Past events: 2008/2009

This archive page is for reference only.

April 2008

Introduction to North Indian Dance and Music Easter Course

By Jayasree Sen Gupta at the Asian Music Centre.

Indian Sarod and Tabla Concert

Featuring Tarun Jasani (sarod) Hanif Khan (tabla) at The Arts Club, St Ives, Cornwall

Japanese & Thai Music lunchtime concert

By Clive Bell and Maxwell Hallett at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital

Lecture: ‘The Art of Playing Classical Afghan Rubab'

Given by Prof. John Baily (Goldsmiths College, University of London) at the Asian Music Centre.


May 2008

Ravi Shankar assisted by Anoushka Shankar: the Full Circle tour at the Barbican, London

Pandit Ravi Shankar and his daughter Anoushka bring their Full Circle tour to the Barbican Centre in London. Accompanied by Bikram Ghosh (tabla).

Pictured above: Ravi Shankar and Anoushka Shankar - the Full Circle tour

Japanese Music: Weekend Taiko Workshop for beginners

Given by Mark Alcock at the Asian Music Centre.

Japanese & Thai Music Recital

Given by Clive Bell at the Asian Music Centre.

Seminar: "A Visual Approach to Understanding Ragas - including a study of the ragags Kedar, Shyam Kalyan and Kamod"

Given by Viram Jasani at the Asian Music Centre.

Chinese Music Recital

Qiu Zeng Hui at the Asian Music Centre.

Chinese Music Seminar

Prof. Jonathan Stock (Sheffield University) at the Asian Music Centre.

Lecture on the sitar with Anindya Banerjee at the Asian Music Centre

An insight into the history and development of the most Popular melodic instrument of India made famous by great Artists such as Pandit Ravi Shankar and Ustad Vilayat Khan.

Royal Rahr Chhau Dance group on tour throughout the UK

Symposium: "Is Indian Music Dying?"

With Pandits Rajan and Sajan Misra and Dr. Nicolas Magriel (SOAS) at the Nehru Centre


June 2008

The Dying Song: a theatre and music production about an androgynous thumri singer. On tour throughout the UK

The narrative of The Dying Song is as much about Suraiya, the protagonist, as it is about the dying form of baithak thumri (traditionally performed by the baiji or courtesan), which she performs. Thumri as a genre occupies the middle space between high classical music, theatre and dance. It is the feminine form as opposed to the masculine and vigorous Dhrupad or Khayal. Suraiya, the protagonist, occupies the grey space between strict gender borders. His/her androgynous boss and psyche become the song. Featuring Bireshwar Gautam.

The script is inspired by a marathi novella entitled Devyachi Ayee by C.T. Khanolkar.

Bireshwar GautamBireshwar GautamDying SongDying Song

Pictured above: Bireshwar Gautam

August 2008

Indian Music Summer School

Taught by Rajan and Sajan Misra (khyal), Bireshwar Gautam (thumri), Uday Bhawalkar (dhrupad), Sunanda Sharma (thumri), Manik Munde (pakhawaj) at the Royal Academy of Music, London.

Indian Music Summer School: Khyal Concert

Featuring Rajan and Sajan Misra. In the Duke's Hall at the Royal Academy of Music, London.

A Short Film & Discussion about The History of Courtesan Tradition in India

Given by Anindya Bangerjee at the Royal Academy of Music. May also include discussion on their Asian traditions.

Chinese Music Summer School

Taught by Zeng Chengwei (guqin), Cheng Yu (pipa) and Hu Bin (erhu) at the Royal Academy of Music, London.

Chinese Music Summer School: Double Bill concert - Classical Chinese Instrumental Music & Japanese Taiko Drums

Featuring Zeng Chengwei (guqin), Cheng Yu (pipa), Hu Bin (erhu) and Mark Alcock (taiko). In the Duke's Hall at the Royal Academy of Music, London.

