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PRITI PAINTAL: biography ( updated - 10/09/2010)

 

ShivaNova's founder, Priti Paintal is regarded as a pioneer in the cross-cultural music field. She is well known on the UK scene as composer, performer, music producer and promoter. Born in Delhi, she joined a family that included musicians trained in both Indian and Western traditions alongside eminent scientists and doctors. She studied piano and composition in India intially where The British Council heard her perform with the Delhi Symphony Orchestra and offered her the chance to train formally in music composition. She came to Britain and studied western music at York University and Royal College of Music, Manchester. and the Institute of Education. She soon established herself writing for leading British performers and has based herself here ever since, increasingly focusing attention on her ensemble ShivaNova. 

Her music brings together traditional, classical and jazz performers in a unique mix of Indian roots and contemporary flair. In addition to her group pieces she wrote the mini-opera Survival Song for the Royal Opera’s Garden Venture contemporary opera programme, which was shortlisted for the Olivier Awards. It led to the full-length Biko, the Royal Opera’s first commission from an Asian and a woman composer, staged in London and Birmingham. Other performers have included the Philharmonia Orchestra – in the premiere of Secret Chants, the title track of ShivaNova’s latest CD, and she has written works for the City of London Sinfonia, Bournemouth Sinfonietta, East of England Orchestra, the Balanescu and Bingham string quartets, the Park Lane Sextet, and numerous singers and instrumentalists.

Priti set up in ShivaNova in 1988 with the aim of bringing together diverse musical traditions to unite sound-worlds. ShivaNova combines Asian, African and Western instruments and voices to create an eclectic global sound.
In 1994, she resigned from the Arts Council's music panel protesting over the lack of support for diverse forms of music. Then, she, along with many music organisations and independent promoters, founded, THE MAIN MUSIC AGENDA, to draw attention to the vast range of music played and studied throughout the country.

She wrote music for the children's opera, Gulliver in Lilliput, for young people from schools in Maidstone, and the multi-media show, Bananas which explored the cultural connotations of the fruit.

Her work with ShivaNova includes collaborations with storytellers, jugglers, dancers and orchestras, as well as creating workshops in schools and the wider community. Their music has been described as a victory for musicianship and vision’  *** The Times

Secret Chants reveals vistas of imagination that are spellbinding.....Indian folk colours, East-West crossover and jazz elements and North-South and western classicism... soundscapes of huge variety and, importantly, cultural and musical integrity.*** JazzWise


Their current projects include a collaboration with JUPO in Le Havre France to devise performances using world traditions involving young people. Past projects have included the multi-artform, Global Feast with the Myriam Dooge Dance Company from France, around solstices and equinoxes in public spaces over the summer. Future projects include continued work on the GOGO - Girls Only Global Orchestra project and WOW - Women of the World Festival.

ShivaNova, also established, SugarNova, a mainstream dance music arm of the group, and its debut single, Over and Over, reached the top 20 of the Music Week Club Charts.

Priti is also a lively and outspoken contributor to radio and TV. She has written for The Guardian, and been featured in The Independent and The Daily Telegraph, on Songlines, and BBC 3 and many times on Womans' Hour. She has been on the Arts Council Music panel, on the board of South-East Arts, and on the board of Overtones. She is at present on the board of Kent Music where she is helping to diversify and broaden music provision for Kent.



For Further Information contact: admin@shivanova.co.uk


ShivaNova's founder, Priti Paintal is regarded as a pioneer in the cross-cultural music field. Born into a musical family in Delhi, Priti learnt to play piano as a child. She went on to study anthropology at Delhi University, and undertook her music training alongside. The British Council heard her perform with the Delhi Symphony Orchestra and offered her the chance to train formally in classic music. She came to Britain and studied western music at York University and Royal College of Music, Manchester.