Rishabh story

Rishabh Jain is a pianist, producer, and music educator from New Delhi, who recently completed his studies at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and is a Trinity College London Scholarship recipient.

We spoke to Rishabh, also known as Rish, about his training in western classical music, and his time at Trinity Laban. Rish explained how he first started playing piano at the age of six.

“My father was in hospital for a year after having an accident, and my mother his carer at the time, so I was living with my grandparents outside of Delhi.”

“Obviously for a six-year-old to experience all of that is not ideal, so I tried different things to get my mind off it. We had a little keyboard at home, and I sort of picked up on my own how to play India’s national anthem.”

 Rish’s grandpa noticed his budding talent and arranged for him to take some piano lessons, and before long he was entertaining the neighbours at local community shows.

It was his local teachers who first introduced Rish to western classical music. 

“Obviously, being exposed to western classical music in a small town was not easy compared to these days with advancement in technology and resources - I'm grateful to my teachers for pushing me and opening me up to the world of western classical music and its culture.”

Sadly his father passed away a year later, and Rish and his family moved to Delhi.

“I got a scholarship to attend one of the best schools in the country there for the last four years of my senior secondary education. They had a proper music department, which I got really involved with and went on to win several music competitions.”

By the time Rish graduated, despite being academically gifted, he knew he wanted to pursue a musical career. He decided to take a year off to prepare for his next steps, but things took a turn when he decided to enter a prestigious national competition.

“At 18 I was the youngest there. I entered because I knew I definitely needed more performance opportunities if I was going to do a performance degree.”

“I guess it was more about an experience for me than about the prize, but I ended up winning the competition which was truly a turning point for my career at that stage!”

Spurred on by his success, Rish decided he was ready to apply to study under Philip Fowke at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, and soon enough he was considering how he could accept the place he had been offered.

 “My mother is a homemaker and artist, and my granddad is retired, so we had no regular income. Luckily, winning that competition really helped me in getting a full scholarship through the Great India Scholarship.”

“After that, I secured a scholarship from Trinity College London, alongside a couple of others for the rest of my three years.”

Rish talked about the appreciation he has for all the teachers he’s had over the years.

“I'm very grateful to my teachers back home and coming to Laban was great too. In terms of teaching, especially with music, I would say that in India it’s still developing , but at a much faster rate than ever before as we are seeing a rapid increase in western classical music popularity especially in cities like Bombay and Delhi.”

We asked Rish about the impact the Trinity College London scholarship has had.

“At Trinity Laban, they give you a structured way of approaching the instrument, which is great, and you get a lot of opportunities to play and showcase your progress.”

“The teachers are very knowledgeable and have amazing careers themselves, so you also get to learn from their experiences. There is a lot more exposure in general.”

Rish talks about his teacher and mentor Philip Fowke and how he has learnt so much from him.      

“Philip holds a very special place in my heart. I came to Trinity as his last student which quickly turned into an everlasting friendship. Having such a huge career himself, I learnt a great deal from Philip and continue to take inspiration from him.”

We asked Rish what other differences he experienced between studying back home and at the conservatoire.

“I would say the amount of repertoire that I was learning was very different to what I was used to. I was used to three pieces in a year, whereas find myself preparing 8 or 10 for my final recital.”

“I've made so many friends here, and I am proud to take this back to India on a tour in 2024 along with some amazing musicians I met in Trinity.”

“We are really excited to host a series of concerts of Chamber music and solo piano as well as hosting some workshops for people who are looking to build awareness of Western classical music in India or are looking to pursue it at a professional conservatoire standard.”

I've made so many friends here, and I am proud to take this back to India on a tour in 2024 along with some amazing musicians I met in Trinity.”

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