Japanese Taiko Music Summer School

Taught by Mark Alcock at the Royal Academy of Music.

Indian Music Summer School: Dhrupad and Thumri Concert

Featuring Uday Bhawalkar and Sunanda Shama. In the David Josefowitz Recital Hall at the Royal Academy of Music, London.


September 2008

Zakir Hussain, John McLaughlin, Hariprasad Chaurasia and Vikku Vinayakram - on tour throughout the UK

Exhuberant tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain joins forces with two former Shakti collaborators - legendary guitarist John McLaughlin and brilliant ghatam player Vikku Vinayakram - plus the great Indian flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia - to celebrate a unique improvised synthesis of Indian classical music and jazz.

Pictured above: flyer for Zakir Hussain, John McLaughlin, Hariprasad Chaurasia and Vikku Vinayakram

North Indian Santoor and Tabla Recital

Featuring Kiranpal Singh Deoora (santoor) and Hanif Khan (tabla) at the Asian Music Centre.

Open rehearsal: Tibetan Tashi Lhunpo Monks and Tibetan Culture Exhibition at the Asian Music Centre.

Opening with an introduction to Tibetan Monastic life, music and dance

Daily Delight Show 2008 on tour throughout the UK

A team of celebrated cine-artists led by the renowned, National Award winning actor Bharat Mohanlal brings you a smorgasbord of exuberant entertainment. Get ready to be taken on a trip to the luscious green shores of the state of Kerala, christened “God's Own Country”, in India.


October 2008

The London Uyghur Ensemble

The London Uyghur Ensemble performs traditional songs and maqam from Chinese Central Asia at the Asian Music Centre.

Workshop and demonstration: the Baul singing of West Bengal

Given by Parvathy Baul at the Asian Music Centre.

North Indian Vocal Concert

Featuring Dr Vijay Rajput (khyal) and Hanif Khan (tabla). At the Asian Music Centre.

Talk and demonstration: Understanding Beijing Opera

Given by Kathy Hall at the Asian Music Centre.

Indian Music Winter School 2009

Taught by Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar (khyal), Purnima Choudury (thumri) and Suresh Talwalkar (tabla) at the Asian Music Centre.


November 2008

Ustad Ghulam Ali, Pandit Birju Maharaj and Pandits Rajan and Sajan Misra at the Royal Festival Hall

Bombay Jazz with Ronu Mazumdar and George Brookes at the Theatre aan de Parade, The Hague

Chinese ensemble: Silk String Quartet with Matthew Barley

The AMC is commissioning contemporary composer Peter Wiegold and also Zhao Jiping from China to create some pieces for Matthew Barley and the Chinese Silk String Quartet. The programme will include these new works as well as traditional works and styles by Matthew Barley and the Chinese Silk String Quartet.

The UK and Europe's premier Chinese String Quartet is a young, professional, London-based ensemble. All of the four virtuosi musicians have already gained international recognition in their own right and they are now pooling their talents to pursue new creative projects. Silk Strings play new compositions as well as traditional pieces and enjoy collaborative projects with western orchestras, cross-cultural genres as well as performing in their own right. Members: Cheng Yu (pipa: 4-stringed lute and guqin:7-stringed zither), Sun Zhuo – guzheng (21-stringed zither), Qiu Zenghui (erhu and jinghu:2-stringed fiddles) and Zhou Yinyan (yangqin: hammered dulcimer).

After training at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Moscow Conservatoire, Matthew Barley (cello)'s activities in performance, improvisation, cross-disciplinary projects, composition, and pioneering community programmes soon developed to form a uniquely eclectic international career. The best representation of this career so far was Matthew's marathon UK tour, On The Road, in 2006 playing 20 recitals and giving 17 workshops in 30 days. The venues ranged from prestigious concert halls, to a prison, a school for terminally ill children, and a vegetarian cafe. The programme included improvisation, core classical music, contemporary music with electronics, and a new piece by DJ Bee and Barley for cello with computer and midi-pedal board! The tour was a huge critical and audience success with many sold-out houses.

