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Government Gazette

Young Musicians of the year Award

By Rikaza Hassan

The Institute of Western Music and Speech (IWMS) held its annual ‘Young Musician of the Year’ competition and awards ceremony at the Russian Centre on September 16. The competition consisted of three categories, namely piano, violin and vocals. Adjudicating at the event was Ajith Abeysekera (conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka), Karl Katz (professional violinist) and Rohan de Levera (composer).

Winner - Piano - Primary Category
Piyumila Pabasaree Navaratne

The IWMS originated as an institute to conduct examinations in music over forty years ago, at a time when the country lacked any such establishment. The competition itself was begun as a forum to nurture and bring to the forefront the talented individuals in this country. With over 40, 000 candidates island-wide, the IWMS is a recognised entity in Sri Lanka.
The Oomph! magazine spoke to the most outstanding winners of each category.


Piano was judged in four categories of primary, junior, intermediate and senior.

Vinayak Rajendran was judged Young Musician of the Year 2006, Piano (Senior) and the Most Outstanding Pianist of the Year 2006.

Winner - Piano - Junior Category
Sachiththa Fernando

The 17-year old, taught by Ramya De Livera Perera says he did not expect to win despite being the winner in the intermediate category the previous year. “I had only two weeks to practise since I was out of the country and my teacher put in all the effort, cancelling all her other classes to make time for me.” Vinayak also plays the clarinet though he finds the piano an easier instrument. His fascination with the piano began as a 4-year old. “I would go for singing lessons in Montessori and instead of singing, I’d just watch my teacher’s fingers move over the black and white keys of this gigantic black thing. It was she who introduced me to piano when she noticed my fascination. I’ve been playing for about 12 years now.”

Winner - Piano - Intermediate
Krishan Joel Devasagayam

Vinayak is passionate about chemistry, airplanes and the environment and plans to read for a degree in chemical engineering. However he wants to take a gap year to play with the symphony orchestra (of Sri Lanka) as a soloist.

Nonetheless Vinayak claims to not like playing for an audience, “I play to relax and not because I am good at it.”


Vocals were judged in two categories of junior and senior.

Renushi Anne Perera was judged Young Musician of the Year 2006, Vocals (Senior) and the Most Outstanding Violinist of the Year 2006. She was also adjudicated first runner-up in the senior piano category.

Winner - Piano Senior
Vinayak Rajendran

Hailing from Kandy, the songbird cum pianist comes from a musical family. Seemingly born in to it, Renushi trained under her grand mother from the tender age of three on the piano. She began vocal lessons under Bridget Halpe only in 2003.
Renushi, unlike most other musically gifted individuals wishes to pursue her love for music as a career. “I devote myself to this, practising for at least two hours daily on both piano on vocal lessons.” However she plans to go overseas to both further her education and follow her aspirations.


Violin was judged in two categories of junior and senior.

David Satish Casie Chetty was judged the Young Musician of the Year 2006, Violin (Senior), the Most Outstanding Violinist of the Year 2006 and the Overall Winner of the Young Musician of the Year competition.

Sixteen year old Satish described his win as being “quite nice.” Student of Ananda Dabare and having played for about 6 years to date, Satish considers himself a serious playing, practising on a daily basis. “It’s quite tough if you’re playing properly, there is a lot of commitment involved. You have to totally focus your mind on it and practise a lot.” The movie buff and classical music fan, Satish hopes to do a minor in music for his degree. “All I know right now is that I don’t want to be a doctor,” he chuckles. Despite his prizes, he considers himself to only be “pretty average when compared to international students.”

Other winners

Winner - Violin - Junior

Rukshika Wettasinghe

Winner - Violin - Intermediate

Sulara Nanayakkara

Winner - Violin - Senior and the overall winner

David Satish Casiechetty


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Sri Lanka

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