13-year-old child prodigy Lydian Nadaswaram from Chennai won the 'World’s Best' title, an American reality TV programme, last week, bringing home a whooping one million US dollars. The news of his win has made Indians all over the world ecstatic. Lydian, son of musician Varshan Satish, has also appeared on Ellen’s TV show.
While Lydian said that his dream was to be able to play the Moonlight Sonata on the moon one day, in addition to releasing his very own indie album and composing for animation films, music maestro AR Rahman has even bigger dreams for the young talent.
Having already worked with AR Rahman on his Amazon show Harmony, what awaits the young prodigy? Speaking at a press event, AR Rahman said Lydian deserves to become a world class musician, the Indian equivalent of Chinese world class pianist, Lang Lang.
“He is not just a session musician, he’s a solo virtuoso. He has to be given that respect. He has played for me on the Amazon series. Using him for little things is belittling him. He needs to be on grand stages with London Symphony orchestra. That is where he needs to go,” said AR Rahman.
On the World’s Best talent show that first aired on February 13, Lydian wowed judges with his amazing talent in playing the piano, doling out the fastest version of the Flight of the Bumblebee (at 325 beats per minutes!), playing the Turkish March blindfolded and playing his favourite Moonlight Sonata on the piano and finally complementing it with a remarkable drum track!
Appreciating Lydian’s father’s efforts, AR Rahman called him a visionary and said, “He didn’t settle for something small. He wanted him to go beyond. I want him to go even beyond.”
The Oscar-winning musician added that he wanted Lydian to become the musical ambassador for India. “India has this image - Bollywood (the word that I hate), dance, jewellery and weddings. After Zubin Mehta, I think Lydian could become the global ambassador for music. He is the next gen and I can see the future now,” he smiled.
Founder of KM Music Conservatory, a music school in Chennai, AR Rahman appreciated Lydian for putting the conservatory on the world map. Lydian shared that he had joined KM when he was 8 years old to learn to tabla, his very first instrument. He also observed that while the country now had a world class music institute and a world class pianist, it also needed a world class centre for promoting the arts.
“It is a boutique place, an oasis among clutter, in Chennai and he has put the light of it on the world map. I have seen amazing things in my travels. I have seen the government supporting arts, and building inspiring places. We have done what we could do without any help. We have a world class institute for music and a world class pianist now and all we need is a world class centre for arts,” said ARR.
“Seeing what Lydian has done, it gives me so much of hope and faith in humanity,” AR Rahman beamed.