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In Honor of Kuntal Naik

We all know just how much Kuntal loved music — many genres of music actually — but perhaps most especially pop and Broadway. From dancing to the latest Britney hit at high tea on Fire Island, to belting out Miss Saigon in his apartment, music played a central role in Kuntal’s life. He was always listening to something. For many of us, he was our chief music curator, often recommending songs or new artists we might not have known about if it weren’t for him.

For me personally, I will never forget the summer of 2012, after returning from a trip to Berlin, we were hanging out on the beach on Fire Island. It was an amazing trip spent with some terrific people we met during our time there. Kuntal could tell on this particular day that I was more quiet than usual and immediately recognized my very saddened mood to be back in NY. Casually, he handed me his earphones and said, “listen to this song.” It was Kesha, but not one of her big hits. This was a song I had never heard before, but of course he knew it. Normally a friend in that situation would pick a song to try to cheer you up. But no, Kuntal chose a song that kicked me right in the gut. I was floored. But it was his way of telling me, “I know exactly how you’re feeling.” And because of that, it lifted my mood.

That’s what great friends do for you. They make sure you don’t feel alone. Kuntal did that through music and it was perhaps the best way that he could express what he was feeling and thinking at any moment during his life and his best way of showing that he was thinking about you and he cared. And I’m sure there are countless similar stories we can all share.

To honor Kuntal’s love of music, Kuntal’s parents, at the recommendation of his close friend Blaire, have decided to establish a music fund in honor of him at Education Through Music-Los Angeles (ETM-LA). Browse their site to learn about the tremendous impact that ETM-LA is having on the lives of so many students through their music programs. We know that Kuntal would’ve loved all they do to bring music to young people every day.

Please consider helping to advance ETM-LA’s important mission with a gift in tribute to Kuntal. Your contribution, at a level appropriate for you, will have a wonderful and long lasting impact and will share Kuntal’s musical spirit with so many current and future music enthusiasts.


Anthony and the Naik Family (Sudhir, Nalini and Vishal)


Kuntal loved music. We invite you to honor his legacy through The Kuntal Naik Memorial fund, helping to keep music in disadvantaged schools for students who need it most.


Education Through Music-LA partners with low-income area schools to build and sustain yearlong school-wide music programs. ETM-LA does this through:
  • weekly music instruction for every child in the school
  • ongoing teacher training, mentorship, and professional development
  • integration of music across the curriculum
  • assessment and evaluation, and
  • school, parent, and community engagement.

Your 100% Tax-Deductible Contribution to Education Through Music-LA will directly support weekly, yearlong music instruction for children in under-resourced schools across Los Angeles County. 

To make a contribution In Honor of Kuntal Naik: