AR Rahman's 13-Year-Old Prodigy From Chennai Wins $1 Million On US Show
AR Rahman’s 13-Year-Old Prodigy From Chennai Wins $1 Million On US Show

The 13-year-old studies at the KM Music Conservatory in Chennai, which was founded and is run by AR Rahman

Lydian Nadhaswaram, a 13-year-old pianist from Chennai won American reality show The World’s Best, India Today reported. 


Nadhaswaram played two piano medleys in the finals and got a great score of 84 points. South Korea’s Kukkiwon group, the Flying Taekwondo Masters, who were the runners-up, scored 63 points. The show was hosted by James Corden and had Faith Hill, RuPaul Charles and Drew Barrymore, who count as the frontline judges. 50 other judges from around the world, called the ‘wall of the world’, are also present to help them decide the winner. 

Nadhaswaram’s chnaces of winning looked slim at first, when the frontline judges points placed him three points behind the Flying Taekwondo Masters. But the wall of the world judges voted for Nadhaswaram and propelled his score to 84, making him the clear winner.

The teenage maestro won a prize of $1 million, around Rs 6.9 crore.

Nadhaswaram stunned the judges every time he performed. Probably his most memorable performance, was when he played Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Flight of the Bumblebee at unimaginably high speeds.

Watch the video below:

The teenager studies at the KM Music Conservatory in Chennai, which was founded and is run by Oscar winning musicician and composer, AR Rahman.


“Lydian’s success is India’s success, in a world with so much negativity and restlessness, this has brought hope, love and happiness to our lives,” The New Indian Express quoted Rahman as saying. “Who knew that KMMC, a seed sown 11 years ago, would bring such inspiration to so many, such is the extraordinary power of music.”

In a tweet posted by Rahman, he is seen visiting Nadhaswaram’s home in Chennai with a bouquet of flowers in his hand.

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Nadhaswaram wishes to score music for movies eventually. But Rahman has different plans for the young prodigy, who he called an “ambassador” for Chennai and India, NDTV reported.


“I want him to become like the Lang Lang for India,” Rahman told NDTV, referring to the Chinese pianist.

Nadhaswaram, who shrugged when asked about what he’d do with his heft prize money, said all he wants to do is practice more.

Watch the moment when Nadhaswaram won The World’s Best below:

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