Past events: 2010/2011

This archive page is for reference only.

April 2010

Courtly Love - Indian poetry, music and dance from the palaces of the Maharajahs at the National Portrait Gallery

Organised jointly with Poets in the City. This event will be hosted by the leading expert Viram Jasani, and will feature the acclaimed Dhrupad singer Ritwik Sanyal, who will be accompanied by Shrikant Mishra on  the traditional double-headed drum the pakhawaj. The event will feature rarely heard recitals from the bardic tradition by Rajendra Singh Barhath and Kalla Khan Manganiyar, followed by Hannah Mannila and Hetel Gokal performing kathak, a stylish and exciting dance which also formed an important part of these sophisticated courtly entertainments.


May 2010

An Evening of Courtly Music

Recital of dhrupad with singer Ritwik Sanyal accompanied by Shrikant Mishra on pakhawaj , followed by a recital of chhands and bardic poetry with Rajendra Singh Barhath and Kala Khan from Rajasthan and a multi-media presentation by expert on Rajasthan folklore, Nitin Harsh.

The Essence of Krishna featuring Hariprasad Chaurasia with Pt Hari Prasad on bansuri and Niladri Kumar on sitar at Cadogan Hall

The Bansuri flute was the instrument used by Lord Krishna to invoke the call of divine love. Today no living person personifies this call better than Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia who has devoted his life perfecting it and winning worldwide acclaim, and making him the most sought after contemporary musician in the world today.  Niladri Kumar, the son and disciple of Sitar Maestro Pandit Kartick Kumar, is a rare instrumentalist with a unique musical repertoire, innovative skills and the dexterity of swift, agile fingers. Niladri is considered one of his generations brightest stars with a career that promises to be illustrious and innovative.  Presented by the Lions of Moor Park in association with Asian Music Circuit in aid of The Chain of Hope. The Bansuri flute was the instrument used by Lord Krishna to invoke the call of divine love. Today no living person personifies this call better than Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia who has devoted his life perfecting winning worldwide acclaim, and making him the most sought after contemporary musician in the world today.  Also featuring the internationally acclaimed dancer, Alarmel Valli who interprets the fables of Krishna through dance. Her dance is reputed to be vibrant, joyous and sensuous without losing the deep spirituality.

India Noir: LATE at the National Portrait Gallery

India Noir is an evening filled with a rich and illuminating mix of contemporary Indian culture. Enjoy live Indian music programmed by the Asian Music Circuit; a fascinating panel discussion about Indian Crime Fiction delving into the dark side of Delhi and Calcutta with well known authors and writers and British contemporary artists, The Singh Twins will be in conversation to discuss their work which fuses Indian traditional and contemporary Western influences. With a range of exciting Gallery tours, art and dance workshops added to the mix this will be a truly memorable night. Part of the Indian Spring events season accompanying The Indian Portrait 1560 – 1860 exhibition.

Activities at the Asian Music Centre: Talk and demonstration on Chinese Lute with Cheng-Ying Chuang

Taiwanese lutenist/countertenor Cheng-Ying Chuang studied Chinese lutes liuqin & zhongruan since 12 and finished MMus at Birmingham Conservatoire in  vocal performance in 2007. He won prizes on Chinese lute solo, conducting and voice in both Taiwan and UK and was the first countertenor to be awarded as the Young Star 2008 of the National Concert Hall in Taipei. In this talk, he will introduce the history of liuqin and zhongruan , including the reformation of the modern instruments he is using and the comparison between Chinese plucked instruments. He will also perform music/songs selected from Han (206 BCE–220 CE), Tang (618-917), 20th Century and contemporary styles.

Asian Film Season: Music in Movies

What would movies be without music and songs? How does soundtrack layer and enhance a filmic narrative? How much does a film music reflect its context and culture? What is special about Bollywood song and dance? A special season of film screenings which explore the use of music and soundtrack in feature films from South Asia. In addition there will be some documentaries on Indian music and musicians. Each film will be book-ended by an introduction and a post-screening discussion.

This series is presented by the film producer and historian Sangeeta Datta

Hariprasad Chaurasia

Ritwik SanyalRajendra SinghKala Khan

Pictured above: Hariprasad Chaurasia. Pictured below l-r: Ritwik Sanyal, Rajendra Singh Barhath and Kala Khan


July 2010

London Uyghur Ensemble at Southbank Centre and on tour in Europe

Summer School 2010 at the Royal Academy of Music

As part of the annual summer school there will also be a wonderful series of concerts and seminars held at the Southbank Centre which will be open to the public. All concerts will take place at Southbank Centre's Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall, London.

