Dr. Tanya Ekanayaka, Sri Lanka’s outstanding and internationally acclaimed pianist-composer returns to St Martin-in-the-Fields this season for her third solo recital at this iconic concert venue.
Classically trained and with a background in Asian and Popular musics, she is also a musicologist and linguist. She began studying the piano when she was just five years old and made her debut public recital appearance at the age of twelve.
Consistent with her interdisciplinary background, Tanya holds a doctorate for interdisciplinary research involving the disciplines of Linguistics and Musicology from Edinburgh University in Scotland, bachelors (BA-Honours) and masters (MSc) degrees in Linguistics, English Literature and Language (from the Universities of Peradeniya and Edinburgh) and is a Fellow of the Trinity College of Music London (FTCL) and Licentiate of both the Associated Board of The Royal Schools of Music (LRSM) and Guildhall School of Music and Drama (LGSMD) UK: the latter also awarded her its Professional Performer’s Diploma (PPD).
The distinguishing feature of Tanya’s recitals is that they incorporate her own compositions representing a novel and unusual musical genre. Her compositions within a recital programme comprise adaptations of melodies belonging to indigenous and popular Sri Lankan musics (most of which have never been adapted for the piano or harmonised), with musical motifs inspired by a particular aspect salient to each of the other works that form a given recital programme she is performing.
In this sense, her recitals become a discourse where the merging of diverse musical genres and eras is facilitated. She regards her compositions as deeply autobiographical and a result of her multilingualism (she is a native speaker of English and Sinhala), multicultural background, being ambidextrous and experiencing partial colour synaesthesia. Her compositions evolve spontaneously and as a whole when she is at the piano often within a few minutes.
Tanya debuted in the USA in 2012 with a solo recital to a capacity audience at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC which was followed by a performance at the Asia Society Concert Hall in New York. Her programme for her Kennedy Center debut incorporated the world premiere of two of her own compositions.
Tanya also holds the distinction of being the composer of the first composition and first compositions for the piano by a Sri Lankan composer to be performed at St Martin-in-the-Fields (2010) and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC (2012) respectively.
She has been on the teaching faculty of Edinburgh University since 2007 where she has taught part-time in its departments of Linguistics and Music. Since 2012, Tanya has also been developing a pioneering and so far highly successful music project on a purely voluntary basis aimed at empowering traumatised as well as underprivileged children in Sri Lanka recovering from a horrific civil war that ravaged the nation for over thirty years. 2013 has seen Tanya evolve a set of new compositions for solo piano to complete her maiden album comprising her own compositions; two of these compositions are being premiered at this recital.
Free Lunchtime Piano Recital – Tanya Ekanayaka
Start: October 25, 2013 1:00 pm
End: October 25, 2013 2:00 pm
Venue: St Martin-in-the-Fields
Phone: 020 7766 1100
Haydn – Sonata in D Major Hob. XVI: 37
Beethoven – Für Elise
Tanya Ekanayaka – Vannam (Gajaga, Hanuma, Mayura) & You (World Premiere)
Chopin – Ballade No 1 in G minor Op 23
Debussy – L’Isle joyeuse
Tanya Ekanayaka – In Lotus: Olu Pipila With Moment (World Premiere)