Past events: 2009/2010

This archive page is for reference only.

April 2009

An Introduction To Japanese Koto Music: Its History, Techniques and Style

Talk by Dr Ayako Hotta-Lister at the Asian Music Centre

Understanding Kunqu Opera

Talk and Demonstration by Kathy Hall at the Asian Music Centre


May 2009

Music From Vietnam: Huong Thanh Vietnamese Trio on tour throughout the UK

Its geographic location has enabled Vietnam to absorb some of the richness of the musical traditions of neighbouring countries such as India and China. Vietnamese people sing to express suffering and sorrow,  in the pagoda to pray, in the temple to the spirits, in the rice fields to relieve pain...

Huong Thanh, a great female interpreter of traditional Vietnamese music, has spent life far from her country, and her music expresses a longing to return and the diversity of regional flavours and styles from across Vietnam. Accompanied by Hong Nguyen (sen luth, zither, drums/percussions, vocal) and Daniel Nguyen (moon luth, vielle, monochord, vocal).

Huong ThanhHuong Thanh

Pictured above: Huong Thanh

Travelling exhibition of musical instruments from the AMC's Museum of Asian Music

This exhibition of musical instruments with interactive DVD about the music played on them features examples from India, China and Japan.

Museum of Asian MusicMuseum of Asian MusicMuseum of Asian Music

Pictured above: The Museum of Asian Music

Persian Santoor Recital: Farshad Mohammadi at the Asian Music Centre

Surinder Sandhu, The Fictionist Tour at Southbank Centre, London.

Talk: Explaining the Jaipur Gharana

A talk by Mohammed Sayeed Khan at the Asian Music Centre.

'Raga 2 Destiny': Swati Natekar at Southbank Centre (London)

Swati Natekar is a leading Indian Classical vocalist, with an established reputation in World Music. She has worked with Nitin Sawhney on ‘Nadia' from his Mercury Music Award nomination album Beyond Skin, with Talvin Singh on Ha, and with Craig Armstrong on As If To Nothing, to name a few. 

A group of talented musicians and singers will join Swati Natekar for this hybrid experience of traditional Indian Bandish and Thumri, in collaboration with famous UK Kathak dancer, Anurekha Gosh, followed by the complete performance of Swati Natekar's fusion album, Destiny Chakra. Swati Natekar (lead vocalist/director), Anurekha Ghosh (kathak dancer), Sanchita Farruque, Kartik Raghunathan and Sarah Sayeed (vocals), Sameer Kassam (keyboard), Rekesh Chauhan (harmonium), Sandeep Mishra (sarangi), Taalis (drums), Alpesh Moharir (tabla), Mike Leigh (electric guitar), Scott Bloodworth (bass).


July 2009

Asian Music Circuit Summer School 2009: 'Sounds of Asia' in the Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, London 

Bireshwar Gautam and Sunanda Sharma: Traditional Indian Thumri and Kathak

Bireshwar Gautam, fondly referred to as "Biru", wowed the world with his rare dual talents, of thumri singing and the 'Abhinaya' aspect of kathak which uses mime and face expressions to enhance the meaning of the words. Sunanda Sharma will also be singing thumri, with both teaching in the Asian Music Circuit's 'Sounds of Asia' Summer School. Accompanied by Hanif Khan (tabla) and Fida Khan (harmonium), the concert will begin with a seminar with film on 'thumri' by Anindya Bannerjee.

Bireshwar GautamSunanda Sharma

Pictured l-r: Bireshwar Gautam, Sunanda Sharma

Indian Classical Music: Uday Bhawalkar sings Dhrupad

'Uday displayed the enormous versatility the dhrupad is capable of, when text, raga and imagination merge into one. Uday's voice is a major asset - strong, young and charged with fervour and power.' - Hindustan Times, New Delhi. Accompanied by Manike Munde on Pakhawaj, known for his tremendous musicality and sensitive accompaniment. As part of the AMC's "Vocal Vistar!" project, there will be a short children's song recital in Indian in the foyer.

