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Priti Paintal was born in New Delhi, India. She learned piano as a child and later sitar and tabla, and is regarded as a pioneer in the field of cross-cultural music. Born into a family that includes musicians, eminent scientists and doctors, she studied piano and composition in India where The British Council heard her perform with the Delhi Symphony Orchestra and offered her the chance to train formally in music composition. After gaining her Masters in Anthropology from Delhi University she came to Britain and studied composition at York University and at Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester with Anthony Gilbert. After completing a Masters in Music composition she went on to get a PGCE in music education from the University of London.

Priti set up Shiva Nova in 1988 with the aim of bringing together diverse musical styles to unite sound-worlds. Shiva Nova combines Asian classical, African and Western musical influences to create an original global sound. 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 woman composer staged in London and Birmingham.

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 organizations and independent promoters, she co-founded, THE MAIN MUSIC AGENDA, to draw attention to the diversity of music played and studied throughout the country. Around the same time she wrote Gulliver in Lilliput, a childrens’ opera for young people from schools in Maidstone, and the multi-media show, Bananas which explored the multi-cultural connotations of the fruit. Recently she is Chair of the Diversity Arts Network in the South-East which explores issues around diversity, inclusion and equity.

Full bio can be found here: https://britishmusiccollection.org.uk/composer/priti-paintal

Ashford, Kent, UK