February 16, 2004
From Switzerland to Santa Cruz: Grad student
pursues study of Indian classical music
By Scott Rappaport
In the late 90s, Annette Bauer was a student at the Musical Academy
of Basel in Switzerland, studying the recorder as a medieval and Renaissance
Grad student Annette Bauer will perform a program of North
Indian classical music--featuring works by Maestro Ali Akbar Khan--on
Saturday, February 21, at 7:30 p.m. in UCSCs Music Center
Recital Hall. Below, Bauer plays sarode during a recent performance
at Porter College. Photos by Scott Rappaport
But one of her instructors who taught medieval music improvisation
also happened to specialize in northern Indian classical music, and
Bauers life was soon transformed. She started taking vocal lessons
in Indian music, met legendary master musician Ali Akbar Khan, and began
playing the sarode--a close cousin of the sitar.
A native of Germany, the 26-year-old graduate student now lives in
Oakland and commutes to UCSC where she is pursuing a masters degree
in music. She also takes evening classes at the Ali Akbar College of
Music in San Rafael, practices up to 20 hours a week on the sarode,
and juggles a variety of research projects and performance rehearsals.
After receiving her diploma in early music from the Swiss academy,
Bauer decided to attend UCSC, specifically because of the universitys
Indian music program and its connection to Ali Akbar College in Marin
County. Three years later, Bauer is quite happy with the direction her
educational path has led, despite having taken on what often seems like
an overwhelming daily schedule.
Ive only had extremely positive experiences at UCSC, and
Im really glad it worked out the way it did, Bauer noted.
Ive been impressed with how helpful people have been in
accepting me--knowing that I wanted to study both here and at Ali Akbar
College. Im really the first person to take advantage of going
to both schools at the same time, she added.
Bauer has participated in a number of research projects with faculty
from the UCSC Music Department. She worked with Arts Division dean Edward
Houghton to transcribe a 16th-century choral manuscript, and has helped
assistant professor of music Amy Beal conduct research for a book about
experimental American composers in postwar Germany. Bauer is also collaborating
with music professor David Cope to translate an opera that he composed
about the life of Gustav Mahler.
Annette Bauer on sarode (center) accompanied by Michael Hoffman
on tabla (left), and Derek Wright on oud. Photo
by Scott Rappaport
Its in English now and Im translating it into German,
Bauer explained. I need to make sure that the German version fits
in with the music, and thats even more challenging than the translation.
Bauer has also gained valuable experience as a performer during her
time at UCSC. She has played with several different ensembles, and is
currently scheduled to accompany Music Department lecturer/guitarist
Mesut Ozgen as a guest musician on recorder for his March 5-6 concerts
in the UCSC Arts & Lectures series.
But Bauers main focus now is on Indian music, particularly the
music of Ali Akbar Khan, who has been a distinguished adjunct professor
at UCSC since 1999.
|Profiles of other outstanding UCSC students are available
Her graduate recital on February 21 will focus completely on the classical
music of North India and feature a program of ensemble works by Khan.
She will be accompanied in the second half of the concert by fellow
students from the Ali Akbar College on a variety of instruments including
violin, tabla, sitar, bass, viola, oud, and bouzouki.
Bauer is also set to begin writing her graduate thesisa historical
perspective and analysis of Khans musical projects that combine
both Indian and Western styles. She remains fascinated by the complexity
of Indian music and hopes to divide her future time between teaching,
performing, and conducting research in that genre.
I take music very seriously and in Indian music, there is a lot
of respect for playing an instrument, Bauer observed. Its
all about the creativity of an oral tradition where you work with your
teacher--the music is not written down.
In Indian culture, there are ragas for different times of the
daymorning, afternoon, and eveningand for every season,
she added. The music is really connected to the mood of every
moment in your life. And I find that very attractive.
Annette Bauer will perform her graduate recital on Saturday, February
21, at 7:30 p.m. in UCSCs Music Center Recital Hall. She will
present a program of North Indian classical music featuring works by
Maestro Ali Akbar Khan. Tickets are $6 general, $4 students, available
at the UCSC Ticket Office: (831) 459-2159.
Return to Front Page