Updated on: Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 04:22 AM IST

TEDxGateway 2018: Meet 13-year-old Lydian Nadhaswaram, the Piano Prodigy

Thirteen-year-old Piano Prodigy Lydian Nadhaswaram’s inborn talent as a drummer gained popularity when he demonstrated his skills at playing  rhythm and maintaining a beat, when he was only 23 months young.

Musical name

“My dad named me Lydian Nadhaswaram for which I am thankful to him. Lydian is the first mode or scale in music. Being born in South India, the toughest and loud musical instrument here is Nadaswaram — ‘Nadham’ means sound and ‘Swaram’ means musical note. Hence my name is Lydian Nadhaswaram. People address me as Lydian worldwide but Lydian Nadhaswaram gives me the Indian identity.”


Love for piano

“At the age of nine I started playing piano. I gained interest towards playing some of the toughest Western classical pieces from the day I began listening to it. Initially I would listen to it and then practice the same. I really wanted to play some challenging pieces in piano.”

My world


“I love all kinds of arranged music that sounds great. So, I love to play and listen to all kinds of world music which is composed with passion and wonder. I love to play two different genres of music simultaneously holding in either hand the two instruments.”

Instruments galore

“My initial music career started with drums when I was 23 months young. Later, I learnt few percussion instruments like Djembe, Kajon, Darbuka, Tabla, Mridangam, and hand drums like Kanjira, Tapes, Tamorines, and also Guitar, Ukulele, Harmonica, Melodica and Violin. This shows my love towards various instruments and my passion to keep learning them. In my opinion the compositions would be great if you get a good grip of all these instruments. I look forward to learning wood winds and brass instruments soon.”


Future plans

“I have great interest in sound mixing for my own composition so I learnt music software and now I can record my own composition in software and can take the final product with my own sound mixing and mastering. I plan to excel in this keeping the international standards in mind.”

Performance preference

“Since I am home-schooled I do not have school friends rather I have my well-wishers who care to watch my performances. So I make it a point to invite them when I perform. I love to play for the ones who care for my welfare.”

Love for space

“I have prioritised my time for both music practice and studies. I enjoy reading about space or galaxy as it is my dream one day to play piano on the Moon. (Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven)”

Core message

“My dad always mentions that in life one needs to be honest, sincere, and have goodness inside us and to do good things around us.”


Lydian has toured worldwide and performed with bands in India as well as international bands from South Africa, Australia, United States, Malaysia, Zimbabwe and Argentina. He was recognised as the best young drummer at the South Asian Talent Contest 2013.

(This 10th edition of the TEDxGateway sees over 20+ speakers from different walks of life sharing unique ideas that make them an inspiration the world over. Over 5500 attendees are slated to attend this feast of ideas and inspiration on December 2 at DOME @ NSCI Mumbai.)

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Published on: Friday, November 30, 2018, 03:45 PM IST