Maestro Ali Akbar Khan's Centennial Concerts CEST
A June Concert for our Centennial Celebration!
Thank you to each one of you who have helped to make our Centennial celebrations an almighty success thus far! Honoring Maestro Ali Akbar Khan’s 100th birthday is our great privilege, and we will continue to do so with our June concert event this month.
These online performances are a tribute to the life, teachings, and music of Maestro Khan, one of the greatest sarod players of our time. The third concert in our series will take place on Saturday, June 18th at 7:00 pm (worldwide).
Our June concert will begin with a performance by the unique Indian slide guitarist, Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya, who will be accompanied by renowned tabla player, Pandit Tanmoy Bose. Ending the evening will be Indrayuddh Majumdar on sarod and Ayan Sengupta on sitar, with accompaniment on tabla by Ojas Adhiya.
These performances are hosted by Maestro Khan’s school, the Ali Akbar College of Music—a non-profit organization seeking to spread the teachings of this ancient tradition to any and all who wish to learn. For more information about upcoming events throughout this Centennial year, please visit aliakbarkhan.com.
Meet the Artists
Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya was born into a musical family in Kolkata, and his skill became apparent at a young age. His parents, both traditional Indian vocalists, gave him a basic understanding of music—his brother and sister are musicians as well. He first began strumming a guitar when he was 3 years old, when his father gave him a full-size Hawaiian lap steel guitar.
Debashish made his debut at the age of 4, on All India Radio in Calcutta, where he was accompanied on table by the late Ustad Karamatullah Khan of the Farukhabad gharana. At age 15, Debashish designed his first Chaturangui, which he uses to play Hindustani slide guitar.
When he was 20, Debashish received the President of India Award for winning All India Radio’s national music competition. At 21, he went to study for ten years under Indian slide guitar pioneer Brij Bhushan Kabra. In his thirties, Debashish was awarded the top grade at All India Radio. His charisma as a musician, composer, innovator, revolutionary, guru, and the director of international slide guitar has attracted devotees of music from all corners of the world.
More at debashishbhattacharya.com
Pandit Tanmoy Bose is one of the foremost musicians in the contemporary world music scene, and an indispensable member of the table and rhythm community. Born to a family of connoisseurs, he began learning music at the age of seven—studying vocal music from Pandit Maharaj Banerjee, harmonium from Pandit Mantu Banerjee, and subsequently learning table. Tanmoy first took his talim from the late Kenai Dutta, and after his passing, Tanmoy became a Gandabandh Shagird of Pandit Shankar Ghosh. He had a continued association with Pandit Ravi Shankar and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. Equally brilliant within traditional as well as experimental genres, he has carved out a unique niche for himself as a classical musician, new-age artist and composer.
Tanmoy studied with Pandit Shankar Ghosh for three decades, as well as keeping a busy performing and teaching schedule across the globe. Tanmoy has been an ardent researcher and composer. In 2002, his world music project Taal Tantra received praise, showcasing cross cultural rhythm and devices.
Indrayuddh Majumdar has been learning Sarod from his father, the world-renowned Sarod Maestro, Pandit Tejendra Narayan Majumdar, since he was five years old. He has also been receiving vocal guidance from his mother, Dr. Manasi Majumder, who is a renowned Indian Classical vocalist. Initially, he had also received taalim (lessons) from his grandfather, the late Ranjan Majumder, and he had the fortune of receiving taalim on Laya & Taal (Rhythm) from the world-renowned Tabla Maestro, the late Pandit Subhankar Banerjee.
He represents the Senia Maihar Gharana (School of Music), which was founded by one of the greatest saints of Indian Classical Music, Acharya Baba Ustad Allauddin Khan, and popularized by his worthy disciples: Swara Samrat Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Bharat Ratna Pandit Ravi Shankar, Vidushi Annapurna Devi, Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, Ustad Bahadur Khan, Ustad Aashish Khan, and others.
Indrayuddh is the first Indian to receive the prestigious Salon Di Virtuosi Award in New York, which is awarded annually to the Best Classical Musicians across the globe. He was given this award after a special concert at the Consulate General of India in New York on 7th June, 2018.
