An instrument of healing became a music of passion

By Tahnee Hopman

What started off as a cure for wheezing as a six year old soon became a passion for Tilanka Jayamanne. His doctor suggested playing a wind instrument as a cure, and young Tilanka was given the choice of the recorder or the flute. He began taking lessons on both the descant and treble recorders with Sita de Saram starting lessons on the flute with her at the age of 12 and thereafter continuing with Surekha Amerasinghe who was his teacher up to the time he left for the UK in 2007.

It was soon obvious that his was a special talent. He obtained distinctions in 2005 for both LTCL and a Dip ABRSM exam conducted by the Trinity College of Music, London and the ABRSM respectively, and was placed first in the island at both these exams for Flute Music Performance.

At the age of 15, Tilanka was the winner of the Wind Category Award at the prestigious Concerto Competition 2004 of the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka. At the age of 15, Tilanka had already begun composing. Sitting at the piano singing his own, “When I Dream of You”, it was easy to see the love he has for the music, the “high” that he spoke of while playing, and the expressiveness of the music that was being played.

Colombo audiences are in for a treat on September 26, when Tilanka, now just 20, performs at the Russian Cultural Centre at 7 p.m. The concert will present a varied programme ranging from classical music- a Mozart concerto, Hindamith flute sonata, Chaminade Concertino, and more contemporary hits from Stevie Wonder and a little Latin music. The concert will also feature artistes Aruna Siriwardene, Dominic Johnpillai, Surekha Amerasinghe and Eshantha Peiris to name a few.

Tickets priced at Rs. 1000 and 700 will be available at the Russian Cultural Centre. Please contact the YWCA-Tel. 2324694 or the Russian Cultural Centre- Tel.2685429/2685440 for further details.

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