Sunita Khaund Bhuyan is the first violinist in India to play Assamese folk on the violin and fuse it with Scottish, Irish and world folk music.

It is always a matter of great pride for the nation when one of our renowned artists garners global recognition and accolades. A recent cause for celebration has been Violinist and Human Resources professional Sunita Khaund Bhuyan receiving the ‘She Inspires Global Culture Champion Award’ at a ceremony which took place in Bolton in Manchester, United Kingdom recently. The well-deserved win was accorded to her for her work in promoting music for creativity, wellbeing and leadership.
On the occasion, Gulnaz Brennan, the founder of the platform She Inspires, said, “This is the eighth year of the She Inspires Awards and only the third year since we went international. Entries have come in from countries like Denmark, India, South Africa, United States of America, UAE, Australia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Spain, Doha, Germany, and Turkey as well as from across the UK. The quality of the nominations has been really outstanding. We had 187 finalists in 17 categories and the job of the judges was particularly difficult. It was heartening to have someone from India receive the award as an agent of change using the arts.”
In keeping with the spirit of being an Indian ambassador on the world stage, Bhuyan offered a musical tribute in memory of HM Queen Elizabeth II at the She Inspires awards ceremony. In fact, on behalf of the Indian High Commission in London, it was Bhuyan and her son Ronojit who performed in memory of HM the Queen, live from the Nehru Centre London, on the day of the late queen’s state funeral.
Bhuyan is the first violinist in India to play Assamese folk on the violin and fuse it with Scottish, Irish and World folk music. Her album ‘Bihu Strings’ by Times Music is the only album of folk music played on the violin in India. Trained in Hindustani classical from her mother Sangeet Natak Amrit awardee Minoti Khaund of Assam and later from her guru Padmabhushan Pt. V.G. Jog, Bhuyan has travelled the world with her unique workshops and interesting concert collaborations.
Apart from her musical prowess, she has been a trailblazer in the Human Resources world, as she spearheaded a unique HR training module on Wellbeing, Leadership and Change through the medium of Music, geared at every person in the corporate sphere, from CEOs to management students. Her music therapy workshops have helped over 20,000 underprivileged children across India and have led to her receiving recognition from the Pope at the Vatican in 2016. Her program Sahakriya on the art of partnerships, ‘C Sharp’ on creativity and wellbeing during Covid and 3E on enrichment and inclusion has made meaningful impact across audiences as an innovative approach to music, learning and leadership.  Bhuyan began the year with a music therapy session for Holy Spirit Home for the aged in Bengaluru. As the Joy of Giving Ambassador for Don Bosco, she runs her own program on ‘Joy of giving- Joy of Music’ for underprivileged children and adults. She has been engaged as the Chief Mentor at Atos Prayas Foundation which runs high impact programs for the education and enrichment of less privileged youth .
Among her many roles, Bhuyan is also the cultural advisor for the Commonwealth Music Academy. One of her collaborative projects with them called ‘Beyond Boundaries’ also premiered at the Nehru Centre London last month. It consisted of a fusion performance of Indian and Western classical genres with a finale number that mixed beats of Assamese folk with Scottish folk.
She also sang a Robert Burns inspired Tagore song both in English and Bengali, which moved the audience greatly. On the occasion, Tim Unwin, the Secretary General of the Commonwealth ICT4D, said, “Artists like Sunita are instrumental in bridging the divide between Indian and UK culture and such inclusive programs are the need of the hour.” On a similar vein, Sally Shebe, Director General of the Commonwealth Music Academy expressed, “India at 75 years is a momentous occasion to create musical synergies and it is great to see a series like ‘Beyond Boundaries’ that will explore the connections of art, music and poetry for enhanced aesthetics as well mental health for the larger social good.” As this past year we celebrated the momentous 75th anniversary of India’s independence, Bhuyan toured the USA for a series of concerts in July to mark the Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. This included the India @75 Expo 2020 Dubai India Pavilion, Hunar Haat, and Rongali Utsav Delhi which was presented in front of the Honourable Prime Minister, amongst other dignitaries.
Staying active even during the pandemic, Bhuyan along with her son Ronojit, performed more than 150 virtual concerts from their home studio as fund raisers and to provide music therapy for Covid victims and warriors. For this noble work, she received awards like the Governor’s Award for Women’s day, and the Pride of Maharashtra award for her contribution during the pandemic.
Expressing her delight on receiving the She Inspires Global Culture Champion Award, Bhuyan states, “I was absolutely delighted to win. The competition was very strong this year and there were some amazing finalists. I’m very grateful for the nomination and hope to build on my work by trying to impact more lives through music and to use both the genres of Indian folk and classical.”

Noor Anand Chawla pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog