In a city where classical music of any kind struggles to find a space to shine, well-known pianist Timothy Marthand has taken on the herculean task of creating a society where classical music per se can be enjoyed by the general populace. His first step towards this gargantuan challenge is the SOTA Résonance Festival 2020 set to take place in the city from January 2 to 5.
To say the man is passionate about classical music is an understatement. Timothy’s formative years were sprinkled with musical notes by Bach, Chopin, Beethoven, and other noted composers which were played around the house by his father John Marthand who conducted Nizam’s Symphony Orchestra.
“He is my first and last inspiration. My parents are like pioneers to me as they allowed me to pursue what I wanted wholeheartedly during a time when music was still not considered a viable option,” says Timothy who dropped out from school at the age of 17.
“I was self-taught even though I came from a musically-inclined family. My first teacher was a gentleman from London who came down to India to teach me how to play the piano based on a letter I wrote to him,” adds Timothy. Music provided him solace and the zeal to pursue music took him from one country to another.
First to Texas Christian University in the US for seven years, then Belgium, and Rome where he would learn music; it would be in 2004 that he would become a resident at prestigious International Piano Academy situated in Lake Como in Italy where maestros from different countries shared their musical knowledge with the students there.
Having performed in solo concerts in different countries like France, Italy, Germany, he is of the opinion that Hyderabad by design doesn’t have much facility for arts unlike other Metros even now, which he along with other like-minded musicians hope to change with an academy he is planning to open.
“It can’t happen suddenly. But there is a lot of scope for classical music in Hyderabad…where there is nothing; you can take a quantum leap. Classical music brings together powerful emotions and the intellect. It’s a connection between the mind and the soul. What we need is think-tanks for arts and culture. Education is not just academic, a major part of it also happens through arts. But in the last five years, I have observed a change among parents.
They have actually started listening to their children and are taking music seriously,” explains Timothy who has just returned from Berlin after performing in three concerts celebrating Beethoven’s 250th birth anniversary at the Indian embassy there. He is now focusing all his energies on the SOTA concert for which 18 musicians from Germany, Italy, Belgium, China, Korea, Finland, the US and the UK will start arriving by the last week of this month.