Advance tickets $14/12
Shubhendra Rao, a worthy successor to his master, Ravi Shankar, is joined by his wife Saskia Rao-de Haas, a brilliant Dutch cellist with strong foundations in both north Indian and Western classical traditions. Together, the couple has evolved a rare and lovely musical language that weaves European and Indian folk skeins into the rich texture of the classical Indian idiom. Secured in the complex rhythmic and melodic framework of this tradition, the musicians are free to improvise, discover and reveal the musical possibilities of a world of influences.
Shubhendra Rao is one of the leading instrumentalists of India, praised for his sensitivity, purity of technique and depth of innovation. A disciple of sitar master Ravi Shankar since childhood, Shubhendra performs extensively and is also deeply involved in experimenting with new musical idioms, creating and teaching music.
Saskia Rao-de Haas has worked with singular dedication to adapt the cello to Indian classical music. Her technique nurtures the inherent closeness of the cello to the human voice and explores the unrestrained brilliance of the instrument. Saskia plays a cello specially modified for Indian music from European Baroque and Indian designs. Smaller than the traditional cello so that it can be played sitting on the floor, an extra higher string and ten sympathetic strings expand the instrument’s range and enrich its tonal quality.
Tabla player Akram Khan has performed internationally to great acclaim with such artists as Dabu Chauduri and Ram Narayan. Currently a Professor at the University of Washington Seattle, Akram has accompanied some of the great masters of Indian classical music, and serves as accompanist to Ravi Shankar.
Free lecture/demo Thursday April 3, 7:30 pm
Shubhendra Rao and Saskia Rao-de Haas will demonstrate approaches to combining Western and Indian music idioms.
This program is co-presented with Simon Fraser University School for the Contemporary Arts.