Sama Arts Network, the Raga Fellowship Foundation and Canada Council for the Arts are all set to present ‘The Autumn Barzākh’ – a concert which will feature three contemporary maestros of Hindustani classical music next month.
To be held at the London Symphony Orchestra St Luke’s, the concert is named after the Sufi philosophy of the ‘Barzākh’ – a spiritual-aesthetic zone that lies between heaven and earth – and promises to be an elevating experience.
The event will feature a jugalbandi (musical collaboration) between sarod player Arnab Chakrabarty, sitar player Roopa Panesar and tabla player Shahbaz Hussain, each belonging to prestigious artistic lineages of their respective gurus. The three virtuosos have all blazed their own trails, fusing the best of traditional music with a contemporary appeal.
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One of the top-ranking sarod artists of the current generation, Chakrabarty is a performer and teacher of Hindustani instrumental music known for his fine articulation of musical phrases, prodigious imagination, and fidelity to canonical raga forms. Having studied two distinct traditions of sarod music from some of the greatest masters of our time, including Pandit Buddhadev Dasgupta, Dr Kalyan Mukherjea and Ustad Irfan Khan, Chakrabarty brings to this instrumental tradition a personal touch that is mellowed by his love of the Gwalior gayaki (musical style) of khayal (a form of Hindustani classical music), which he studied for a while under Pandit Yeshwantbua Joshi of Mumbai.
Appearing at over one thousand public concerts in over thirty countries – including Copenhagen Jazz Festival (2014) and Victoria & Albert Museum (London, 2017, in the presence of HRH Prince Charles) - Chakrabarty has also contributed to several film soundtracks such as the 2005 Oscar winner, ‘Born Into Brothels – Calcutta's Red Light Children.’
His 8-concert tour of Spain and the UK in autumn 2023 includes appearances at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (a second show of ‘The Autumn Barzākh’ concert), and the Royal Northern College of Music as well as performances and lectures at King’s College, London and the University of Sheffield.
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Considered to be one of the finest sitar players to emerge on the Indian classical music scene from the UK, Panesar has appeared in a series of high-profile national and international concerts, tours and televised performances such as the BBC1 televised VJ75 memorial in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales. In addition to her collaboration with Mercury Prize winner Talvin Singh and participating as a musician at SAMA Arts, Darbar Festival of Indian classical music and dance and WOMAD UK, Panesar also has internally published albums like ‘Khoj’ and ‘SUBHA’.
Born in London and raised in one of the UK’s most culturally diverse cities, Leicester, Panesar learnt sitar from an early age with renowned educationalist and leading UK musician Ustad Dharambir Singh ji MBE, a disciple of the late Ustad Vilayat Khan.
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Hussain, one of the finest virtuosos of his generation here in the UK, has received numerous accolades for his captivating performances. As well as being a dedicated teacher who regularly teaches across the country, including at the University of Newcastle and the University of Huddersfield, Hussain’s band, ‘Indus’, has received critical acclaim for their debut album Firefly and they continue to tour the UK & internationally.
Beginning his tabla training with his father, the late Ustad Mumtaz Hussain, at age five, he later went on to study with legends like Ustad Faiyaz Khan from the Delhi Gharana (school), the late Ustad Shaukat Hussain Khan from the Punjab Gharana and finally the late Ustad Allah Rakha Khan. His solo performances have gained great recognition all over the world and has performed at several prestigious venues including the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC, Lincoln Center in New York and London's Royal Albert & Queen Elizabeth Halls.
*Info: The Autumn Barzākh