Ayan Sengupta has been studying sitar since he was six years old. His style expertly blends the vocalistic turns of his gurus, who include singers such as Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty as well as esteemed sitarists Pandit Manilal Nag, Pandit Partha Chatterjee, and Pandit Kushal Das. Ayan also learned from his grandfather, another vocalist.
When he was young, Ayan found success in local competitions, and in 2007 he won the All India Radio youth sitar competition. In 2008, he was the recipient of the Ravi Koppikar Memorial Award from ITC SRA in Mumbai. In 2010, he received the National Scholarship (Senior) from Govt. of India, which was held in Bhopal. In 2011, at the age of 21, AIR awarded him an “A” grade rating, making him one of the first sitarists born in the 1990s to achieve this accolade.
Ayan has received acclaim for his growing international touring schedule, debuting in London in early 2019. He is currently a scholar at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy in Kolkata, and has received a Masters in Instrumental Music from Rabindra Bharati University.
Ojas Adhiya was born in Chikhli, Maharashtra State, and is hailed as a musical child prodigy. His father, Dr. Yogesh Adhiya, spotted his child’s keen interest in percussion at the tender age of 2, watching him at Siddha Yoga Guru Swami Muktananda and Gurumayi Chidvilasananda’s chanting and meditation center.
Once his talent was recognized by Padmashree Kalyanji, Ojas’ father put him under the care of the music maestros Shri Kalyanji-Anandji. At the age of 5, Ojas was sent to study with one of Shri Kalyanji’s close family friends, Shri Mridangraj, where Ojas learned the traditional practices of tabla playing, including accompaniments. There, he became a disciple of Shri Mridangraj ji.
Ojas has performed with world renowned fusion band SHAKTI, with maestros John Maclaughlin, Shankar Mahadevan, Selva Ganesh and Ganesh Rajagopalan. He has been fortunate to accompany many world class artists over his career thus far.
About Maestro Ali Akbar Khan
Ali Akbar Khan (known more familiarly as Khansahib) was regarded as a “musician’s musician.” He was the master of the sarod (a 25-stringed, fretless instrument), in the Maihar gharana (ancestral tradition), and was known for his incredible breadth of artistry and knowledge. He was born in the village of Shibpur, in present-day Bangladesh on April 14th, 1922, and was raised by his father, Acharya Baba Allauddin Khan, and his mother, Madina Begum.
Khansahib began his studies with his father at the tender age of 3, learning vocal music. The classical music of North India is among the oldest continual musical traditions in the world, dating back thousands of years, and his father is acknowledged as one of the greatest figures in North Indian music of all time. Their family traces its gharana from Mian Tansen—a 16th century musical genius and court musician for Emperor Akbar—to Mohammed Wazir Khan, who was court musician of Rampur State and Baba Allauddin Khan’s guru. In olden times, this music was considered close to magic; there are many accounts of it healing the ailing, as well as starting fires and bringing rain. The music could be used as medicine, and for this reason it must be studied seriously and with intense dedication.
Khansahib would go on in life to be awarded the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award in India, followed by the Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest. In 1971 he performed at Madison Square Garden for the Concert for Bangladesh, along with Ravi Shankar, Alla Rakha, and Kamala Chakravarty; other musicians at the concert included George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and Ringo Starr. Khansahib received the illustrious MacArthur Fellowship in 1991—the first Indian musician to be awarded the “genius grant.” In 1997, Khansahib received the National Endowment for the Arts’ prestigious National Heritage Fellowship; this is the United States’ highest honor in the traditional arts. He also received five Grammy nominations over the course of his life.
For more information about Khansahib’s incredible life and works, please visit aacm.org
About the AACM
The Ali Akbar College of Music was founded in 1967 by the legendary sarod Maestro Ali Akbar Khan, in Berkeley, California. The following year, it was relocated to Marin County—eventually landing in San Rafael, where it has remained.
During Ali Akbar Khan’s career, he often dreamed of being able to open a school of music; an institution where musicians and music lovers alike could exist together and be surrounded constantly by their shared interests. After opening his first school in Calcutta in 1956, Khansahib was drawn to California and the incredible interest he found when visiting the Bay Area. It was his father, the esteemed Acharya Baba Allauddin Khan, who instilled in Khansahib the importance of spreading and teaching this music to any and all who wish to learn. His influence was the basis for Khansahib’s vision and remains as the mission statement of the AACM.
More at aacm.org