Indian music:

Pandits Rajan and Sajan Misra – khyal
Pandit Uday Bhawalkar - dhrupad
Sunanda Sharma - thumri

Chinese music:

Cheng Yu - pipa

Japanese music:

Taiko drumming and Japanese Koto

Shehnai Ensemble led by Satish Prakash Qamar

Traditionally the shehnai was used at ceremonial occasions; welcoming the king back to his palace, keeping watch from the turrets, in battle - working up the emotions of the fighters - to accompany various kinds of dances for example the famous circle dances of Gujarat, but it is especially used in weddings with which it is most associated. The shehnai became famous as a solo classical instrument only in the last 50 - 60 years or so especially with the world famous Ustad Bismillah Khan.

The Shehnai Ensemble comprises of the outstanding Satish Prakash Qamar who trained mainly in the vocal tradition of the Delhi Gharana with Ustad Chand Khan, with also some guidance from the great Ustad Bismillah Khan. This meant that Satish developed the difficult technique of playing the shehnai in the gayaki or vocal style with difficult meends  ( glissandi and gamak ) (slow and fast vibrato) and of course fast passages. Apart from the strictly classical music Satish revels in the lighter thumri styles associated with Varanasi - such as chaiti , dadra and dhun . He is accompanied by four of his students who all play the shehnai with him providing in the traditional way the drone and supporting melodic lines. The whole makes for a powerful performance with tabla accompaniment.

The shehnai is a reed oboe type of instrument from North India, made famous around the world by the late Ustad Bismillah Khan. The renowned Satish Prakash with his shehnai Ensemble will perform an elevating and powerful tribute to his life and work.                                  

Uday BhawalkarRajan and Sajan MisraSatish Prakash QamarShehnai Ensemble

Pictured above l-r: Pandit Uday Bhawalkar, Pandits Rajan and Sajan Misra, Satish Prakash Qamar. Pictured below: Shehnai Ensemble

The Kamkars at the Barbican Centre, London

Widely recognised as one of the leading musical ensembles in Iran today, the ever-popular Kamkars make a welcome return to London with their inspiring new repertoire. This Kurdish family of seven brothers and a sister perform a compelling and richly diverse programme ranging from the entrancing melodies of Persian classical to the driving rhythms of Kurdish dance music.

Rajasthani folk music and dance group on tour around the UK and Europe

The KamkarsRajasthani desert group

Rajasathani folk music and dance groupRajasthani group

Pictured above l-r: The Kamkars, Rajasthani folk musician, Rajasthani folk dancer. Pictured below: Rajasthani folk group


August 2010

Croydon Mela

The ARCC Classical Tent at Croydon Mela: the AMC programmes the classical tent with a brilliant line up featuring Kiranpal Singh on santoor, Amina Khayyam – kathak, Tarun Jasani on sarod, Shabaz Husain and Prakash (tabla and mridangam duet); Swati Natekar and her musicians.


September 2010

Festival of Afghanistan: Music of Herat – Afghanistan (on tour throughout the UK)

The nationwide tour Music from Herat will feature a mixture of Herati vocal and instrumental music, along with the Afghan classical music that has been performed in Herat since the 1930s.

The festival also features several events at the Asian Music Centre, including Professor John Baily's lecture on the music from Herat as well as screening his film Annual Cycle, featuring recordings of his visits to Afghanistan from 1973 to 1977, in the years before the Soviet occupation.

Festival of Afghanistan: Roses and Nightingales

Professor John Baily performs, along with Ustad Arif a master tabla player, a mixture of traditional Afghan folk and classical music in Roses and Nightingales.

Festival of Afghanistan: Lecture on Music from Herat by Prof. John Baily with the screening of “Annual Cycle”

Featuring Music from Herat (see above for details). Also featuring John Baily (dutar and rubbab), Veronica Doubleday (vocal and daira [frame drum]), Ustad Arif Mahmoud-Chisti (tabla drums) and Jan Hendrickse (flute).

Festival of Afghanistan: Lecture by Dr. Moya Carey

Dr. Moya Carey's lecture is titled “Painting for Sultan Husayn Bayqara, Art in Late Timurid Herat”

Festival of Afghanistan: Afghan Tales - A Storytelling Event

Afghan Tales is a family friendly event at the Asian Music Centre which takes us on a musical journey through the emerald pastures, snow-capped Pamir mountains and arid valleys of Afghanistan, a land of teaming bazaars and palaces inhabited by greedy kings, wicked viziers and jinn fairies. Drawing on Afghanistan's rich oral heritage, Afghan Tales introduces the customs, religions and cultures that make up this fascinating country. Featuring the talents of Nasim Rahim Khushnawaz (Afghan rubab), Ustad Gada Mohammad (Herati dutar), Naimatullah (Herati vocal), Muhammad Aziz (classical vocal and harmonium), Yusuf Mahmoud (tabla) and female vocalist Mina Amani. A puppet-making workshop follows the 3pm performance and a carpet-making workshop follows the 7pm performance (both are suitable for children aged 5 years and older)

