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Unique Contemporary Indian Classical Music Concert

Shuchita Rao

Unique Contemporary Indian Classical Music Concert coming to Boston on Sep 10, 2023

Over the last couple decades, Boston has been home to dozens of concerts by established masters in the Hindustani and Carnatic traditions. What Boston is yet to witness and experience is the eclectic feel of contemporary orchestration around traditional compositions. One of India’s finest young composer, pianist and producer, New Delhi based Anirudh Varma along with his 11 member collective will be showcasing India’s traditional classical and folk compositions in new light on Sunday, September 10, 2023 at MIT’s Kresge auditorium at 4:30pm. MIT Sangam, Learnquest Academy of Music and India Society of Worcester (ISW) are organizing the program.

Who is Anirudh Varma?

Award winning musician, Anirudh Varma comes from a musical family with his great-great-grandfather Major Ranjit Singh being a founding member of Allahabad’s Prayag Sangeet Samiti. A trained western pianist, he holds a masters degree in performance studies and has presented more than 500 concerts across stages in India and abroad. Anirudh has collaborated with over 150 musicians across, India, USA and Canada to present sold-out concerts at festivals such as the iconic Jaipur literary festival, the Mahindra Kabira festival, Festival of India at Kuwait and Maldives, and at prestigious Indian auditoriums such as at India Habitat Center, Neeta Ambani Cultural Center & Kamani auditorium. Anirudh’s ensemble recently won the 2023 best Indie band award of the year from Clef Music awards.

Who does the Anirudh Varma Collective comprise of?

The finest young vocalists and instrumentalists in Hindustani and Carnatic traditions, keyboard synthesizer music by Anirudh, talented young artists on the Sitar (Soumitra Thakur), Sarod(Rohan Prasanna), Bass guitar(Madhur Chaudhury), Guitar(Shrikant Biswakarma), Tabla(Saptak Sharma), Western drums(Suyash Gabriel), Carnatic vocal (Prateek Narsimha), Hindustani vocal(Pavithra Chari & Saptak Chatterjee). USA based Hindustani vocalist Apoorva Deshpande will be participating as a special guest artist in the September 10 concert.

What is the approach Anirudh Varma Collective is giving classical music a contemporary feel?

The idea is to take classical music out of its niche viewership to a larger global audience through convergence with diverse genres while keeping it rooted in Indian tradition. The emphasis is on giving a fresh interpretation to classical compositions by legends such as Kumar Gandharva, Kishori Amonkar, Pandit Rajan Sajan Mishra and other masters. Lyrical content includes poems from traditional compositions as well as those composed by medieval saint poets. Poems by Saint poet Kabir were woven into a concert titled “Kahat Kabir” a few years back and released as an album by the Anirudh Varma Collective. The addition of Western piano, drums, bass guitar and guitar gives the traditional music compositions a contemporary feel.

What can Boston audience expect from the Sep 10 concert by Anirudh Varma Collective?

Boston audience can expect a unique re-imagination of Indian classical music which will have a fresh and broader appeal to the young and old. The participants in the collective are among the finest young talent from India, trained by living legends and are current torch bearers of India’s precious living tradition of classical music.

Where can I buy tickets?

Tickets priced at $100 for premium tickets, $30 for general admission and $10 for full-time students with valid ID are available on a first-come-first-served basis at tickets.learnquest.org/avcollective





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