Crescendo III was held in July 2012 - the preliminary rounds spanned over 6 days at the school and the finals were held on July 14th at the G. D. Birla Sabhaghar. Thirty seven Educational Institutions participated in the competition.Being the third year since its inception, Crescendo has started gaining momentum and recognition among academic institutions and musicians in the city as a competition worthy of participation. We had a large turnout - moreover, this was the first time that we expanded the categories to include college students as well. While the participants were primarily school children, we do expect that colleges will gain more traction in the years to come as the news spreads.
We had a distinguished panel of judges - a prominent pianist from Canada, an examiner of the Trinity Guildhall board of music in U.K., senior musicians from Conservatoires in England, along with locally reputed musical talent. Thanks to our kind sponsors, we had a plethora of prizes for the winners of the competition, including a violin, guitars, and other musical accessories along with the Crescendo trophies, medals and certificates. These prizes have definitely encouraged young musicians to further strengthen their skills and hopefully achieve world class standards in the future. We look forward to many more years of Crescendo to help build a strong platform in which musicians can showcase themselves.
Rajorshi Kanta Ghosh
Delhi Public School
Alistair Mark Quadra
St. James’ School
Barisha High School
Calcutta Medical College
Our Lady Queen of the
DPS- Ruby Park
Garden High School
Calcutta International School
St. Lawrence High School
Adamas International School
Birla High School
Carmel High School
La Martinere for Boys
La Martinere for Boys
St. Pauls Boarding & Day School
St. Xaviers Collegiate School
Kendriya Vidyalaya Cossipore
Calcutta International School
Modern High School
Aditya Mohan Ray
St. James’ School
St. Xaviers College
Gokhale Memorial Girls College
St. James’ School
La Martinere for Boys
Crescendo II - 2011
Crescendo II, the inter-school music competition in association with Vodafone, ITC Fiama di Wills and Roland Pro music shop was held on 2nd of July 2011, at the G. D. Birla Sabhaghar auditorium. We had participants from 28 schools in Kolkata.
The various categories were:
Piano – Junior and Senior
Guitar – Junior and Senior
Popular Songs – Solo – Senior
School Band – Senior
Flute- senior and junior
Cello – senior and Junior
With planning much in advance Crescendo managed to get an excellent panel of nationally and internationally acclaimed judges.
Piano – Ms. Chelsea De Souza
Violin/ Cello – Mr. Phiroze Mistri
Guitar – Mr. Denis Azabagic
Flute – Mr. Eugenia Moliner
Voices and Band – Usha Uthup, Bertie D’Silva, Emily Grace Newcombe.
Though we introduced two new disciplines this year , flute and cello, there were no entries for cello and only two entries for flute. But unfortunately for certain inconveniences the flute participants could not perform in the finals.
Attractive prizes, medals, certificates, gift hampers, cash prizes, and scholarships at CSM for a year. Guitars, Violin, I-pod, Mp3 players and microphone sponsored by Roland Pro music shop were also given away as prizes to the winners.
PIANO JUNIOR (1st)
Kanishka Saha, Kendriya Vidyalaya.
PIANO JUNIOR (Runner Up)
Soham Thakurta, Gildav high School.
PIANO SENIOR (1st)
Akash Majumdar, International school.
PIANO SENIOR (2nd)
Roshni Biswas, Mahadevi Birla High School
GUITAR JUNIOR (1st)
Shaunak Bhattacharya, La martiniere for Boys.
GUITAR JUNIOR (2nd)
Radhika Trivedi, Modern High School.
GUITAR SENIOR (1st)
Rhythm Shaw,Cossipur English School.
GUITAR SENIOR (2nd)
Akash Majumdar, International school.
VIOLIN SENIOR (1st)
Pramit Sarkar, St. Lawrence.
Sangaborti Das, Ballygunge Shikshasadan.
Eva Rajan, Loreto House.
St. James School for Boys
La Martiniere for Boys.
We got good coverage from the print and the electronic media this year. Tata News took an exclusive interview of the judges and about 27 newspapers highlighted Crescendo II.
Fiama di Wills Inter School Music Crescendo Competition
ITC and the Calcutta School of Music jointly presented the Fiama di Wills Inter School Crescendo music competition on 25th July 2010. All schools were asked to enter budding musicians in five categories: Piano, guitar, violin, choir and school band. There was also an essay competition where students were asked to write on Music in Nature & Science.
Twenty schools participated in this contest. Preliminary entries were auditioned at the Calcutta School of Music, and finalists played at the Birla Sabhagar on 25th July. The hall was packed to capacity with excited school children, privileged to participate in this unique event.
