For her contribution to the City

For her contribution to the City


The Rotary Club of Bangalore recently presented the 26th ‘Citizen Extraordinaire Award’ to Aruna Sunderlal, founder of the Bangalore School of Music (BSM), at the Rotary House of Friendship. 
Having been instrumental in familiarising the City to Western music since 1987, Aruna’s lifetime contribution was honoured by Rotary Bangalore president Purnima Ranganath, who presented her with a shawl and certificate. 

“Our only criteria to pick the recipient is that the person should be a Bangalorean and have made a major difference to the life of the citizens here, be it in the field of politics, sports, arts etc. 

Aruna’s achievements and what BSM has done for the City made it a no-brainer for us to select her. 

She has taken Bangalore to the international arena and brought many wonderful artistes here.

Her philosophy goes hand in hand with that of the Rotary,” said Purnima Ranganath. Aruna, who shyly but proudly accepted the award, said that receiving it was ‘wonderful and humbling’.
 “I don’t deserve this,” she smiled. In her speech, she thanked everybody who had supported her in her endeavours. 
“We’ve partnered with 33 countries worldwide for Bangalore’s cultural enrichment because we believe that the artistes have much more to give than just music. It’s always a learning opportunity for everyone involved,” she said, adding that the BSM’s association with Rotary goes back a long way and that the school also hosts the Rotary Club in RT Nagar. 

Shortly after this, there was a delightful showcase by the students of BSM, starting with 16-year-old Nandini Sudhir, a classical guitarist. 
With utmost ease and dedication, she performed two pieces, each of which left the audience spellbound — ‘Sonata in A Major’ by Domenico Scarlatti and ‘Tarantella’ by Johann Kaspar Mertz. 

“It feels great to be playing here. I am what I am today because of Aruna ma’am, who has always supported me and given me opportunities to perform better. She deserves this award for what she has done for Western music in this country,” said Nandini. 

This was followed by a lovely repertoire of classical and light compositions performed by the BSM String Quartet or ‘The Young Maestros Quartet’ as Aruna called it. 

“We didn’t know what kind of audience to expect. So we picked a mix of pieces that everyone could relate to. There is one classical piece but the rest are light. It’s really nice to be playing at a ceremony that is honouring Aruna ma’am,” said Divya Raghunathan, who played viola. 

The other members included Jasiel Peter on first violin, Joy Peter on second violin and Anup Abraham Thomas on cello.