The digital edition saw 170 participants and awarded prizes across eight music categories



Singapore, 22 December 2020 – The National Indian Music Competition (NIMC), the first to be presented digitally since its conception, drew to a close on Sunday after a week-long series of livestreamed competition performances from 14 to 20 December 2020. The triennial national competition received 170 registrations across eight instrument categories – of which, 48 received awards for their outstanding performances.


First organised in 1998 by the National Arts Council (NAC), NIMC is a celebration of the young talents in Singapore’s diverse Indian music community. Apart from serving as a platform for artists to showcase their talents, the competition also aims to develop the performing skills of young musicians in Singapore, raise musical standards and identify new up-and-coming music talent. At the same time, the competition provides an opportunity for participants to perform before an international panel of adjudicators.


This year’s judging panel included seven acclaimed music practitioners from India, who assessed the performances remotely via livestream. The adjudicators were:


  • Dr Sudha Raghunathan, India’s leading Carnatic vocalist and philanthropist
  • Mr Embar S Kannan, a violinist trained in both Carnatic and Western music
  • Mr Shashank Subramanyam, a Grammy-nominated flautist
  • Dr Jayanthi Kumaresh, an award-winning Veena performer, composer and educator
  • Mr Mannargudi A Easwaran, a leading contemporary mridangam instrumentalist
  • Mr Anubrata Chatterjee, one of India’s finest young tabla players
  • Mr Rais Khan, Hindustani vocalist and sitar player


Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Sector Development), NAC, Mr Low Eng Teong, said, “This year’s National Indian Music Competition took place amid unexpected circumstances, and we applaud all our participants for adapting well to a different competition format and continuing to put forward an excellent showing of musical performances. Capability development initiatives such as the NIMC and sector-led platforms including residencies, masterclasses and training programmes, all play an important role in nurturing and diversifying our practitioners’ skills, knowledge and experience. We hope that the community will continue to take the lead in driving such programmes and explore new initiatives that support the growth of the scene.”


To ensure the safety of all participants and adjudicators, the competition was held virtually, where competition performances were livestreamed to both the judging panel and the public.


The competition categories this year include the Carnatic Vocal, Hindustani Vocal, Veena, Flute, Violin, Mridangam, Sitar and Tabla, and participants for each instrumental and vocal category were segmented across three age categories – Junior, Intermediate and Open.


For the full list of winners, please refer to Annex A.


Focus on developing capabilities together with the community


Building diverse capabilities in this sector has always been a key priority and commitment for NAC, and competitions are but one of several ways to nurture young talents. With the NIMC seeing its final run this year, NAC will continue to work closely with artists and community stakeholders to explore other platforms including training programmes, masterclasses and residencies, as well as sector-led initiatives to strengthen the capabilities of our up-and-coming talents. Meanwhile, support for those keen to contribute to the arts scene through NAC’s existing funding schemes will continue, such as the Sustain the Arts (stART) Fund, a joint initiative by NAC and the private sector to boost the long-term sustainability of small arts organisations.


Chairperson of the NIMC advisory panel and Siglap South CC Indian Activity Executive Committee (IAEC), Dr Uma Rajan, shared: “Over the years, the NIMC has been a valuable platform for music excellence. It has helped to develop the performing skills of young musicians in Singapore, identified new music talent and raised musical standards across the sector. Having concluded 10 editions of the competition, it is now a good time to review its role in consideration of the current landscape, and look at how we can continue to support the sector while allowing the community to take the lead on growing capabilities.”


For more information, please refer to:


Annex A: List of Winners (Finals Round)

Annex B: Biographies of 2020 Adjudicators

Annex C: Prize Awards and Competition Categories