A former Tibetan monk talent spotted by BBC Radio 3 will perform for thousands of people at an event hosted by the Dalai Lama more than 10 years after fleeing his native country.
Musician Ngawang Lodup, who plays Womad tomorrow, will perform at the O2 Arena in London which is hosting a talk by the Tibetan spiritual leader on September 19.
Ngawang, who was supported by the station as part of its introducing World Music scheme, left his monastery in Chinese-controlled Tibet and trekked hundreds of miles to Nepal before settling in London in 2004.
He said: “I'm absolutely honoured to be performing at the public talk by his Holiness the Dalai Lama at the 02. His Holiness is an inspiration to millions around the world and has dedicated his life to peace, compassion, freedom and religious harmony.
“When I left my homeland over a decade ago I could never have dreamt my songs would one day be played on BBC Radio 3 or to express my sincere gratitude to his Holiness the Dalai Lama through my music. It is a very magical feeling and I feel very blessed.”
Radio 3 controller Alan Davey said: “We're delighted for Ngawang. It's such a success story and testament to the power of BBC Music that through BBC Introducing and BBC Radio 3's exposure we can help support the artistic community in this way.”
Ngawang, who plays the electric mandolin and the traditional Tibetan lute, comes from a long line of folk singers.