Daniel Bhattacharya

Festival Director

Daniel Bhattacharya has been involved in the arts his entire life. As a violinist he was a member of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (UK), Royal Scottish National Orchestra (UK) and worked with many others. Commercially, Daniel has been involved in over four hundred Hollywood soundtracks. Daniel was co-founder and Festival Director of South Downs Summer Music International Festival for ten years attracting international-calibre musicians such as Dame Felicity Lott, Karine Georgian, Katherine Stott to name but a few. He has been a trustee of many Arts organizations in the UK as well as running various String Departments such as Stowe School, UK. Daniel has regularly examined at the Royal College of Music (London, UK). A passionate educator, he is thrilled to be involved with PRISMA! Daniel’s other passion is film. After completing a cinematography degree he directed a feature documentary; “Le Chemin des Juifs” relating the story of a Canadian Holocaust Survivor.

Get to know Daniel better… here’s a short Q&A!

What brought you to Canada?
I did a fellowship at the RCM Toronto in 1994 and completely fell in love with the country. Coming from London, UK I found there was more time and definitely less frenetic! I then went on a trip to Vancouver and the surrounding areas and was completely blown away! I always knew I would move over at some point and started making plans in 2016.
What’s a trip that changed your life, and why?
I guess it would have to be a trip to Mexico in 2008. I had just left the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (UK) but decided to do one last tour. (I had just started a new teaching position but thought it would be fun as it was only ten days and four concerts. Very rare for UK orchestral schedules!) Anyway, on that trip there was a young violinist in my section and we began talking. We got married ten months later and now have three children!
What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?
I’ve travelled a lot and have had some very interesting experiences in Russia, India, South America etc.. but I think selling my house in March 2021 and moving over to Canada in the middle of a pandemic with my family was probably the most daring. From constantly-changing COVID restrictions, the plane’s destination being altered, not being sure exactly where we were going, to arranging eighty boxes to be sent from the UK to Canada. (We didn’t even know what address to give.) Funnily enough, we are still awaiting our stuff to arrive because of all the global supply issues!
What is it about PRISMA that inspires you?
The festival is unique in many ways. For a start it is based in a spectacular part of the world! That fact that it is not just inspiring young musicians but preparing them for the profession, practically is important. Many of the participants are at a vitally important stage of their careers and the festival has the ability to help them achieve their dreams. The fact that it engages so many people locally is something special. It is obvious they love the music and the atmosphere that the festival creates. Everyone I have met in Powell River has only positives about the festival and what it brings into the community.
Why are the arts worth supporting?
For me, it’s about what sort of world we would like to live in. The arts are something that deliver so much joy to so many people that the thought of not going to see a film, concert, gallery or show seems alien! Fortunately, many people agree with this. It’s all very well to look after your body and bank account but something has to look after your soul.