Sunday, June 9, 2013

Final posting. . . .

This is a rather belated update to my blog, so please accept my apologies for being absent for so long.

On 28 December 2012, after more than 26 years at the Voice of America, initially as Chief of the Urdu Service from 1986 until 2007, then as Ethnomusicologist and World Music Curator through 2012, I retired--or as I prefer to say--returned, to full time music outside VOA.

After studying intensively in India with the late Ustad Ghulamhusain Khan, I had begun performing on the sitar in 1966 throughout the U.S. and in Great Britain.  Since 1988, I have toured and performed internationally with my wife, Shubha Sankaran (on surbahar) in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Dubai, Egypt, Morocco, Romania, Guatemala, and Peru.

During this time, I also managed major U.S. tours by Ustad Imrat Khan (my wife's Ustad), the late Ustad Vilayat Khan, and the late Ustad Asad Ali Khan, and assisted numerous tours by the prominent Dhrupad performers, the Gundecha Brothers.  In addition, I continue to facilitate performances of Indian classical music in the greater Washington area.

Prior to coming to VOA, after graduate work at the University of Chicago, I taught Urdu and Indian music and culture at the University of Minnesota (1971-74), the University of Chicago (summer 1972), and Harvard (1974-1983), as well as a course in Indian music at Duke University while working in Duke University's administration from 1983-86 (as Director of International House and the International Office, and Assistant Dean for Study Abroad.)  Later, while at VOA, I taught Indian music at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

Since leaving VOA last year, I have traveled extensively, mostly in India, where my wife and I managed (after four years of struggles with contractors, who seem to be the same the world over. . .) to complete an alternate residence at the Dhrupad Sansthan, the international music academy established in Bhopal by the Gundecha Brothers, with whom we continue to be closely associated.  During the past couple of months back in Washington, I have focused my efforts toward completing my book on the great Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib.  I am also working on consolidating my enormous and comprehensive archive of recordings (private digital files, CDs, cassettes, reel-to-reel recordings, and 78 rpm, 45 rpm, and LP discs), manuscripts, books, journals, photographs, and ephemera collected over the last 50 years before they reach their final home at Harvard to join the archives of my mentors, the late James A. Rubin, and the late mystical painter Hyman Bloom (also

Once I have made sufficient progress on the above projects, I hope to resume lecturing and writing, as well as to return to blogging later in the year on various aspects of music at

As we used to say in the broadcast world, stay tuned!  And many thanks to readers of my past musings on this Website.

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