A glittering panel of judges were present: Malgorzata Wejsis-Golebiak from the Embassy of Poland, Matteus Emerling from the Goethe Institut, Anita Mehta a musician/scientist from the Bose Institute (talk about Nature & Science), Anjum Katyal a blues singer and Amit Chaudhuri famous novelist and musician doing programmes entitled This Is Not Fusion.
In honour of the fact that this year is being celebrated worldwide as Chopin 2010 because of the great composer’s bicentennial, the Embassy of Poland decided to award the first prize in the senior piano category with a one week trip to Poland which would include workshops, masterclasses and concerts. And the winner was…… Pritika Malhotra, daughter of our very own Sumeet Malhotra who works in ITC the sponsors of this contest. She played a beautiful rendition of a Chopin piece “in the spirit of the composer” said the judges. So congratulations to Pritika (and to her parents) on this wonderful honour she has brought both to ITC and to the Calcutta School of Music where she has been studying for some years now. May we have more such successes in future!
A Momentous Period in My Musical Journey
Class XI – Modern High School for Girls
On the 25th of July, 2010 the Finals of the Inter School Chopin Western Music Concert were held at the Birla Sabhagarh. This concert was organized by The Calcutta School of Music and sponsored by Fiama di Wills and the Polish Cultural Ministry. It was open to students from schools across Kolkata and gave us an opportunity to showcase our talents in Western Instrumental Music viz. piano, violin and guitar. I was a finalist in the senior category piano and I was playing a piece by famous music composer Fryderyk Chopin “Nocturne in C# Minor”.
On the day of the concert I was extremely nervous as I had never performed in such a big auditorium before. My nervousness was heightened by the fact that the judges were eminent musicians comprising a Kolkata Musician, one from the German Centre & another from the Polish Embassy at Delhi. When the results were out and my name was announced as winner in the Senior Category, I was frozen to my seat till I was nudged by my parents to go on stage & receive my prize. Imagine my surprise when I learnt that apart from a certificate, waiver of my music fees for a year & recording of a Music CD, I as winner of the senior category had also won a seven day all expense paid trip sponsored by the Polish Ministry of Culture and the Chopin 2010 bi-centennial celebrations committee to Poland as part of the Chopin Bi-centennial Celebrations.
For the next 3 weeks there was a flurry of activities, including practicing my pieces, arranging leave from school, getting clothes together and completing Visa / Travel formalities. Before I realized the date for our departure, for Warsaw, the 22nd of August a Sunday dawned. As I was allowed to be accompanied, by a guardian my father was going along. We took a flight from Kolkata to Delhi then to Frankfurt and then finally reached our destination Warsaw on Monday. I had never been to Europe before and the drive from the airport to our hotel left me spellbound. I felt as if a picture had just come alive.
On reaching the Mercure hotel I met the other participants.- an Estonian and 4 others from Kuwait comprising an Armenian, Chinese, Goan and a Kuwaiti. Two of them were accompanied by their guardians. After check in, on our first day we were taken on a sightseeing tour by foot around the city.
We walked through one of Warsaw’s parks and visited the tomb of the unknown soldier.Later in the evening we went and attended a Chopin concert by pianist Alexander Lonquich in the Philharmonic Hall, it was a truly exhilarating experience where he was called back twice for encores. Watching a world renowned pianist perform in such a huge hall was a new experience. Luckily we had balcony seats and as a result had an excellent unblocked view of the proceedings. We retired early as we were leaving for Krakow the next morning.
After a long drive we finally arrived in Krakow around lunchtime and checked in in the Matejko hotel. We visited the city center, various churches, other historical monuments also visited the old Jewish District. Walking was the favourite mode of getting around in Poland. Most of our sightseeing involved long walks often lasting for hours. It seemed that we were on a trekking trip rather than the relaxed holiday, I had mentally planned during the week away from school. The next morning after breakfast we left for a visit to the Wortejska caves located in the Ojcowski National Park. This cave is famous for the stalactite and the stalagmite formations. It was an extremely chilling (as temperatures were around 5ºC) but extremely interesting experience,unfortunately we did not see any animals in the Park.which I was really looking forward to. After the caves we had lunch in a traditional Polish Restaurant and then proceeded to the Salt Mines. I had been looking forward to this visit. The Salt Mines are listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. I was not disappointed as my expectations were more than exceeded. The mines had beautiful salt sculptures, including a Chappel. The trip through the mines lasted for over 3 hours. In the evening we visited a Jewish Ghetto area, this was very similar To Chawls in Mumbai. The following day we left for Zelazowa Wola, Frederyk Chopin’s birthplace en-route to Warsaw. A tour was conducted for us by Mrs. Barbara Owczuk the curator of the museum. Unfortunately this house where Chopin was born did not have any of the original furniture or personal effects related to Chopin’s childhood, as these were probably destroyed during he German and Russian occupations of Poland, this left me with a feeling of having experienced only part of the Chopin legacy.
