Friday, January 1, 2010

A new decade in music

Today begins a new year, and a new decade in music. So much has happened in the past decade, that it is exciting to contemplate what the next ten years may bring, both in music itself and in related technical developments. More on this to come, because I am currently in Bhopal India, with as yet infrequent and brief--and very slow--access to the Internet.

But for the record, tonight will be the first of four nights of concerts at the Museum of Man (known officially as the "Indira Gandhi Rashtrivya Manav Sangrahalaya", in a festival called "Pratishruti", featuring performers of Indian classical music born outside of India--with my own item to be presented on the last night. The series is co-sponsored by the Dhrupad Sansthan, a gurukul (place of learning) run under the direction of the Gundecha Brothers, who are among the leading exponents of Dhrupad--the oldest form of classical Indian vocal music.

Tonight's artists will include Ken Zuckerman, a highly respected senior student of the late Ustad (maestro) Ali Akbar Khan, performing on the sarod; born in the U.S., Ken currently is based in Basil, Switzerland, where he runs a branch of the Ali Akbar College of Music.

From Japan, performing on the Indian santur (hammered dulcimer), will be Takahiro Arai, a disciple of Kashmir-born santur virtuoso Shivkumar Sharma, who has developed the Kashmiri santur into a full-fledged concert instrument for the performance of Hindustani classical music.

I hope to comment on their performances tomorrow.

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