Arts Council of Sri Lanka


Veteran jazz pianist and award winning composer, Harsha Makalande who is also the great grandson of the influential Sri Lankan playwright; John De Silva, is a legendary musician in Sri Lanka who is interested in creating an identifiable ‘Sound of music’ in the sphere of Sri Lankan serious music. Harsha has drawn on western and Indian classical music, jazz, Sri Lankan folk song and popular music to compose music for performance and films. After leaving Ananda College in 1976, Harsha entered the professional world of music in Sri Lanka and studied music under the veteran jazz pianist Cecil Rodrigo. He played for bands such as “Pioneers”, “Arabesque”, and “Amazing Grace” in his initial years and created his fusion music group KHROME; an orchestra with a repertoire of classical, pop, jazz, fusion and oriental music, in 1988. They have performed in many significant venues in overseas such as ZDF in Germany, The Tokyo Opera City in Japan, Sydney Opera House in Australia and the Jazz Yatra festival in India. His composition, ‘Svarasanga vannama’, a work for orchestra, piano and Sri Lankan drums, was performed by the Colombo Symphony Orchesta in 1992 and the work has been the subject of post graduate research both in Sri Lanka and abroad. Harsha’s music for films and for Tissa Abesekara’s television series Pitagamkarayo has won him awards. With the vision of adding finesse to the talent of music in people, he founded the Harsha Makalande Institute of Music where he teaches music composition on the computer, keyboard techniques, basic composition elements like chord formation etc, filling a lacuna in the field of music education in the country.