On returning to Warsaw we had a busy schedule ahead of us. The next morning,27th August we visited the War Museum in Warsaw where we learnt a lot about Poland’s suffering during World War II, and also that Warsaw was almost totally razed. What we were seeing was reconstructed, this really made me feel that the spirit of Poles was truly incomparable as parts of Warsaw we had visited seemed to be heritage. After the museum visit we had a meeting with Mr. Waldemar Dabrowski, Director of the National Institute of Fredryk Chopin & Chairman of the Chopin 2010, bi-centennial celebrations committee. After an audience with Mr Dabrowski, where we thanked him for hosting our Poland trip & giving us the opportunity to attend and experience such wonderful music concerts, we had a little free time.
In the evening we attended another concert at the Philharmonic, this concert by Martha Argerich on the Piano & Mischa Maisky the Cellist was truly superlative the performers got a standing ovation which seemed to go on forever. I definitely regard this concert as one of the highlights of this Chopin tour.
Saturday the 28th dawned, this was the 2nd last day of a trip that I was enjoying thoroughly and hoping would never end. After a hurried breakfast we rushed to the Chopin Institute where all of us had practice sessions,prior to our Master Class slotted for Sunday. The afternoon was spent walking through Warsaw & visiting various places linked to Chopin’s early years including a house where he stayed in Warsaw, the Church of St. Joseph, the betrothed of Virgin Mary where he played on the organ, The Smaller Basillica of the Holy Cross where his heart is embedded and the Warsaw University. In the evening we attended a concert by Nelson Freire and a performance by the National Orchestra. Their performance was surreal, everyone was perfectly synchronized and watching them perform was indeed a treat for the senses.
Sunday 29th was the last day of our stay in Poland. I got both up nervous and excited as today was my master class. The fact that it was to be taken by Janusz Olejniczak, who had coincidentally played Nocturne in C# Minor in the movie the Pianist, the same piece that had led to my winning the Crescendo Concert in Kolkata and given me the opportunity to visit Poland, added to my excitement. We were all taken to the Frederyk Chopin Institute of Music and our classes were taken in turns. The one hour I got with him was invaluable. His sheer knowledge of the piano and the works of Chopin was unbelievable. He gave me several tips to improve my technique and his advice was very helpful. This master-class was really the highlight of the whole trip.
After the master-class we completed a visit of the Frederyk Chopin museum which was adjoining the Master-class venue, here several of Chopin’s works were displayed. This museum was an audio-visual experience as we got the opportunity to listen to several of his famous Mazurkas, Polonaises and Nocturnes. Post this we went for another walk through some more parts of the city which by now I had started to enjoy as the weather in Warsaw was lovely. The weather was really pleasant and there were occasional light refreshing showers. We saw the Presidential Palace and then spent some time in a quaint but beautiful street in the old quarter. As it was a Sunday the road had been cordoned off to traffic. With Cafes on both sides and children playing on the road the atmosphere was truly festive, this family festivity was followed by a music and dancing procession almost like a Carnival. After this lazy afternoon, in the evening we attended another outstanding Piano recital by Janusz this time at the Royal Opera House. We retired early as we had an early morning departure to Frankfurt en-route to Delhi and Kolkata.
These seven days were really the best days of my life. I will never forget my trip to Warsaw. It will forever remain etched in my memory and for this I am thankful to my teacher Ms. Sandhya Varma, my School Principal Ms. Devi Kaur for granting me leave, the Polish Embassy’s Cultural Secretary Malgorzhata Wejcis, Mr. Dabrowsky and his institute for sponsoring our trip and above all Joanna Galecka who was our interpreter, guide and friend throughout our trip.
We ring in the New Year with exciting offers from the Calcutta School of Music. First a concert on 6th January at the Hyatt Regency Kolkata - Fantasy in Flute - where we present our Calcutta Chamber Orchestra with internationally renowned flautist Uberto Orlando. On Friday January 11th a special tribute on DVD will be presented by Mr. Ashis Ghosh for the Late Pandit Ravi Shankar who had inaugurated out Indian Music Section in 1976.