Uday Bhawalkar

Pictured above: Uday Bhawalkar

Chinese and Japanese instrumental traditions

Showcasing the Asian Music Circuit's Summer School teachers in Japanese koto, taiko drumming, and the Chinese guzheng and guqin. The artists are world-class instrumentalists and perform internationally. From the provocative rhythm of the taiko drums to the detail and subtlety of the guqin, come and discover the inspirational sounds of Japan. Featuring Dr. Ayako Hotta-Lister (koto), Liz Walters (taiko drumming), Sun Zhuo (guzheng) and Prof. Zeng Chengwei (guqin).

Professor Zheng Chengwei (guqin)

Pictured above: Professor Zeng Chenwei (guqin)

Pandits Rajan and Sajan Misra (khyal)

Rajan and his younger brother Sajan rank among India's finest musicians. These wonderful singers are from the artistic quarter known as 'Kabir Chaura' in the ancient city of Varanasi, and represent the tradition of gharana named after the city. They learnt from their father, the late Pandit Hanuman Prasad, their uncle Pandit Gopal Misra and from the Pandit Bade Ramdasji. The hallmark of their style is the superb intonation, beautiful imagination and yet traditional approach to the music, in which they include old compositions as well as their own, using amazing vocal range and technique. They have been showered with numerous awards in India and are recognised all over the world for their artistry.

Pandits Rajan and Sajan Misra

Pictured above: Pandits Rajan and Sajan Misra


August 2009

Indian Voices at the BBC Proms, Royal Albert Hall, London

A day-long event featuring music from across India.

Beginning in Hyde Park with Pandit Ramnarayan (sarangi), Pandits Rajan and Sajan Misra (khyal), Srimati Manjiri Asnare () and the ASIMA vocal ensemble from Kerala led by Devissaro. Accompanied by Akbar Latif and Babar Latif (tabla), sons of the late Ustad Latif Ahmed Khan. Continuing in the afternoon with Maldhari Shakti Para Ras Mandal (Gujarati Ras and Garba) and folk musicians from Rajasthan; and concluding in the evening in the Royal Albert Hall with a Bollywood show by Shaan and his supporting band and dancers.


September 2009

Piu Sarkhel, Akbar Latif and Babar Latif on tour throughout the UK

Born in 1965 in Kolkata, Piu trained with her father Sri Kamal Bandopadhyay, who was a disciple of Ustad Amir Khan for more than 21 years. The great maestro stayed at their family home in Kollkata during the later part of his life, thus providing Piu with the rare opportunity to listen to this great musician since her childhood and to practice that gayaki. Piu has a wonderful vocal technique as well as lovely voice, allowing her to sing stunning fast tans with a command over taal. She has performed at all major festivals in India, is frequently heard on All India Radio, and has travelled extensively abroad.

Brothers Akbar and Babar Latif are the highly talented sons of the great master of the Delhi Gharana of tabla, the late Ustad Latif Ahmed Khan. For traditionalists and modernists alike, they are a joy to listen to.

Piu SarkhelAkbar and Babar Latif

Pictured l-r: Piu Sarkhel, Akbar and Babar Latif

Tarun Jasani's series of student concerts at the Asian Music Centre

An Indian music recital featuring khyal in the first half and tabla duet in the second. Featuring Poonam Panesar (vocal), Manjeet Rasiya (tabla), Tofail Ahmed (harmonium), Resham Singh Lall (tabla), Janan Sathiendran (tabla) and Anoop Singh (dilruba).


October 2009

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.

Pandit Ulhas KashalkarPurnima Chaudhuri

Pictured l-r: Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar, Srimati Purnima Chaudhuri

Strings of Asia Series: Afghan Rubab and Tabla Course

Taught by John Baily and Yusuf Mahmoud at the Asian Music Centre.

Strings of Asia Series: Korean Kayagum Recital

Given by Ji-Eun Jung at the Asian Music Centre.

