It was a rare and prestigious moment of honour for Parsi musician, Mumbai-born flautist – Dilshad (Billimoria) Posnock – for being selected as one of the only two performers in a musical tribute, to the recently elected US Vice President Elect – Kamala Harris. The tribute was organised by ‘Classical Movements’ – a concert tour company, which promotes cultural diplomacy through music. A recording of the tribute can be viewed on YouTube under: ‘A Musical Tribute to Kamala Harris’.
Born into a musical family, Dislhad’s musical training started at age 5 on the piano; and she took up the flute when she was 10 years old. A lack of recognised flute teachers in Mumbai had Dilshad self-learning by reading manuals on flute studies. On securing a high distinction in the Grade 8 exams of The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, Dilshad got admission into the Royal College of Music, London, on a scholarship – a rare accomplishment for a self-taught student.
During her second year, she was invited to perform at the Commonwealth Observance Service in Westminster Abbey, in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II and the Heads of Commonwealth nations. On graduating and completing her studies at the Royal College, she was awarded the prestigious Tagore Gold Medal for the Most Deserving Student Of The Year. She then proceeded to the United States where she was admitted on a scholarship to the Carnegie Mellon School of Music for a Master’s Degree to study with Jeanne Baxtresser – world-renowned flute teacher and former Principal Flute of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, under Maestro Zubin Mehta.
Dilshad’s parents are accomplished pianists and her brother, Farhad, is the Concert Master of a German orchestra. The siblings are familiar figures to Mumbai’s regular concertgoers. Before leaving India to pursue their musical ambitions, they often performed in solo recitals and also as members of the Bombay Chamber Orchestra. They have since returned several times since to perform at the NCPA in Mumbai and in other Indian cities. In 2019, they were invited by Nirupama Rao, former Ambassador for India to the USA and other countries, to join a newly formed South Asian Symphony Orchestra, comprising musicians of South Asian origin – to promote friendship between the countries of the region through music. Dilshad is Principal Flute of the orchestra and Farhad is its Concertmaster.
Dilshad presently lives in Brevard, North Carolina, USA, with her husband, Jason, also a musician and Concertmaster of the Ashville Symphony Orchestra, along with her two children, Max and Lylah. She is a freelance performer and teaches flute and World Music at the Brevard College.