Happy Birthday Variations was composed 1997 at the suggestion of a good friend who is a violinist. We were to play in a recital together in a few months’ time and our recital happened to fall on her birthday. So she suggested that I write a set of variations on the “Happy Birthday” theme as an encore, and voila! the final result, with some amendments. We gave its world premiere on 24th November 1997 in Singapore.