Strings of Asia Series: Talk and Demonstration on the Japanese Koto

Given by Dr Ayako Hotta- Lister at the Asian Music Centre.

Indian Music Winter School

Taught by Purnima Chaudhuri, Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar and Pandit Suresh Talwalkar at the Asian Music Centre.


November 2009

Ashig and Mugham Music of Azerbaijan on tour throughout the UK

The art of ashig is an ancient bardic tradition that belongs mostly to the old Turkic world (from Turkey to North West-China). An ashig is a poet, composer, singer, musical performer and occasionally dancer who beats on the strings of the saz and improvises serenades and ballads. The musical and poetic heritage of Azerbaijani ashigs dates back to the fourteenth Century and was created, preserved and is still passed on in oral form. Ramin Qarayev is a brilliant representative of the Borchaly (Azeri-Georgian) ashiq performing school. Accompanied by Azer Maharramov (saz) and Qalandar Zeynalov (vocal).

Mugham is a traditional musical artform from Azerbaijan. The word mugham refers both to a melodic style and to a genre of traditional music. Vocal-instrumental mugham compositions are often performed by ensemble of three musicians: a singer, who accompanies himself on percussion and two instrumentalists, playing a tar (long-necked lute) and kamancha (spike-fiddle). Performing mugham demands exceptional musical memory and ear from the musician as well as ability to improvise. Gochaq Askarov, the soloist of the mugham group, is renowned across the Caucasus for his voice, high in pitch and soft and rich in timbre. Accompanied by Aytekin Akbarova (saz), an author of many poems and melodies with an expressive and emotional performing manner. Gochaq Askarov (tar) performs with Malik Mansurov (tar) and Elshan Mansurov (kamancha).

Workshop on the music of Azerbaijan

At the Asian Music Centre.


December 2009

Buddhist monks from the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in India

An opportunity to meet the Buddhist monks from Tashi Lhunpo Monastery.  Gain an insight into Tibetan monastic life: the robes, the music and the use of the system of dialectical debate; the mudras (hand gestures) used within the tantric tradition of ritual prayer and the magnificent costumes and dance in the Gyutor Festival at the Tibetan New Year. At the Asian Music Centre.


January 2010

Tibetan Mountains Songs with Soname

Born in the Tibetan countryside, Soname moved to England where she has been developing a singing career and brought to European audiences the traditional music from her distant homeland. Her songs reflect different styles including both powerful mountain songs, and songs with a spiritual influence. Soname's voice is awesomely powerful with a haunting passion that reflects the joy and beauty of the Tibetan landscape.

A night of Iranian, Afghan and Indian traditional Music at Café Oto

Enjoy and learn more about traditional music in the relaxed atmosphere of Café Oto. Veronica Doubleday will be singing traditional Afghan folk and popular songs and playing the daireh (frame drum), with John Baily (Emeritus Professor of Ethnomusicology at Goldsmiths, pictured right) on Afghan rubab, a short necked double chambered plucked lute with sympathetic strings, and dutar, a two-stringed long-necked lute. Debipriya Das, Sitar and Vocals ­ Debipriya, vocalist/ sitarist for Tarang (UKs first National South Asian Ensemble) will be performing light-classical musical forms in both Hindi and Bengali on her plucked stringed lute.

Strings of Asia Series: Okinawan Court Music from Japan with Shinjin Kise

The Sanshin (literally meaning Three strings) is an Okinawan musical instrument and precursor of the Japanese Shamisen. Its close resemblance in both appearance and name to the Chinese Sanxian suggests its Chinese origins. Shinjin Kise is one of the foremost Okinawan classical Sanshin musicians and former professor at the Okinawan Arts University. He is also the President of the Restoration of the Uzagaku 7 Music and of the Royal Court of Ryukyu Arts Association, as well as a member of the Council of the Association of Traditional Arts of Okinawa.


