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Life in the fine arts is far from easy, says tabla virtuoso Vineet Vyas

Vineet Vyas is an internationally-acclaimed tabla virtuoso, educator and composer who has performed as a soloist and accompanied eminent musicians across Canada, the us, Europe and India.

He was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Muriel Sherrin Award for International Achievement in Music.

The name of the award is significant – International Achievement in Music and not Achievement in International Music. So, not achievement in some exotic ‘international’ form of music but Canadian achievement at an international level.

“It’s a great honour,” said Vyas. “I represent a different stream of music. It’s not a mainstream art form but the beauty of it is that a cosmopolitan city like Toronto gives space to artistes from all genres.”

His parents were deeply immersed in classical music but their teaching careers took precedence when they came to Canada in the mid-sixties. Vyas was born and raised in Nova Scotia, in a period when everything desi was not cool like it is today.

“I sometimes wonder how my parents managed – forget Indian restaurants, where did they get the ingredients for their cooking? But that said, I don’t remember any challenges fitting in at school or in our neighbourhood. I guess it depends on both the place and one’s personality. Do you fit in or do you stand out? I even played the tabla while in high school and people were always interested.”

Life in the fine arts is far from easy, Vyas tells his children and his students. “There will be trials and tribulations. You have to have faith. Push forward, break barriers and advance to the next level. You have to keep plugging away at it until a certain kind of branding takes place. It’s a journey – and not a short one, but one on which you embark for a lifetime if your heart is in it.”

Posted: Jul 3, 2018

June 2019

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