Born in 1998, Arjun Ayyangar had a very early start in both academics and music. At age 2 he was proficient in reading and could read headlines from magazine articles. He could identify all countries on the globe and their flags and name their capitals. Arjun could name all the US presidents, identify the states on the US map and name their capitals, as well.
In the fall of 2001 Arjun began his music studies with Antonio Gandia(B.A., Berkley College of Music). From the first lesson Mr. Gandia could not believe that someone at such a young age could possess the trained ear, level of musicality, and intuition that Arjun so effortlessly utilizes.
Arjun is gifted with "perfect pitch", which is the ability to identify the name of each and every note simply by hearing them played, without having to look at the piano. He can also hear complex musical phrases and reproduce them accurately, all by "ear". This ability is rare, and most people have to complete years of musical training to be able to accomplish what Arjun has mastered already.
Arjun has been downloading from internet the national anthems and learning to play them on his own. He has been doing that since January 2006. Arjun holds a certificate from Limca Books of Records for playing 109 national anthems from memory. Arjun can now play on the piano from memory all the national anthems of the world.
"Arjun has a natural instinct for music. He does not merely play the notes, he actually transmits such tremendous energy and, dare I say passion and emotion, that it is hard to believe he is so young. I imagine this is similar to what Mozart must have been like. Arjun is a rare phenomenon" says Mr. Antonio Gandia.
Mr. Antonio Gandia sought out Dr. Ray Landers, a world renowned educator in the Suzuki method and suggested Arjun to pursue advanced piano studies with him. Dr. Ray Landers accepted him as his student in the spring of 2002.
"Arjun has a remarkable knowledge of theory already and is able to transpose many of his over 100 memorized selections to any key. He has perfect pitch and a most enthusiastic love of music - both of these qualities combined with his super intelligence and drive and ambition show a great potential. He is also a budding composer, creating quite a sensation with his works. his piece, 'The Happy Song" for example created a very positive audience ovation at the recent International Music Festival in Ohio (July, 2003). He received a standing ovation for his performance of the Haydn D major Concerto with the orchestra. " says his teacher Dr. Ray Landers.
Arjun has been keeping a schedule averaging a couple of public performances a month which includes recitals with other students of Dr. Ray Landers, Suzuki workshops, competition winners performances, and charity fundraisers.
Excerpt from "Move over, Mozart - another child prodigy has arrived" by Home News Tribune, July 2002:
"He can play more than a 100 tunes, some of which he composed"
In June 2003 Arjun won the top prize of High Honors Award Certificate in his age group in Young Artists' Competition conducted by New Jesey Music Teachers Association.
Arjun was among the very few selected to perform in a NBC's premiere prime time series show "America's Most Talented Kid" after going through nationwide audition process.
He appeared two times in 2003 the show where he played Beethoven's Fur Elise and the theme song of the movie Star Wars. Arjun appeared in November 2004 on PAX TV's "America's Most Talented Kids".
Arjun performed in the famed Kimmel center,Philadelphia on Oct 23 and in The War Memorial Auditorium, Trenton on Oct 30 2004. These events were sponsored by Steinway and Sons and Arjun is honored to play the specially created Steinway Peace Piano.
Arjun has been inducted to The Kids Hall of Fame which showcases extraordinary achievements of kids internationally under age 20. Recommendations initiated by The Kids Hall of Fame resulted in the these appearances: Animal Planet TV channel's "Most extreme: Tough Babies" episode on September 7 2004 featured a short piano performance by Arjun as well as other facets of Arjun's academic knowledge. Arjun performed during the halftime of New York Knicks basketball game at Madison Square Garden in New York on February 9, 2005.
Arjun is a Goodwill Ambassador for Empower The Children - a USA registered charity organization that supports educational and food programs for slum-dwelling and disabled children in Kolkata, India and other parts of the world. Arjun has pledged to contribute US $2 to ETC (http://www.empower-children.org) for every subscriber to his youtube videos: http://www.youtube.com/ayyangar.
Click here to see the biography of Dr. Ray Landers.