The Arts

Ananda Sukarlan

Ananda Sukarlan

Diagnosed with Asperger’s and Tourette’s Syndrome at age 28, acclaimed international pianist and composer Ananda Sukarlan is on a mission to raise awareness for children with special needs.


Ananda Sukarlan’s musical studies started with piano lessons from his sister at age five, and culminated at the Royal Conservatoire The Hague, where he graduated summa cum laude in 1993. Since then, the classical pianist and composer has performed in various international venues, while winning competition prizes (and fans!) along the way.

Though he is an accomplished musician and composer, Sukarlan can’t perform some basic functions, like tying his shoes, or driving a car. He liked to describe himself as a person with dif-abilities (short for different abilities), due to what was later diagnosed as Tourette’s and Asperger’s Syndrome.

It’s the reason for Sukarlan’s redefined public persona, as both a musician and the voice for people with dif-abilities. Through his music, Sukarlan opened opportunities for children who, just like him, may not be able to tie their shoes, but have a hidden talent in the field of music and art.

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