Matthew BarleySilk String Quartet

Pictured l-r: Matthew Barley, the Chinese Silk String Quartet

Rajasthani Folk Music & Dance on tour throughout the UK and Europe

From the colourful deserts of Western Rajasthan, traditional folk musicians perform vocal compositions of the great Sufi poets (such as Buleshar and Shah Latif) as well as traditional Hindu songs accompanied on the beautiful sarangi and kamenche (bowed stringed instruments) with a variety of vibrant percussion and also by stunning kalbelia dancers.

Rajasthan, the “land of rulers”, is considered one of the most romantic Indian states, and is also the home to some of the sub-continent's most beautiful music. Alongside the magical palaces of these princely rulers there developed a rich village tradition, with folk musicians performing for themselves, and also for their patrons, on all occasions. Their songs told of love and war, of longing and separation (such as Laila/Majnun & Heera Ranja), of victory and in praise of God, and of social issues such as the value of their animals (especially camels) to their way of life and songs relating to life-cycle ceremonies such as marriage and expecting a child.


Pictured above: Rajasthani folk dancer

Shehnai Ensemble lead by Satish Prakash Qamar on tour throughout the UK and Europe

Qawwali: Nizami Brothers from Delhi, Taufiq Niazi and Ghulam Khusro from Karachi on tour throughout the UK and Europe

Qawaali, the devotional music of the Sufis from the Indian sub-continent, has changed a lot in the last 20 years or so to suit audiences in the West especially the world music audiences. What mattered for such audiences was the driving rhythm rather than the beauty of the lyrics or the melodies woven out of beautiful ragas.  In the Nizami brothers from India Ghulam Sabir, Waris and Akbar and their cousins from Pakistan Taufiq Niazi and Ghulam Khusro we have the very best of traditional Qawwali in which improvisation is not just in melodic terms but also on the lyrics. Ghulam Sabir is the principal singer and entertainer par excellence – who can make you laugh or cry, make you feel like a prince or otherwise with his superb command of language and poetry. Akbar his brother has a fantastic voice. Taufiq Niazi and Ghulam Khusro join the Indian artists but bring a different style and tradition to the performance. There is no doubt that this group is one of the best in the world and they have not yet succumbed to the temptation of changing their style to suit Western audiences. Yes, you can have tremendous rhythm and vocal pyrotechniques but you also have wonderful music based in the traditional ragas of Indian music and poetry. This is their fourth visit to the UK with the AMC and it is a pleasure to be promoting them again this year.

Niyazi BrothersNizami Brothers

Pictured above: the Nizami brothers

Special Double Bill: Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar (khyal) and Srimati Purnima Chaudhuri (thumri) on tour throughout the UK

Purnima Chaudhury learnt the art of singing thumri, dadra, kajri, chaiti, hori, tappa and other forms of Indian light classical music from the illustrious Mahadev Prashad Mishra, from Pandit A. Kanan of Kolkata and Padmabhusan Srimati Girja Devi. A rare feature of Srimati Purnima's music is the blend of skilful improvisations, rhythmic patterns and emotional delicacies. Accompanied by Hanif Khan (tabla).

Ulhas Kashalkar is one of the prime representatives of Gwalior and Jaipur Gharana. Gifted with a melodious voice with superb flexibility, Kashalkar's music appeals to every music lover. His gaykee is especially noted for pure traditional rendering with his own asthetic interpretation. He has performed extensively in India and abroad and is presently associated with the Sangeet Research Academy of Kolkata.

Purnima ChaudhuriUlhas Kashalkar

Pictured l-r: Purnima Chaudhuri, Ulhas Kashalkar


March 2009

Sarod Concert at the Asian Music Centre

Featuring Soumik Datta.

Guzheng Concert at the Asian Music Centre

Featuring Sun Zhou