5 Year Milestones

The BhutanMusicFoundation 

March 30, 2016 ·











As the BhutanMusicFoundation is about to celebrate a 5 year milestone, we are celebrating with a list our accomplishments since we began in 2011 with composer/pianist Noam Lemish.

At that time FM Uitti played a donation concert with Noam at the Taj Tashi Hotel.

As a main principle, BMF never initiates activities on its own, but works to serve the mandates of the Kilu board. We hope to accomplish a lot for Kilu!


    •    we are celebrating our 6th year of scholarships, ranging from 15-22 kids per year depending on local demand. Approximately 2000€ per year.


    •    We started the series at Centenniel Radio 101, Masters of the Bow- 52 programs taped from Amsterdam, highlighting but not limited to string instruments, for the expansion of listening possibilities in Thimphu. Beethoven, Brahms, Purcell, Tchaikovsky, etc were featured.


    •    We accompanied Narges Mehrabi on a research trip for the Conservatory in the Hague which bore fruit when we successfully applied for the Prince Claus Grant.


    •    We initiated a collaboration with Henk van der Meulen, director of the Conservatory in the Hague, which could lead to sending qualified teachers in the future for the Winter intensives. (Composers, electronic interfaces and programs, notation programs etc)


    •    We sent the last 5 piano teachers at the request of Rinchen and the board. Noam also interviewed the BMF candidates. (Nick came on barely 3 weeks notice!) As agreed with the Kilu board, BMF chose qualified professionals from Ivy League schools, conservatories etc, and Kilu would accept or not, after extensive personal interviews to see if they would fit into the culture in Bhutan.


    •    2013 We sponsored Samten with a €500 grant to study with Gaile, and take time from his job to practice and improve his piano and teaching skills.


    •    Donation concert at the Royal Banquet Hall with FM Uitti and Gaile Griciute.


    •    BMF; Presentation at the Berlin SALT Studios of Bhutanese visual arts, music and the 13 traditional crafts with Jane Hamilton.


    •    2014/15 BMF organized and followed the Prince Claus Grant 6,700€, from start to finish; from the conception, grantwriting, coaching mentors to the final presentation at Kilu with tea and momos. Outreach at assemblies was approx. 5000 students, of which 35 took part in the program. Final event filled Kilu with about 50 participants.


    •    BMF sponsored Bhutanese master singer Lama Gyurme to sing in FM Uitti's opera Puja. 4 monks and cello quartet also participated.


    •    2013/14 At Kilu board's request, we began a search for a Trinity based institution to collaborate with Kilu. BMF initiated contact with the Guildhall in 2014 and gave a talk at the Guildhall London to prospective participants and professor Helena Gaunt.


    •    2015 BMF brought Rolf Hind from the Guildhall, pianist-composer to experience Kilu, meet the kids, and coproduce with FM the film 108 for the Guildhall conference at which he and FM Uitti performed.


    •    2016 BMF brought professor Helena Gaunt to Kilu, introduced her to leading cultural figures (Kheng Sonam Dorji, Dasho Karma Ura) as well as sat in on lessons. At the request of the Kilu board, F M Uitti and professor Gaunt presented a bold vision of varioius ways to strengthen Kilu, and presented a possible future vision for Kilu.


    •    BMF arranged for a Tea Corner with all the necessities at Kilu where the parents can drink tea and browse articles on the benefits of music on the mind. These publications are now being organized for a print out in mid-March.


    •    BMF sponsoring and oversight in getting the piano moved to Tarayana, and setting up small informal talk/concerts with our foreign teacher to engage the Thimphu music-loving community.


    •    BMF PR campaign to raise awareness of Kilu in Thimphu: many people don't know of its existence. Posters and daily Social Media Posts (Facebook and Twitter) to announce enrollment. Using Bhutanese network to expand posts via sharing, retweeting etc.


    •    BMF has collected 3 violins, a cello, 4 guitars and many smaller instruments to bring to Kilu, once its programs expand.


    •    BMF is initiating a quarterly magazine centered around the benefits of music in all disciplines: mathematics, spacial relationships, memory, language, social- teamwork, collaborations, regular commitment and discipline and... much much more!


    •    BMF awards presented to Kilu students for incentives, diligence, helping other students, 2015 and 2016.


    •    BMF Music Teacher of the Year, €500 to Samten Chhophel


    •    BMF formed an internationally recognized commission to select Masters degree teachers composed of Helena Gaunt, Rolf Hind, Noam Lemish, Sophie Ali, and FM Uitti. Out of 75 entries, they sent pianist Gerardo Sanchez Lara from Mexico to Bhutan to teach at Kilu in 2016/2017.


    •    FM Uitti composing score for award winning film maker Tashi Gyeltshen's new feature film


    •    FM Uitti invited to compose for colleague Matt Haimovitz and self for NYC premiere in March 2018 based on Zhungdra traditional Bhutanese music.


    •    FM Uitti is giving a special presentation with live music at Friends of Bhutan annual meeting in the Hague.

    •    Bach For Bhutan! FM Uitti is performing a special Losar benefit concert on February 16th 2018 at the Merchant House, Amsterdam.

Future:  Want to Help BMF?

BMF is currently in a big fundraising campaign to start another big multiyear outreach program in the poorer public schools in Thimphu. Want to help? Please contact us at


BMF plans bi monthly Skype lesson with the Kilu students on How to Practice efficiently. Many mental techniques will be presented that will help them in all their subjects, not just music.

We have a huge worldwide network to bring in teachers for master classes, performances, mixed media learning sessions, and pedagogical studies to develop future Bhutanese teachers.

We envision supporting more outreach programs to take music into the public schools.


Thank you and Tashi Delek!


from the Prime Minister of Bhutan, Lyonchoen Tshering Tobgay

"Dear Frances,

Five years? Already? Seems like just yesterday we began working together - actually you did most of the work, but you know what I mean.  And talking of work, it's amazing what you've done, all of it very quietly ... and quickly.

Well done. And a big thank you - from me and from all the children of Bhutan.

Tshering "