For Priyanka, music, as artful vibration, is the essence of our existence, of which our heartbeat is the pulse. Each performance is an opportunity to welcome her audience to remember the joy inherent in this truth.
Originally a pre-medical student at Stanford University, Priyanka heeded her grandfather’s last words to her: the point of life?… to manifest your unique creative energy onto this earth; she switched her path to follow her passion, music, without looking back.
Priyanka’s original pre-medical path, however, was not completely dissociated from her purpose. She has always been fueled by the desire to serve. She has now hold a Doctorate (D.M.A) in Violin Performance from UCLA, and as a blend of various cultures, Indian and Western, she defines intercultural understanding, and spiritual uplift, so needed in current times, as the underlying purpose of her musical career.
As a Fulbright Scholar studying Indian classical music in India, she is versed in both Western and Indian classical music and is acutely aware of the ways a culture’s music is a reflection of its ethos, and she revels in the opportunities music creates for cross-cultural communion. Through the initiative of the South Asian Symphony Foundation, founded by Ms. Nirupama Rao, (former Indian ambassador to the United States), she travels to India to foster peace in the region through musical performance.
Her repertoire, however, spans the entire world, and includes music inspired by the traditions of Spain to Hungary, Turkey to Iran, Argentina to India. In recital, she aims to not only perform, but to elaborate on just what makes these music unique…and alike. Her piano Trio Scarlet, of which she is co-founder, specializes in the music of Spain and Latin America, particularly the tango.
Priyanka’s musical and liberal arts education, along with her spiritual studies, has fueled her passion for connecting the human experience with the unifying power of music. Her dissertation, entitled Discovering India in Western Art Music: An Exploration of Exoticism and Interculturality through Works for Western Violin, explores the practices of musical interculturalism, and seeks to promote diversity within the Western classical canon. She has presented her research at numerous forums, including for the Society for Music Theory and the American Musicological Society.
She has been winter of numerous concerto competitions, and has received multiple scholarships and summer fellowships, including at the Atlantic Music Festival, a new music festival in Maine. Finally, she is indebted to her many wonderful violin mentors, including Scott St. John, Haroutune Bedelian, Movses Pogossian, Ivan Zenaty, and Midori.
Experiencing the life-changing power of music firsthand, she is committed to arts education. She has taught for the EPGY Summer Institute course “How Music Works,” at Stanford University and she volunteers her time assisting youth programs, such as Santa Ana’s Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Arts’ Center, and Leadership Education and Advancement Program at UCLA.
Most significantly, for her, music, as vibrational energy, has the power to uplift the human spirit out of the flesh. Being firm in this knowledge is her greatest joy and deepest motivation.