianist’, says, “My western classical training helps me to have dexterity and technical control over the instrument, while my guru Ustad Wasifuddin Dagar, a dhrupad exponent, influenced my music in the alap section.”

Lal, who has given several performances, both in India and abroad, hopes to take ragas on the piano to all corners of the globe. “Audiences abroad can relate to the piano much better than a traditional Indian instrument like the sitar,” says the pianist, whose debut piano album, Piano Moods of Indian Ragas, released when he was 16 years old. Later, he came up with two other solo Indian classical albums, Ragas Dance off Piano Keys, and, Ragas al Pianoforte.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2012/4/raga-pianist.jpgLal is quite fond of Delhi and the music festivals in the city. "It’s a delight that the city holds so many music concerts," he says.

Is Lal interested in playing for Bollywood? “It would be an interesting challenge. I’d be more interested in the background soundtrack rather than the songs,” says Lal.

The pianist will be performing at The Oberoi, Gurgaon, tomorrow, to support the work of the NGO, Josh.

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