Guwahati, Jan 5: A musical genius and a celebrated pianist from the region, Padma Shri awardee and the founder, mentor and conductor of Shillong Chamber Choir, Neil Nongkynrih breathed his last this evening in Mumbai.
He was 51 years old. Neil Nongkynrih was born on 9 July 1970 to former Meghalaya minister AH Scott Lyngdoh, and Elvirial Nongkynrih.
Neil's love for music started when he was very young. His musical career took off in 1988 when he left Shillong for Great Britain to study music.
Nongkynrih studied music at Trinity College and Guildhall School of Music in London. He did numerous shows as a concert pianist in the United Kingdom.
In 2001, Nongkynrih returned to India after fourteen years in Europe and started teaching piano in Shillong. In the same year, he founded the Shillong Chamber Choir (SCC). Under his guidance, SCC shot to fame after it won the reality talent show, India's Got Talent (Season 2) in October 2010.
Neil Nongkynrih was bestowed with the Padma Shri in 2015 for his contribution to the field of arts through his music.
Condoling the death of the revered musician, Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma tweeted," I am saddened beyond words by the sudden demise of Padma Shri Neil Nongkynrih, founder of the famous Shillong Chamber Choir. He was a mentor to the country’s finest choir that serenaded crowds wherever they performed. We have lost a gem today."