India’s first female conductor of choral music, Coomi Nariman Wadia pursued her passion when it was rare, even in western countries, for women to choose this profession. Interestingly, she celebrated 50 years in this field in 2017, and as of now, with an illustrious career spanning over six decades, she has led more than 200 concerts globally.
Coomi lost her father at a young age, and her tryst with music began when one of her dad’s friends handed down a second-hand piano. She was 9 when she started playing it, and by age 15, she was participating in school and college choirs. She then went on to earn two diplomas from The Trinity College of London.
Coomi then joined Mumbai-based Paranjoti Academy Chorus (PAC), formed by Dr Victor Paranjoti, as a soprano. Under his leadership, she sang in many concerts and learned from him, until his death in 1967, after which she took over as music conductor. This was a challenge for her, but she persevered, and conducted her first performance in May the same year. She rose to prominence in 1974, when PAC represented India for the first time ever in the IX International Choral Song Festival, and ended up winning the first prize for Overall Excellence. At the 1981 Stuttgart Partnersingen Sister Cities Festival, she conducted the final concert with over 700 singers!
These are just some of the many amazing achievements of Coomi. The 89-year-old is known to be a taskmaster, a perfectionist when it comes to pronunciations and intonations, traits which have helped her troupe perform in over 20 languages, flawlessly. Her contributions in this field have helped put India on the global map, and we couldn’t be more proud of this dynamic lady.
Madam, We and our community are proud of you, and ofcourse, Good luck and God bless you for many more Awards to be received by you.