Festival of AfghanistanJohn Baily Music of HeratMina

Pictured l-r: Mina Amani in Music of Herat, Professor John Baily, Music of Herat, Mina Amani

Tagore Centre UK – 25th anniversary

The Tagore Centre UK is celebrating its 25th anniversary by holding a musical extravaganza at the Scoop, featuring music, dancing and poetry inspired by the work of the Nobel Prize-winning Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore.

The event will showcase rhythmic music and dance as is traditionally performed at Tagore's university in Santiniketan, India. Artistes include the Baul/Fakir group from rural Bengal, authentic folk musicians, and Hans Vermeersch, the well-known Belgian fiddle player who specialises in interpreting and playing Tagore's music.


October 2010

Asian Music Circuit in association with Red Orange presents Terry Riley, Talvin Singh and George Brooks: California Kirana - The West Coast Legacy of Pran Nath

Terry Riley has been away from the UK for many years, and this is his 75th Birthday. The Asian Music Circuit are honoured to tour the world famous Terry Riley as he performs Indian ragas with arrangements on the saxophone played by the ever progressive saxophonist George Brooks and Mercury Music awarded tabla player Talvin Singh.

Music, like all living beings, must evolve to keep pace with a changing environment. The ancient arts of India struggle for survival in a world moving at an every increasing speed. Technology and desire for wealth move us forward and leave little time for the reflection and introspection necessary to evolve the high art known as raga.

Pran Nath's music was rooted in the masters of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As a young man he survived a harrowing journey during partition from Lahore to the new nation of India and later to the US where his most dedicated students absorbed his teachings and continue to reflect on them in deeply personal forms of artistic expression. Pran Nath took the ancient traditions of fierce dedication to craft and guru and handed them to a new generation of American disciples.

Terry Riley, George Brooks and Talvin Singh will perform traditional ragas arranged for piano, voice, saxophone and percussion, focusing on some of Pran Nath's favorite ragas from the Kirana tradition such as Darbari, Bageshri, Malkauns, Yemen and Bhimpolasi. In addition they will perform works from their duo repertoire including movements from "Salome Dances for Peace" and "Ebony Horns". Each artist will also perform a solo work.

George Brooks  Talvin Singh  Terry Riley

Pictured l-r: George Brooks, Talvin Singh, Terry Riley


February 2011

Winter School (khyal, tabla) and Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar in concert

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. Renowned cassette companies of India and abroad have brought out many cassettes and compact discs of his music, a testimonial to his immense popularity. He has performed extensively in India and abroad. Presently, he is associated with Sangeet Research Academy of Calcutta as a Guru. Accompanied by Pandit Suresh Talwalkar on tabla.

Ulhas KashalkarSuresh Talwalkar

Pictured l-r: Ulhas Kashalkar, Suresh Talwalkar

Two outstanding winners of Asian Music Circuit awards: Hari Vrndavn  Sivanesan (veena) with Pirashanna Thevarajah (mridangam)

Hari Vrndavn is a senior disciple of Smt Sivasakthi Sivanesan of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. Showing promise at a young age, he was the recipient of the first ever award made the Asian Music Circuit in the mid 1990's to further his training in India under Smt Kalpakam Swaminathan, a salwart of the gayaki style. Subequently he was privileged to be picked by Sitar Maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar to sing and play in the CD, "Chants of India" produced by Ravi Shankar and ex Beatle George Harrison. He has recently been selected by BBC Radio 3 as their World Routes Academy Program mentee for this forthcoming year.

Pirashanna Thevarajah is a senior disciple of Sri M. Balachandar. He is also a winner of the prestigious AMC award at the Croydon International Music Festival. An extremely versatile percussionist, he has great command over various percussion instruments especially Mridangam, Kanjira, Ghatam and Morsing. He has performed with many classical and contemporary artists such as Pandit Ravi Shankar, Prof.T.V. Gopalakrishnan, Mandolin U. Shrinivas, Ganesh & Kumaresh, Anoushka Shankar, Talvin Singh, Karsh Kale, to name a few, and has performed across Europe, India, Canada, and America in many prestigious venues and festivals.

Hari SivanesanPirashanna Thevarajah

Pictured l-r: Hari Sivanesan, Pirashanna Thevarajah