Composer, Recording Artiste & Producer: Naxos Records (Naxos World Label & ARC Music Productions Int.), 2022 to Present.

Composer, Recording Artiste & Producer: Naxos Records ( Grand Piano Label ), 2014-2022.

Honorary Ambassador of Culture Exchange between China and Sri Lanka: Sichuan Provincial Council for Promotion of International Cooperation and Investment - People's Republic of China, December 2019 to Present.

Educator & Consultant - Pianoforte Performance, Music Composition & Theory: 1994 to Present.

Academic Teaching Staff (part time): The University of Edinburgh, UK, September 2007 to Present.

Adjudication (selections): Hong Kong Schools Music Festival/HKSMSA, 04/2024, 04-05/2021, 02-03/2016, 02-03/2011, GMC Music Competition (Hong Kong), August 2016, Tovey Memorial Prize Competition (Finals), The University of Edinburgh, 2024.

Lecturer in Linguistics: Department of English (Literature and Linguistics), University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, March 2005-2011.

Lecturer: Translation Studies Programme, Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya, 2004-2011.

Assistant Lecturer: Department of English (Literature and Linguistics), University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, August 2003-March 2005.

Instructor: English Language Teaching Unit, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, April-August 2003.

Assistant Lecturer: Department of English (Literature and Linguistics), University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, August 2003-March 2005.

Artistic Director of Pianoforte Performance: Department of Fine Arts, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, 2000-2002.

Teaching & Examining at University Level

Undergraduate Courses and Modules

Graduate Courses and Modules


Tanya Ekanayaka Music Composition Project

Founded in 2012 by Dr. Tanya Ekanayaka, this music composition project included full and half day workshops held annually to help war-affected and impoverished youth articulate their thoughts and experiences creatively through collective musical invention and performance. All the workshops were conducted by Tanya Ekanayaka on a voluntary basis. The techniques used were developed by her and drew on her multidisciplinary training and extensive experience as a composer-pianist, linguist, and musicologist.

2014: The series of full-day music composition workshops for 2014 included participants from schools located in the following northern, north-western and southern Sri Lankan districts: Jaffna, Killinochchi, Negombo, Puttalum, Chillaw and Hambantota. Overall, the workshops were attended by nearly 800 school children from across the country, nearly twice the anticipated turnout. Around 90% of the workshops were sponsored by The University of Edinburgh, UK. The ground level organisation of the workshops in Jaffna and Killinochchi were handled by dedicated volunteers of a non-governmental and non-profit organisation while similarly dedicated groups of volunteers facilitated the workshops in the other regions. All participants were provided with free meals and transport.


2013 – Tanya Ekanayaka conducted a series of music workshops in Sri Lanka’s northern districts of Jaffna and Killinochchi ravaged by war for over 30 years and also extended her work to incorporate school children from impoverished schools in other regions of Sri Lanka, journeying over ten hours by road to one of the country’s remotest schools in the southern district of Hambantota. The workshops were organised by a non-profit non-governmental organisation. Around 140 school children from eight schools in the northern district of Jaffna participated in a two-day workshop by Tanya Ekanayaka held in Jaffna while nearly 170 school children and teachers from ten schools in the Killinochchi district participated in her workshop held in the northern district of Killinochchi. Similarly, all the children of the school which Tanya Ekanayaka visited in the country’s southern district of Hambantota totalling 103 children, their teachers and even parents attended the event. A few children of this school were awarded scholarships which will cover their full education until they leave school and the school was also gifted a range of new musical instruments for a complete school band, all of which were sponsored by the organisation which organised the workshops.


BBC World Service (Radio)

In 2013, one of Tanya Ekanayaka’s full day music workshops held in Jaffna was attended by a BBC correspondent where some of the participants & school teachers at the workshop, volunteer organisers as well as Tanya Ekanayaka were interviewed. A special documentary about the workshops including these interviews was subsequently broadcast on BBC World Service (radio) in 2013 as part of a news feature. The BBC also broadcast a few short interviews with Tanya Ekanayaka about the project and its purpose just prior to the workshops.

August, 2012 - 'A Moment Of Healing For Us, All Through Music...' - A music performance and composition workshop held in Sri Lanka's war ravaged northern region for school children and teachers from schools across the region's Jaffna and Killinochchi districts as well as from the surrounding islands.


Academic Awards and Distinctions

Innovation Initiative Grant awarded by The University of Edinburgh, UK for further development of Tanya Ekanayaka’s music composition project in Sri Lanka, 2014. (See ‘Outreach Work’ above for further details about the project)

Doctoral Research Grant awarded by the National Centre for the Advancement of Studies in Humanities and Social Science - University Grants Commission of Sri Lanka, 2009-2011.

'The Ailie Donald Postgraduate Scholarship' - The University of Edinburgh, UK, 2008.

'The Principal's Sri Lankan Scholarship' for an MSc degree– The University of Edinburgh, UK, 2006-2007.

MSc (Linguistics and English Language) - The University of Edinburgh, UK– Awarded a distinction for research thesis, 2006-2007.

American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies (AISLS) annual research grant for research on bilingualism in Sri Lanka, 2005.

University awards for best results (3 A's and 2 B's including an 'A' for mathematics) at end of 1st year examination for BA English (Honours) degree, 2000.

  1. Professor Ashley Halpe Scholarship for English
  2. Pettah Library Prize for English
  3. Leigh Smith Memorial Prize for English

Selected Publications, Invited Talks & Conference Presentations

'Sri Lankan English' In Bolton, K. Botha, W. and Kirkpatrick, A. (Eds.), Handbook of Asian Englishes. Wiley-Blackwell; 2020. SUMMARY LINK

Lecture recital – Otani University, Japan (21/05/2015).

Invited Speaker – Talk Title – ‘The Mono-modality of Multilingualism in Music: Music Composition and Perception’ - Department of Applied Linguistics, Pennsylvania State University (PSU), Pennsylvania, USA. (18/04/2014).

PhD Thesis: 'Theorising the Practice of Language-Mixing in Music: An Interdisciplinary (Linguistic and Musicological) Investigation of Sri Lanka's Leading Genre of Contemporary Popular Song and its Community'. 2011. LINK TO THESIS ABSTRACT

'Contested Spaces: Sinhala Ethnicity and Sri Lankan Identity in Post 1998 'Leading' Sri Lankan Contemporary Popular Song (98+LSLPS)'. Linguistics and English Language Postgraduate Conference, The University of Edinburgh, UK, 2009.

'Debating Meaning as Blurring Boundaries Kaleidoscopes Birth...: Codeswitching: Sinhala(s): Sri Lankan Englishes: Music!' - Linguistics and English Language Postgraduate Conference, The University of Edinburgh, UK, 2008.

MSc Thesis: 'Re-visioning Directionality: From (Switching/Mixing) Codes To--'. 2007.

'The Compoundability of Phrases? The Phrasability of Compounds?: Predictions for English/es,' Sri Lanka Journal of Humanities Vol. XXXIII 2007 Nos.1 and 2.pp.49-56. CLICK HERE FOR PAPER

'Some Perspectives on the Phonology of Lankan English: Accent in Song' International Conference of SAARC Writers and Critics, University of Peradeniya, 2005.

BA Thesis: 'Some Perspectives on the Phonology of Lankan English: Accent in Song'. 2003