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Interview: Nikhil Sardana - Editor, Serenade Music Magazine

Nikhil Sardana is a young musician and impresario who is based in India. He is an empaneled pianist with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and has completed the graded music examinations conducted by the International Examinations Board, Trinity College London. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce from Delhi University and a Master’s Degree in Music Business Management from the University of Westminster, UK. As Founder – Editor of the online portal Serenade, he brings together his passion for this performing art and his vision to create a wider appreciation of and love for classical music in India.


Can you tell us a little about your readers and the aims of Serenade Music Magazine?


Serenade was started in November 2015 with the sole purpose to promote the growth, awareness and appreciation of Western classical music. We have a diverse group of readers covering all age groups. Our content is designed keeping in mind the well-read and those who simply wish to feed their curiosity. One of our very first articles that has been trending till today is "What is Western Classical Music? How is it different from Indian Classical Music?" 60% of our readership is from India and the rest from around the world.



serenademagazine.com


India and Britain have long been trade partners. How have historic developments shaped classical music in India?


There is a general misconception that the British were responsible for bringing Western art music to India. They came to the subcontinent with Victorian parlor music that was confined to their clubs and other intimate gatherings. There were several Indian Maharajas who patronized Western classical music. The most notable contributions were made by Maharaja Jaya Chamarajendra Wadiyar of the Kingdom of Mysore. He provided significant financial support to the legendary EMI producer Walter Legge to start the Philharmonia Orchestra, supported the works of composer Nikolai Medtner and even sponsored the performance of Strauss' Four Last Songs at Royal Albert Hall in May 1950. Here is a detailed article about this story.


What challenges does classical music education face in India, and what solutions do you see for the future?


Western classical music is everywhere here. India is perhaps one of the largest centers on earth for children taking the graded music examinations. I see this growing. What we need is for foreign universities to collaborate with our institutions here to set up conservatories of music. This is something that is still missing and many students look to the West for continuing their music education.


Which articles from Serenade have been most popular? Do you have any personal favorites?


That's a tough one. I quite enjoyed your article on Nannette Streicher. The 6 part series on "Teaching piano students to pedal" by Raj Bhimani is a highlight. . I would certainly recommend all articles from ON Stage magazine (published by the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Mumbai).

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