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October 13, 2003

Disciple of renowned master musician Ali Akbar Khan to kick off new Indian classical music series

By Scott Rappaport

Violinist Sisirkana Dhar Chowdhury--a disciple of renowned master musician Ali Akbar Khan for over 30 years--will kick off the UCSC Music Department’s 2003-04 Indian Classical Music series with a concert on Saturday, October 25, at 7:30 p.m. in the Music Center Recital Hall.

Acclaimed Indian violinist Sisirkana Dhar Chowdhury (above) will perform in concert at the Music Recital Hall on October 25, accompanied by Uttam Chakraborty (below) on tabla and Jyotsana Dutta Roy (not pictured) on tanpura. Photos courtesy of UCSC Music Department

One of India’s premier performers of Hindustani music, Sisirkana will be accompanied by Uttam Chakraborty on tabla and Jyotsana Dutta Roy on tanpura.

Sisirkana has performed frequently on All India Radio and Television and is a 1997 recipient of India’s prestigious Sangeet Natak Academy award for her contribution to the field of Hindustani classical violin.

Sisirkana is also a visiting professor at the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael, where she serves as director of bowed instruments. She first met Khan in 1956, and has since toured the world, performing in Nepal, Bangladesh, Scandinavia, Russia, Japan, England, and throughout the United States.

“This is a brand-new concert series,” noted UCSC music professor Linda Burman-Hall. “It comes out of the generosity of Kamil and Talat Hasan, two Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who have made an endowment for classical Indian music at the campus. They were concerned about a younger generation of Indian heritage students who haven’t had the exposure to the musical traditions that their parents experienced. And they also wanted to provide exposure for non-Indian students who may be curious about this wonderful improvisational musical tradition.”

The concert series is also funded by the Ali Akbar Khan Endowment for Classical Indian Music, established in 1999 at UCSC. This fund enriches courses in Indian music and has helped make possible the presence on campus of Ali Akbar Khan.

One of the world’s most accomplished Indian classical musicians and raga composers, the legendary 81-year-old Khan is revered by jazz, classical, and pop musicians worldwide. He has performed for more than 8 million people, recorded nearly 100 albums, and received numerous awards and honors--including a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” award, four Grammy nominations, and a prestigious National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

In 1999, Khan was named Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Music at UCSC. His role on campus is to present occasional concerts, master classes, and workshops, both on his own and with his associates. He also serves as an adviser to the Arts Division in the development of courses and resources in Indian classical music, and helps facilitate the presentation of outstanding guest performers.

Burman-Hall said that future concerts in the series are scheduled for February 29 and May 2, with the bookings soon to be announced.

For more information, contact the UCSC Ticket Office at (831) 459-2159 or go to: events.ucsc.edu/tickets.

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