Eighteen-year-old Anirudh Ayyagari is a musician and a medal-winning swimmer. He started learning piano at the age of five under the guidance of Joseph Thomas, a renowned music teacher in Hyderabad. The young pianist recently completed his grade eight in the instrument at the Associate Board of the Royal School of Music (ABRSM), which comes directly under the patronage of the Queen. Anirudh gave the exam under Thomas, who has been associated with the Royal School for many years. But that’s not all; the lad also won silver and bronze medals in the 200-meter freestyle and 50-meter backstroke categories respectively at the Osmania University swimming championship.
It was Anirudh’s father who encouraged him to take up extracurricular activities. “I didn’t like going to music classes when I was very young, but as I grew, I became very passionate about the keys. I’m also being trained in swimming since I was just three years old. Every day I train for two hours in swimming in the morning, attend college during the day and then take music classes for three hours in the evening. I want to win more medals in swimming and make it to the national level. I also want to pursue my masters in the Royal College of Music in London. After that, I plan on having my own orchestra,” says Anirudh, who is pursuing his first year B.Sc in Statistics and Computers at St Mary’s College.
When asked if it is music or swimming that he would ultimately choose, he says, “Both are equally important to me. But when I start playing the piano, I totally forget the world. It’s my escape from reality. If I have to choose a definite career path, I would always go for music.”
Talking about the challenges, he says, “During the final exam at the Royal School, you’re given an unknown piece to play. So you’ll have to be really good and confident at what you do. Finger coordination is also important. You should also try to memorise the compositions to an extent.”