About: The Radio Edit

“Those who do, do.

The others talk.”

– Nadia Boulanger,

as told to Vanraj Bhatia

Shwetant Kumar (born 1996) is an Indian composer, performer and musicologist. He’s other things, too, but these are the ones as which he hopes to earn a living.

Kumar is a classically trained pianist – he studied with Mumbai-based  pedagogue Marie-Fleur Simoes for three years – as well as a self-taught synthesizer programmer and fretless bassist. He is one-third of the power trio Agla Station: Dadar, and has played sessions and concerts as a backing musician. Kumar has also scored a few short films and written a handful of works in the Western classical tradition.

Kumar has a Bachelor of Music (magna cum laude) from Berklee College of Music, Boston, where he majored in Film Scoring and Electronic Production and Design, and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Mumbai. At Berklee, Kumar studied with such distinguished minds as Dr. Richard Boulanger, Michael Brigida, Jeff Covell, Richard Davis, Jean-Luc Sinclair, Sean Slade, Daniel Ian Smith and Lawrence "Larry" Watson. Kumar is also a longtime student of the eminent Boston-based composer Alla Elana Cohen.

As the archivist for the acclaimed Indian composer Vanraj Bhatia, Kumar’s remit includes organizing Bhatia's score manuscripts, digitizing tapes of his recording sessions, and ensuring that his work eventually gets copyrighted and he gets some recognition (for example, by helping out on the Polyphonic Spree flutist Rachel Woolf’s DMA dissertation on Bhatia’s Night Music for Solo Flute). In this fashion, Kumar hopes to attract more attention to unusual disciplines, such as Indian popular music.

Kumar lives in Mumbai, India, where he is currently writing and researching a book on Bhatia's life and work. In his spare time, he enjoys literature, cinema and theatre of all stripes.

© 2021 by Shwetant Kumar.