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UTSAV LAL

UTSAV LAL ‘Raga Pianist’
www.utsavlal.com

…Lal is a fleet fingered performer whose best moments can be both highly evocative and dazzling....The Irish Times.

…in quieter moments he is the Phil Coulter of raga but at other times, the sweep and inventiveness of his improvisations recall Keith Jarrett….Terry Blain, music critic.

…..Utsav’s music flows spontaneously from within him & when his fingers dance on the piano keys, his music oozes simplicity & sincerity…Economic Times.


Young Steinway Artist, UTSAV LAL (born August 18, 1992) is an Indian pianist, improviser, educator and composer. At 26 years of age, Utsav Lal is recognized as a musician extraordinaire who has set a precedent in the world of music with his rendition of Ragas on the Piano. An impressive sixteen year music career behind him, Utsav is often known as the ‘Raga Pianist’ for his innovative handling of the Indian Classical music genre. He has gained international recognition for his groundbreaking work with performances across the world in countries including Italy, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Hong Kong, Sweden, Kuwait, The Netherlands, USA, Canada, Singapore and India.

Utsav Lal has performed several concerts in a lead role at venues that include Carnegie Hall-New York, The National Concert Hall- Dublin, The Chambers-Singapore, Southbank Centre-London, Asia Society- Hong Kong, The Kennedy Center-Washington DC, Theatre Orangerie-The Netherlands, India Habitat Centre-New Delhi, Arts Centre- Melbourne, NCPA-Mumbai, Bridgewater Hall-Manchester and others.

Utsav’s musical creativity draws from his advanced training in western classical and jazz with Bachelor in Jazz (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) and Masters in Contemporary Improvisation (New England Conservatory of Music) along with the exploration of Indian Classical Music under Ustad F.Wasifuddin Dagar, of the legendary Dhrupad Dagar family.

Choosing to perform on an instrument that has traditionally been considered unsuitable for Hindustani Classical Music, Utsav has used his rigorous training in diverse genres of music -Western Classical, Indian Classical, Jazz, Scottish, Irish and Contemporary Improvisation to challenge commonly understood ways of improvisation and develop his own unique voice for the piano. His music expressed with simplicity, sincerity and depth creates a captivating musical experience and has been described by Novara Jazz festival Director Corrado Beldi as having “illuminating grace”. Acclaimed for his rhythmic intelligence and unfailing clarity of technique, Utsav has been reviewed by Michael Dervan, The Irish Times as, “a fleet fingered performer whose best moments can be both highly evocative and dazzling” and by Terry Blain, music critic as, “in quieter moments, he’s the Phil Coulter of raga (where the piano is not a commonly used instrument), but at other times the sweep and inventiveness of his improvisations recall Keith Jarrett.”

Utsav Lal was featured in the Indian Limca Book of Records (2007) for his musical achievements and awarded Ireland’s Metro Eireann Media & Multicultural Award (MAMA) Award (2008) for championing multiculturalism through music. He was the youngest winner ever in the individual category in the ten years running of the MAMA awards. Utsav was chosen as the three top Asian music child prodigies to perform at the Asia on The Edge festival (AOTE 2008) in Singapore. His extensive work lays the foundation for a strong legacy that establishes the piano in a new role and he was recognized as a Young Steinway Artist in 2010 by leading piano makers Steinway & Sons. Utsav Lal received the ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, London) International Scholarship (2010) for undergraduate study at any of UK’s four Royal Schools of Music. Providing full tuition & a £20,000 grant for living expenses, the scholarship is awarded only to chosen four exceptional musicians amongst thousands of worldwide applicants.

Recognized for his contributions as role model for the youth of India, Utsav was awarded the Tie Aspire Young Indian Achiever award (2012). Utsav Lal holds the distinction of being the first to introduce the piano at the 137th Harivallabh Sammelan, India’s oldest classical music festival in 2012 and the two hour long concert was televised live to national audiences. In 2015, he was invited to premiere the piano at Saptak music festival (Ahmedabad, India) which draws large number of national & international music lovers.
Utsav was named as Yamaha Jazz Scholar-UK (2014) in a special ceremony at House of Commons, London. Running for over 11 years, the partnership between Yamaha in association with Jazzwise, the All-Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group, PPL, and 606 Club honors seven carefully chosen musicians from amongst the cream and Utsav Lal was invited to record his original composition in a CD for the cover of Jazzwise magazine. He was recognized as ‘Graduate of the Month’ by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, March 2016.

Utsav Lal was invited by the Permanent Mission of Israel to the UN to feature in the specially commissioned ‘United Pianos’ video. The video released in 2015 is the world’s first 22-hands piano piece, featuring 11 renowned pianists from 11 countries and six continents seamlessly playing together one musical piece to promote tolerance and unity through music.

