The Exceptional Performance Award was presented to Mahesh Balasooriya for his achievements as an outstanding Pianist. 20 year old Mahesh attends USC and is both a jazz and classical pianist. He has won many awards and recognition for his piano skills. He performed with the Schumann Concerto with Hamilton Symphony orchestra in his high school, which was broadcasted on the Disney Channel in 2001. In 2002 he was selected as one of the only two pianists worldwide entering the Henry Mancini Institute, where he had the opportunity to meet great musicians from around the world and broadened his knowledge in the field of film scoring and Jazz music.
He was nominated for a Grammy Award for the piece entitled “Cascades” under his direction of Patrick Williams. He won the “Most Outstanding Rhythm Player” at the Monetary Jazz festival and was selected to tour in Japan with the all star band. He also performed with the Stan Getz/Clifford Brown Fellowship in Miami, Japan and Canada. Mahesh is now directing music for the motion picture “Shards” a new film production and he is touring with the Heartland of America Band around the USA.