Sri Lankan Piano maestro has got talent

| by Victor Cherubim

( April 12, 2013, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) For the first time in its history at Royal Festival Hall, South Bank, London on 11 April 2013, a packed house of classical musical lovers, mainly a British audience, with a sprinkling of Sri Lankans, was entertained to a piano solo recital by a young, up and coming, Sri Lankan music maestro, Kausikan Rajeshkumar.

He played Chopin Sonata No.3 in B Minor Opus 58 (i –iv) with such ease and style that the audience gave him a heart warming thunderous and rousing reception.

When he concluded his free concert as one of the prestigious Philharmonic Orchestra Martin Musical scholarship Fund award winners, with his rendition of Villa-Lobos excerpts from Ciclo brasileiro for paino, he had to take his bow thrice to satisfy the audience, who were enthralled by his performance.

Kausikan Rajeshkumar, an unassuming 23 old, is a Sri Lanka second generation Tamil, living in London. He read Music at Cambridge University where he graduated with a First Class Honours.

He was the recipient of an Instrumental Award, the Donald Wort Prize, the Edith Leigh Piano Prize and won both the CUSO and Cambridge University Musical Society concerto competitions. Kausikan is now on the Master of Music in Performance course, at the Royal College of Music, London, on full scholarship.

He has given recitals in Newbury, Oxford and Wales and abroad in Spain and Germany, prior to his performance at Royal Festival Hall.

His parents, Nirmala Rajasingham and Ragavan, both diaspora activists, hail from an illustrious family in Jaffna, more in touch with social and political issues rather than with classical piano. When they came years ago with perhaps, refugee status to U.K., hardly would they have dreamt that their son would one day be the star attraction at Royal Festival Hall.

Kausikan has also given BBC TV and Radio presentations. He was BBC Young Musician Finalist in both 2006 and 2008.

Kausikan has talent and he will no doubt soon be putting Sri Lanka on the Music Maestro World Map. The thing that struck me about Kausikan is his fluency, the ease in taking his audience with him on a musical tour of both Chopin’s day Poland and Villa-Labos’ Brazil.

Leonard Bernstein states about the unusual instruments in Villa-Labos, Spanish and Latin American musical combinations. This rhythm was perfected by Joao Carlos Assis Brazil, but the recital today by Kausikan tops it all.

He has a way of transporting his audience from classical Poland to modern-day Brazil with such ease with his classic rendition of his last two pieces of Cicio Brazileiro “Impressoes seresteiras” and the ebullient, ”Festa no sertao.”

Sri Lanka is certainly proud to have one of its sons – a young man of such distinction in piano, perform in London. Perhaps, it will not be long before Kausikan entertains a wider audience of Sri Lankans at the Nelum Pokuna (Lotus Pond) Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre in Colombo, to showcase the talent of the Tamils of Sri Lanka.

The world will no doubt soon relish that the baton of future piano music will slowly but surely, be passed to young Asians, who a generation ago, were hardly known.