Vidushi Sumitra Guha / CANCELLED
Vidushi Sumitra Guha
Dr. George Ruckert on the Harmonium
Shri Nikhil Tikekar on the Tabla
Sumitra Guha strides the two schools of Indian classical music, viz. Carnatic and Hindustani due to her unique upbringing. Her first teacher was her mother. She began her formal education in music at the age of 11 under the acclaimed S. R. Janakiraman (Sangeetha Vidwan). After completing her pre-university course, Sumitra went to Viswa Bharati University in Shantiniketan to pursue her graduation in Philosophy. It is here that she found herself getting drawn to Hindustani music. In 1964, Sumitra started learning Hindustani Classical music under none other than Pt. A. Kanan and Vidushi Malavika Kanan and later received instruction from Sushil Kumar Bose, the accomplished disciple of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan. With the encouragement of her husband and her father's continued support, Sumitra began her gradual ascent in the world of professional music. In 1995, she received the top grade classification of "Vidushi" from the All Indi Radio (AIR). She participated in chain concerts for AIR in 1982, 1985, 1989 and 1990. Her performances have been broadcast live nationwide during four Radio Sangeet Sammelans in 1988 (Mathura), 1994 (Bangalore), 1998 (Mumbai) and 2001 (Raipur). Sumitra made her first National programme on Doordarshan in 1985. A marked feature of Sumitra's entire career has been her recitals at various temples. She was awarded a gold medal from one such performance at the All India Vaggeyakar Utsavams at Bhadrachalam in 1984. In 1991, the West Bengal Journalists Association, conferred on her the Best vocalist of the Year for l990. She was awarded the Sangeet Kala Ratna by the Sangeet Kala Kendra, Agra, at the Vishnu Digambar Samaroh in October 97. And in 1995, the Central Production Centre made a documentary, called Ek Mulakat on her evolution as a musician. Melody is Sumitra's forte, and this is no surprise, considering that she belongs to the Kirana Gharana. However, she is no fundamentalist when it comes to gharanas. She draws from each what appeals to her, one of her favourites being the taans of the Patiala Gharana. Her rendition of murkis and gamaks has especially impressed the discerning among her audiences. And the imaginativeness with which she weaves together clusters of notes holds her listeners spellbound. Hindustan Times wrote: Sumitra's voice is of a satiny texture, smooth, without a single rough thread in it, and the sincere devotion she infused into her rendition. But perhaps the best review of her life she received for her show at the Vishakha Music Academy in Vishakhaputtnam. The daily 'Enadu', said of her voice: "Not only human hearts, but stones could also melt". Sumitra has recorded for the Sangeet Natak Academy and the national channels of AIR. Her cassettes in India have been distributed by the Atlantis Co. and HMV. She has also brought out several CDs abroad for the Indian Archives in New York as well as for the MMY Music foundation.
A performer, composer, arranger, author and teacher, George Ruckert is a rare breed of artist who has an extensive background in the disciplines of both western and Indian classical music. After he earned his masters degree in western music from Queens College, New York in 1967, he came in contact with sarod master, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and decided to become his disciple. As one of the senior-most disciples of Khansahib, he focused his attention on sarod and vocal music for nearly thirty years. During this period, he earned Gayan and Vadya Bid degrees in 1975 and also served as teacher and Director of the Ali Akbar College of Music near San Francisco. As a solo artist on the sarod, he has performed, recorded, and taught in India, Europe, and the United States. George is also a very accomplished harmonium player. He has recorded and performed with several of the finest Indian vocalists on the harmonium. In 1992 he earned his Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from University of California at Berkeley with his dissertation on the music of Ali Akbar Khan. George is a Senior Lecturer of music at MIT. He is one of the founders of and Artistic Director for MITHAS, MIT Heritage of the Arts of Southasia.
Nikhil Tikekar, originally from Mumbai, India, began his Tabla training 23 years ago with Guru Walmik Dhande of the Benaras Gharana. He came to the US in 1988 to pursue a career in computer network management and continued while continuing his Tabla as a performer and teacher. Over the years, Nikhil has gained recognition in the New England area for his Tabla accompaniment. He has accompnied such artists as Pt. Debu Chaudhuri, Pt. Mukesh Desai, Pt. Babanrao Haldankar, Swami Gokulatsav Maharaj, and Smt. Sumitra Guha. It is his ability to maintain balance and good rapport with each artist that makes Nikhil remarkable in his craft. Currently, Nikhil teaches Tabla at LearnQuest Academy and at Brown University, and is a computer network manager at Colibri Corp. in Rhode Island.
Location: LearnQuest Academy of Music 108 Elm Street, Suite 2, Waltham, MA
Time: 4:00 pm
Cost: $12 per person (General), $9 per person (Students)
Directions: From the North: Take rt. 128/I-95 south, take exit 27A for Totten Pond Road, drive all the way to a T-junction, take a right and bear left onto Lexington St., drive until the next T-junction and take left onto Main St., take immediate right onto Elm St. Go through a traffic light and bear right. See a car wash on the right. LearnQuest is on your left opposite the car wash.
From the South: Take rt. 128/I-95 north, take exit 26 for Waltham and rt 20 East. Follow rt 20/Main St. to center of Waltham. Go past the intersection with Moody St. and take the next right on to Elm St. Go through the next traffic light and bear right. See a car wash on the right LearnQuest is on your left opposite the car wash.
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