Sarod maestro wraps up successful British tour

June 26th, 2008 - 5:44 pm ICT by IANS  

By Dipankar De Sarkar
London, June 26 (IANS) Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan has wrapped up a successful concert tour of Britain with the London finale of his Samagam concerto performed with the Scottish chamber orchestra. Samagam, the first concerto written for the sarod, marks the maestro’s foray into western music after years of reticence, and has inspired him to write more.

“There was this responsibility of the huge musical lineage behind me - its sheer purism,” said the scion of the Senia Bangash gharana.

“But I have always admired the harmony of western music… always listened to Bach, Beethoven and Mozart.

“I am much more relaxed now about composing western music. After all, the message of our gharana has always been to connect the world, that we have a common god, just as we have the common notes of music,” Khan told IANS.

Wednesday night’s performance at London’s historic Mansion House marked the end of a British tour that began with the northern Orkney island, with all performances marked by standing ovations and repeated curtain calls.

The composition takes in a number of ragas - not only the traditional Bhairavi, Khamaj, Basant, and Megh, but also some composed by the ustad himself, such as Ganesh Kalyan, Subhalakshmi (named after his wife), Swar Sameer and Suhag Bhairav.

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