Master percussionist and York University Music Professor Trichy Sankaran has won the Muriel Sherrin Award for International Achievement in Music. The award honours an artist or creator who has made a contribution to the cultural life of Toronto through outstanding achievement in music with a focus on international engagement.
Sankaran received the $10,000 prize October 20 at the 2011 Toronto Arts Foundation Awards ceremony at the annual Mayor’s Arts Awards Lunch. More than 300 artists, business leaders, cultural professionals and community builders gathered for the event.
“I feel elated to have received this prestigious award,” says Sankaran. “It’s great to be recognized this way. Such recognition encourages an artist to go even further and enhances the quality of the artistic community as a whole.”
The Toronto Arts Foundation cited Sankaran as a globally respected artist, composer, educator and cultural ambassador, who consistently demonstrates mastery, creativity, ingenuity, humility and devotion to his art. Since his professional debut at age 13, he has had a prolific international performing career, appearing as a featured musician at major music festivals and cultural events in Europe, Australia, North America and Asia, including the World Drum concerts at Expo ’86 (Vancouver), Expo ’88 (Brisbane) and Expo 2000 (Hanover).
As an active contributor to the Canadian music scene, Sankaran has composed a dynamic body of work that bridges the musical traditions of India and the West. His collaborations include performances with new music, jazz, western classical and world fusion musicians as well as Carnatic and Hindustani music masters such as Zakir Hussain, U. Srinivas and Hariprasad Chaurasia.
The Muriel Sherrin Award is just the latest in a long list of honours garnered by Sankaran in both Canada and India over the course of his five-decade career. Most recently, he was chosen as the 2011 recipient of the Sangita Kalanidhi title and award, bestowed by the Music Academy of Madras, India.