February 2010

Beijing Opera Demonstration and Workshop with Qin Liang

Professional Beijing Opera actor Qin Liang will introduce Beijing Opera history, role types, painted-faces, costumes, voice, movements, and show a short video. She will demonstrate movements and voice in part costume with a 15-meter long ribbon. The audience will be invited to join in basic movements and singing at the end. Qin Liang graduated in Daomadan (military Lady's role) from the Performance Department of the National Academy of Chinese Opera, Beijing, in 1999. She graduated in 2002 from the Music Education Department of the Wuhan Conservatory of Music, majoring in Dance, after which she worked as a teaching assistant for the Hubei University of Technology for three years.

Qin Liang

Pictured above: Qin Liang

Ronu Majumdar and Nathan 'Flutebox' Lee in London, Wolverhampton and Corsham

India's ace flautist Ronu Majumdar needs no introduction. Ranendranath Majumdar is a force to be reckoned with in the realm of Indian classical music both as thinking musician and scintillating performer. He was fortunate to receive training from his grand guru Pandit Ravi Shankar and is firmly rooted in the Maihar gharana.

With his trademark live fluteboxing (beat boxing and playing the flute at the same time), Nathan ‘Flutebox’ Lee’s explosive blend unites hip hop, drum ‘n’ bass and Ragga beats with Indian classical, jazz and funk melodies. His hi-octane, hyper-percussive show combines the raw energy and attitude of hip hop and jazz beats with the intricacies and musicianship of classical Indian music. Nathan will be accompanied by WanDan on beatbox and Hanif Khan on tabla.

Pandit Ronu MajumdarNathan 'Flutebox' Lee

Pictured l-r: Pandit Ronu Majumdar, Nathan 'Flutebox' Lee

The UK's first Himalayan Film and Cultural Festival at Passing Clouds, London

The Asian Music Circuit is proud to support the UK’s First Himalayan Film and Cultural Festival! From 28 January to 12 February 2010 we are celebrating the rich and varied cultures of the world’s mightiest mountain range with film, music, art and photography. Ronu Majumdar will perform as part of the Himalaya Festival.

Kutumba is a folk instrumental ensemble, group of six professionals from Kathmandu. Having come together for the preservation of their culture and art, Kutumba wishes to spread Nepali folk music throughout the world. Self motivated and self driven, Kutumba is a group with their own unique sound and vision. The seven members have different roots and backgrounds in music. Kutumba is the harmony of traditional roots, culture and new sounds.

"As we struggle in this unique time period when we are looking inwards and fighting for rights, we also struggle with the larger forces of globalization when our youth find themselves exposed to global cultures, packaged attractively by television and the media.

Between wanting to be the next big rock star and the pressures at home on asserting yourself culturally to be 'more' Nepali, Kutumba feels now it is a good time to reach out to young Nepalis and encourage them to find value, dignity and joy through the creative and stabilizing energy and beauty of their unique music art forms. "


Pictured above: Kutumba at the UK's first Himalayan Film and Cultural Festival


March 2010

The Asian Music Circuit Presents... at Café Oto: Traditional Indian music, traditional Jewish music from Eastern Europe, and an exploration bringing the two together

The third night in a series constantly evolving. This time AMC hosts an eclectic night featuring Jyotsna Srikanth on violin, accompanied by mridangam, the London Klezmer Quartet and finally a newly composed piece with Francesca Ter-Berg on cello, Camilo Tirado on tabla, Ewan Bleach on saxophone, and a Dhrupad singer

Baul and Fakiri songs

Come and join us to listen to unique Baul and Fakiri songs from Bengal on Saturday 27 March 2010. Sasthidas Baul, Arjun Kyapa and Golam Fakir are the forbearers of an unorthodox devotional tradition of Bengal which carries influences of the Hindu Bhakti movements and Sufi Islam. These mystic singers sing about humanism and brotherhood, celebration of life and nature. Come and enjoy their simple songs which transcend linguistic barriers and listen to the beats of Khol and Dubki, strumming of Ektara and Dolara. The event is part of a larger tour funded by the European Union.