In 2015, Utsav was chosen by UK composer & inventor Geoff Smith as the first musician to record a selection of solo piano ragas on the world’s ground breaking acoustic musical instrument-The Fluid Piano. This historic album offers the only existing example of Alap in Hindustani Classical Music on the Piano performed with the traditional “meend” or bending of strings. Funded by the Arts Council of England and an oversubscribed Indiegogo campaign, the album was released by the Fluid Piano Tuning label in July 2016.

Utsav’s work has been covered extensively through online websites, blogs and podcasts and received recognition through features and interviews on major Indian and International radio like BBC UK, Radio Mirchi, ABC Radio National Australia, Fever 104 FM and television channels NDTV, AAj Tak, NewsX, Times Now, Doordarshan, RTE Ireland and in publications like The Hindu, New Indian Express, Broadway World, The Asian Age, India Times, The Irish Times, Eastern Eye, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Pioneer, Eastern eye-UK and more.

Utsav has been a cultural Ambassador at worldwide events & festivals including Times Music festival –India (2006) , Asia Pacific Cultural Week – Berlin(2007),One World Music Evening-Dublin(2007), Festival of World Cultures –Ireland (2007,2008), Taj Festival-Manchester, UK(2008),Into the Light World Music Concert series-Leeds,UK(2008), Asia on the Edge Festival –Singapore(2008), Novara Jazz Festival-Italy(2010), Maximum India Festival –Washington DC( 2011), Kala Ghoda Festival-Mumbai (2013), Symbiosis of Sound festival-London ( 2012),Strings of the world Festival-India(2012, 2014), Jaipur Literary Festival –Boulder(2015,2018) Kilkenny Arts Festival-Ireland (2016), Masters of Tradition festival-Bantry (2016), Asia Topa Festival-Melbourne (2017),Yorkshire Silent Film festival (2018).

Utsav has been recognized for his extensive collaborative work and his versatility has seen him carve an enviable reputation as a jazz pianist and collaborative projects with several international touring musicians like Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill, Talvin Singh, Adam Sutherland, Brian Molley,Pt. Samir Chatterjee, Winifred Horan, Jarlath Henderson, Zach Meyer, Ustad Hidayat Husaain Khan and Pt. Kalinath Mishra. His Indo-Irish ‘Ragas to Reels’ friendship concert tours in India/UK/Ireland at The National Concert Hall-Dublin, Southbank Centre-London & Lyrics Theatre-Belfast and multi city India tour (2011) received full houses and an overwhelming response. Utsav’s sequel Ragas to Reels India tour (2014) with eight performances in four cities was equally successful and with introductory address by His Excellency Feilim McLaughlin, Irish Ambassador of Ireland was the cultural centerpiece for the Golden jubilee anniversary celebrations of the Embassy of Ireland in India.

Utsav has been involved in community service with performances to raise awareness and fundraising for organizations like National Association for the Blind, Spastics Society, Make-A-Wish Foundation, World Mercy Fund, World Refugee Day, World Harmony Run, Daniel Pearl Music Foundation. Utsav Lal dedicated his multi-city India tour (2012) to raise funds and support the work of NGO’s DREAMZ Home, JOSH, and SMILE Foundation and performed two main concerts (2013) to raise funds for Mobile Crèches.

As an educator, Utsav Lal set up the Jazz department at Gurgaon School of Music and currently is on the teaching faculty for Piano School of New York. Utsav launched his ‘Breaking Boundaries’ workshop series in 2009 and has conducted such Music Appreciation workshops in several cities in India and in Hong Kong, USA, Kuwait and Scotland. Utsav Lal also holds skype lessons and private teaching studio and is an active member of the Teach to Learn initiative which brings humans around the world to engage in cultural exchange through music. In his educational methodology, Utsav facilitates innovation and encourages students to challenge existing piano traditions as a primary goal to help find their own unique voice.

Discography
Piano Moods of Indian Ragas (Times Music) 2008
Ragas Dance off Piano Keys (Independent) 2009
Ragas Al Pianoforte (in association with Novara Jazz) 2010
Ragas to Reels (Independent) 2014
The Fluid Piano by Utsav Lal (Fluid Tuning Label) 2016
Indian Classical Music on Piano (Independent)-2018
The Sacred Indian Collection (Sacred Soul Sounds) - compilation album
50 Traditional Indian Songs (Sacred Soul Sounds) - compilation album
RCS Jazz: I’m Ready Now (Nimbus Records) 2014-Two solo tracks in compilation album
Yamaha New Jazz Sessions (Andy Ross for Jazzwise Magazine) 2014


Various Live in concert videos are available of Utsav Lal on www.youtube.com and full details on www.utsavlal.com.

Utsav Lal records the Worlds first ever album on the Fluid Piano in July 2015.
Please support his crowdfunding campaign and visit at : https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/world-s-first-album-of-ragas-on-the-fluid-piano/x/9429050


Contact Person:
Artist Manager: Sangita Lal, Mob: +91-9810164027 ( India) ,+44-7879744935(UK)
Email:sangital@gmail.com



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