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A Feast Of Music For Music Lovers

Purba Debnath

A Feast of Music for Music Lovers:
LearnQuest Announces it’s 5th Annual Music Conference

LearnQuest Academy of music proudly presents its fifth annual music conference featuring some of the best artists of Indian Classical Music. This five-day musical extravaganza will take place from Wednesday, March 31 to Sunday, April 4, at Boston University, MIT and at Regis College. For tickets and more information, call 781-891-8535 or go to www.learnquest.org/conference2010.

In the last five years, the LearnQuest annual music conference has become USA’s leading showcasing event offering a unique and comprehensive array of performers from both the Hindustani (North Indian) and Carnatic (South Indian) classical traditions. In tandem with the tradition of Sangeet Sammelans (music festivals) intrinsic in the Indian classical music tradition, this multi-day music festival creates a similar musical platform in North America by providing an encompassing musical experience ranging from vocal to instrumental performances from different gharanas (schools of music) and a host of instruments including veena, sitar, sarod, shehnai, violin, flute harmonium, tabla and mridangam.   

As previous conferences have offered maestros such as T. M. Krishna, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Aruna Sairam, grammy winner Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, M.S. Gopalakrishnan, Rashid Khan, the Gundecha Brothers and Prabha Atre, to name a few, this year’s star artists include the great mandolin maestro, Padma Shri U. Srinivas. Acclaimed for his skillful adaptation of the mandolin to South Indian classical music, this extraordinary musician has mesmerized lovers of Carnatic music as well as World music. He is well-known for collaborations with John McLaughlin’s Shakti (Indian fusion band with Zakir Hussain, Shankar Mahadevan and John McLaughlin), Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Hariharan, Michael Nyman and Nigel Kennedy among others. Promising to be a rare and memorable experience for novice explorers and aficionados of the two musical traditions, U. Srinivas will be presenting a Jugalbandi with the equally illustrious sitar virtuoso in the Hindustani classical music tradition, the brilliant Ustad Shahid Parvez. Other star artists featured this year are Hindustani vocalists, Ashwini Bhide and Jayateerth Mevundi, a young rising star of Kirana Gharana, Carnatic vocalists, T. M. Krishna and Uni Krishnan, Hindustani Dhrupad vocalists, Gundecha Brothers and many others. Adding to the impressive line of performances, there will also be a special concert performed by the renowned flautist Rakesh Chaurasia, sitarist Purbayan Chatterjee with Yogesh Samsi on the tabla, who will also play a fusion concert with a Western Jazz group led by Colin Sapp, a collaboration with the Boston University. This year, the music conference will also provide an educational platform by offering a lecture demonstration on Carnatic Vocal presented by T.M. Krishna (a collaboration with MITHAS of MIT) and a lecture demonstration on Mandolin by U. Srinivas.

In 2009, the world of music mourned the loss of an unparalleled maestro of sarod: Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. He was one of those legendary figures in the Indian music pantheon whose musical life and work left an indelible mark on Indian music that will remain for generations to come. The LearnQuest annual music conference 2010 humbly seeks to pay a tribute to his memory led by his senior disciple George Ruckert and his son Alam Khan.

Celebrating its fifth year, the LearnQuest annual music conference 2010 continues to present exponents as well as rising stars of Indian classical music from both Hindustani and Carnatic traditions under the same musical umbrella providing an invaluable opportunity for music enthusiasts and connoisseurs across borders to explore the rich heritage of Indian classical music.

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