BOSTON– Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia is undoubtedly the best flute player in the world today. On Nov. 18, he will perform at Regis College auditorium in Weston, MA. The event is expected to be a spectacular show as 79-year-old musician returns to Boston after nearly 10 years.
“We are really delighted and excited about presenting the legendary Hindustani flute maestro Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia in November,” said Pradeep Shukla, founder of Waltham, MA-based LearnQuest Academy of Music. “With lasting contributions both in Classical Music and in Bollywood, he holds a very special place in Indian music.”
The program is being organized by Radio MusicIndia, a weekly radio show, in collaboration with LearnQuest Academy. The radio show is hosted every Sunday from 11 am to 12 pm at WLYN 1360AM by the hosts Sanjay Jain, Syed Ali Rizvi, Anuradha Palakurthi and Pradeep Shukla.
Pandit Chaurasia will be accompanied on the tabla by one of the leading tabla players of today Pt. Shubhankar Banerjee of Kolkata, Shukla told INDIA New England News. Pandit Banerjee is one of the most virtuosic tabla players of the new generation. He has toured with many of India’s leading musicians, including Pandit Ravi Shankar, Pandit Chaurasia, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, and Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma. In addition, he has performed with jazz greats such as John McLaughlin.
The Boston event is scheduled to start on Nov. 18 at 6:30 pm at the Regis College Auditorium, located at 235 Wellesley Street in Weston, MA.
Tickets: Sponsors – $100 (rows A and B); Premium early bird: (rows C,D, E and F) – $60; Premium after Nov. 4th – $70;
General early bird – $30; General after Nov. 4 – $35
Tickets will be available soon at websites India New England News and LearnQuest Academy.
The event is going to be sold out very quickly, Shukla said, adding that ticket sales will start Thursday, Oct. 5.
Pandit Chaurasia is known for his outstanding contribution in popularizing Indian Classical Music all over the world. His consummate artistry has distinguished him as the greatest living master of the North Indian Bamboo Flute, acclaimed both at home and abroad.
Born on July 1st, 1938 in Allahabad, India, he began his musical pursuit at the age of 15, learning classical vocal technique from Pandit Rajaram. Within a year, however, he had switched to flute playing, after hearing Pandit Bholanath, a noted flautist from Varanasi. He tutored under Pandit Bholanath for eight years. In 1957, barely out of his teens, he became regular staff artiste of All India Radio, Cuttack in Orissa, where he worked as performer as well as a composer. From here began his musical journey that took him all over the globe, according to his official biography on his website.
Since early 1960s, Pandit Chaurasia has been performing nationally and internationally winning acclaim from varied audiences. He tours regularly in the US and Europe and is a featured artiste in almost all major music festivals around the globe.
“As a musician Pandit Chaurasia is a rare combination of an innovator and a traditionalist. He has significantly expanded the expressive possibilities of classical North Indian flute- playing through his masterful blowing technique and his unique adaptation of alaap and jod to the flute,” according to his bio. “Pandit Chaurasia’s horizons also extend beyond North Indian Classical music to Indian folk and popular music and to western music as well.”
He has composed music for many Indian films. The famous “Silsila” which he collaborated on with Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma was a platinum disc in India, and the musical duo Shiv-Hari went on to compose soulful music for many successful movies like Lamhe, Chandni, Faasle, Parampara, Sahibaan and Darr.
His experimental album “Eternity” which incorporated many western elements alongside of North Indian Classical ones to become a platinum disc. Pandit Chaurasia has recorded many such albums in which he has tried to blend Indian Classical Music with western music to create beautiful and soulful music. He has recorded a compact disc at Oslo along with jazz artiste John McLaughlin and Jan Garbarek, which has gained international popularity. Besides these he has cut many albums of Indian Classical music, thematic music, music for meditation, bhajans and folk music, according to his official bio.
He has also shared stage with eminent artistes from all over the world. He has performed memorable jugalbandis with the stalwarts of Indian Classical music like Pandit Jasraj, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Ustad Zakir Hussain, Dr. Balamuralikrishnan, Smt. Kishori Amonkar and jammed with western artistes like John Mc Laughlin, Jan Garbarek, Larry Coryell, Egberto Gismonti and many others. He has conducted orchestras with western instrumentalists also amongst which is ‘Adi Anant’.
In addition to his performance and compositions, Pandit Chaurasia also plays the role of a dedicated Guru & teacher. He has several dedicated and talented students not only in India but also around the world who are making their mark on the Indian Classical music front. When he is not touring and performing he is busy teaching music in Mumbai, where he has built a Vrindaban Gurukul, a Gurukul type ashram where he teaches music in the traditional Guru-Shishya Parampara. For his students hailing from Eastern and Central zones, he has another school in the same Gurukul style in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. He also teaches music at the Rotterdam Music Conservatorium, where he is the Artistic Director of the Indian Music Department, according to his official bio.