Alchemy of Sounds and Strings
A Duet of Sitar and Indian Cello by Pandit Shubhendra Rao and Saskia Rao-de Haas with Shri Sapan Anjaria on Tabla
Internationally acclaimed musicians and composers, Sitarist Pandit Shubhendra Rao and Cellist Saskia Rao-de Haas bring to the music stage at Bangalore Literature Festival their musical virtuosity, and works of outstanding originality.
In a concert “Alchemy of Sound and Strings” – A Duet of Sitar and Indian Cello, the accomplished musicians perform together with Shri Sapan Anjaria on Tabla.
Being thinking musicians through their creations and compositions they are constantly endeavouring to carry their instruments beyond conventional boundaries and build musical bridges to many cultures. Their renderings exemplify the very best of musical traditions of the East and West.
As music educators they are tirelessly working to revolutionise music education in India, by making it accessible to all children. They encourage and empower children and their communities through their rich cultural heritage.
Pandit Shubhendra Rao
Pandit Shubhendra Rao is an internationally acclaimed performer, composer, cultural entrepreneur and music educator. His relentless service in promoting Indian music has made him a highly respected figure in the field of music and education across the world. A protégé of Bharat Ratna Pandit Ravi Shankar, Shubhendra Rao has established himself “not only as a master of his instrument but also as a thinking musician, constantly endeavouring to carry his instrument beyond conventional boundaries” and “a musical bridge to many cultures” Critics and connoisseurs hail him as a worthy successor to his Guru’s tradition. Internationally, he has performed at major music festivals and prestigious concert halls like Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Sydney Opera House, Salzburg International Music festival, National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, National Arts Festival in South Africa, BRICS Summit in China, Theatre de le Ville in Paris. In India, Shubhendra Rao has performed at major music festivals in India including Doverlane Music Conference, ITC Sangeet Sammelan, Baba Harvallabh Sangeet Mahasabha, Shankarlal.
Saskia Rao-de Haas
Saskia Rao-de Haas is a world-renowned virtuoso cellist, composer, cultural entrepreneur and educationalist from the Netherlands. She was trained as a Western cellist from a young age onwards, but changed direction when she came in touch with Indian music in 1993. She is known as a master performer in Indian classical music and hailed as the creator of a new instrument: the Indian cello. Flute Maestro Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia speaks of his disciple Saskia as “someone who has been taught by God.” According to him, “everybody should listen to her music”. Her compositions with her Sitarist husband, Pandit. Shubhendra Rao are well known all over the world.
Critics and audiences alike have praised her for artistic depth and technical virtuosity. Saskia has performed at all the most prestigious concert halls across the world, such as the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington DC, Musee Guimet in Paris, and the New Directions Cello festival. She is the first non-Indian artist to have performed as a Soloist at the prestigious Doverlane Music conference in Kolkata. As a composer, she is eminent at bridging the Western and Indian classical music traditions. Along with Pt Shubhendra Rao, she has composed music world leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Dutch Prime Minister She co- founded the Shubhendra and Saskia Rao foundation to promote the joy and benefits that Indian classical music can bring to children. She created the first complete music curriculum for Indian music for young children based on 6 storybooks. Over 20,000 children have already benefitted from the ‘Sangeet4All’ music curriculum. The books Saskia has written help children to experience the importance of having music in their lives and the transformative power of the Indian classical music traditions. Teacher handbooks, songs, instruments, workshops, teacher community and over 400 lesson plans, accompany the storybooks to ensure proper implementation of the curriculum. Saskia lives in New Delhi with her husband and their 13-year-old gifted pianist son Ishaan.
An Odyssey of Seven Notes
Saxophone Lavanya with Rageshri Dhumal (Keyboard), Shalini Mohan (Bass Guitar), Siddhi Shah (Drums), Soumya Sanathanan (Percussion)
Saxophonist Lavanya, Percussionist Soumya, Keyboard artist Rageshri, Bass Guitarist Shalini & Drummer Siddhi … known as the ‘Queens’, come together at the Bangalore Literature Festival to create an atrium of music!
In a concert “Odyssey of Seven Notes”, the band compose an ode to their musical roots. Their repertoire encompasses elements from Indian Classical music; Carnatic and Hindustani; to Jazz, Folk and Popular music.
Composing layers of orchestration in their musical rendering, the feisty musicians offer a unique interpretation to traditional sounds merging it with au courant and avante garde strands.
The signature of Queens is stylistic rendering of diverse radical voices in a harmonious melodic motif.
MS Lavanya is quite different from other musicians you meet. What sets her apart is the virtue of her choice of instrument and talent. She is the only accomplished female Saxophonist in India today. Music is in her blood. Her father is a mridangist, grandfather was a musician in the erstwhile Royal Court of Mysore and there are more than 10 percussionists in her family. Saxophone Lavanya’s musical journey began at the age of six with vocal and violin training. At the age of 15, she began to learn saxophone from the Indian Saxophone maestro, Padmashree Dr. Kadri Gopalnath. Since then there has been no looking back and she has successfully earned herself the name – ‘Saxophone Lavanya’ Her musical repertoire ranges from Carnatic, Hindustani, Fusion and Western to Jazz. Saxophone Lavanya’s appearances throughout the world include – The Little Chilli Festival of Asian Music at Purcell Hall, The Bath International Music Festival at Bath Guild Hall, and The Festival of One City One World at Nottingham among many others. She is the recipient of the “RAJYOTHSAVA AWARD” by the Government of Karnataka, “PADMABHARATHI” award, “YUVAKALA BHARATHI” awards to name a few. And also she has made an entry to the “LIMCA BOOK OF RECORDS ” for being the only woman Saxophonist in India.
Hails from a orthodox Musical family from Nashik, She’s performed more than 3000 concerts with the Top notch Musicians of our country.
She’s won many prestigious Awards like – ” NADA BRAMHA, THEATRE AWARD, GANAPATI AWARD, SWAMINI AWARD, & MAY LEK AWARD ” to name a few.
She’s an accomplished Bass Guitarist, Vocalist and also a Trumpet Player. She’s a popular name in the field of Rock Bands, and Pop and Jazz bands. Worked with various famous musicians and their projects, She’s a lead performer in the band Lagori & Allegro Fudge.
Siddhi is an artist & performer from Pune, now based in Mumbai, specializing in the Drums.
Having performed with several projects across India and also in Singapore & Bali, She is also one of the 7 featured artists at Dumru Festival’s – Women of Rhythm, India’s first ever concert dedicated to featuring the country’s best & upcoming female percussionists.
Is a multi Talented Artist. Not only a Popular Playback Singer in Malayalam movies, She’s also a Multi percussionist, and a Music composer too. She’s toured and performed with various popular musicians and has worked with many Legendary Music Directors.