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EKANAYAKA, Tanya (b. 1977)


  • Tanya Ekanayaka, piano

Tanya Ekanayaka is one of Sri Lanka’s foremost pianists and an internationally acclaimed composer. Her ‘deeply autobiographical’ piano compositions, or reinventions, introduce a novel and hybrid musical genre that takes a wide variety of Sri Lankan melodies – ancient, folk and popular – and blends them with motifs inspired by the tonal centres of established classical compositions by Bach, Beethoven, Ravel and others.


Watch video trailer:


Adahas: Of Wings Of Roots (2010) (00:04:18)
Dew Encounters: Of Scottish Walks, Vannam (Udara) and Sri Lanka's Bugs Bunny (2013) (00:04:29)
Dhaivaya: Alter(ing) Hue (2011) (00:10:25)
Vannam (Gajaga, Mayura and Hanuma) and You (2013) (00:09:52)
In Lotus: Olu Pipila With Moment (2013) (00:06:01)
Labyrinth; Vannam Lent (2012) (00:05:52)
2013/14 June Echoes (2014) (00:15:23)
World Première Recording
Total Time: 00:56:20

The Artist

Ekanayaka, Tanya Dr Tanya Ekanayaka is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning Sri Lankan- British concert composer-pianist regarded as one of Sri Lanka’s finest artistes. Classically trained and with a background in Asian and Popular music, she is also a linguist, musicologist and record producer. Although she trained as a pianist, her compositional skills are the result of a purely intuitive and natural development. She was born and brought up in the Kandyan highlands of Sri Lanka and began studying the piano when she was five years old, initially tutored by her mother, Indira Ekanayaka, who used a combination of teaching methods she describes as ‘experimental’ and ‘unintrusive’. She then went on to study under Bridget Halpé and in later years benefitted from the guidance of Colin Kingsley, John Kitchen, Raymond Monelle, Peter Nelson, Nigel Osborne, Jonathan Pasternack and Robin Zebaida. She made her debut public recital appearance at the age of twelve, performed her first concerto at sixteen with the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka (SOSL), as joint winner and youngest competitor of the SOSL biennial concerto competition, and has since performed in notable international concert venues in Europe, North America and Asia. Consistent with her interdisciplinary background, she holds a doctorate for interdisciplinary research involving Linguistics and Musicology from The University of Edinburgh as well as advanced academic and professional qualifications in Music Performance, Linguistics and Literature. She has been on the part time teaching faculty of Edinburgh University since 2007 where she has taught in its faculties of Linguistics and Music. For more information, visit www.tanyaekanayaka.com.


International Piano

“Melodic fragments of great beauty float through this music…” – International Piano

“Ekanayaka is a formidable pianist worth hearing just for her big sound and scrupulous voicing.” – American Record Guide

BBC Music Magazine

“Ekanayaka’s semi-extemporisations vividly recall the golden age of musical ‘reminiscences’.” – BBC Music Magazine