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Nanhi Kali Benefit Concert By The Mt. Auburn String Quartet


The Nanhi Kali Boston Chapter teamed up with the Tufts Association of South Asians (TASA) to organize a benefit concert for Project Nanhi Kali on Friday, April 2, 2010 at the Distler Performance Hall at Tufts University.

On the event day:

As the guests started trickling into the main lobby of Distler Hall, a certain chatter was starting to build up in the air; familiar and not-so familiar faces were seen mingling with each other and it just felt like it was going to be a special night. Everyone was there to enjoy an evening of extraordinary musical performances and support a good cause - Project Nanhi Kali. Once the hundred odd guests were in their seats, Ronak Mehta, the MC for the night, started off with a short introduction about the event and a brief about the cause. Along with Swapna Maruri (TASA), he introduced the opening act of the evening comprising of two student performers - Nethra Madurai (hindustani vocals) and Sai Gunturi (tabla). They started off by performing "Raagmaalika", which features seven different scales of Hindustani music, followed by a very melodious rendition of Mahatma Gandhi's favorite bhajan - Vaishnav Jan, the immortal composition of Narsi Mehta. Their performance was wonderful and flawless and was appreciated by one and all.

It was now time for the main act, which everyone had been anxiously waiting for. The Mt. Auburn String Quartet, comprising of Katherine Winterstein and Charles Dimmick (violins), Stephanie Fong (viola) and Rafael Popper-Kaiser (cello) were brought on to the stage. The group quickly got into their groove and kicked off with the famous Ludwig van Beethoven's String Quartet in G major with an impassioned zest. The session continued with more subtle songs of Allegro, Adagio cantabile--Allegro and the Scherzo:  Allegro, Allegro molto, quasi Presto exhibiting the detailed nature of interplay of string instruments in a quartet formation. The first half concluded with a pleasant rendition of the song Crisantemi from Giacomo's Puccini, leaving the audience thirsty for more of the spirited stringed magic from the quartet. 

Just before going into the intermission, the Boston Chapter showcased a video about Project Nanhi Kali that highlighted the problems faced by the Indian girl child today and what NK was doing to help them. The excellent video created quite an impact on and touched the hearts of the audience, who then pledged to donate and get involved with the Boston Chapter.

During the 15 minute break, people did not lose an opportunity to chomp down some delicious medu vadas, pakoras and samosas, sponsored by two local restaurants - "The Pongal" and "Himalayan Bistro". The Boston Chapter is extremely grateful to them for their generosity and for supporting Project Nanhi Kali. 

Following the intermission, the quartet played Antonin Dvorak's Allegro Ma Non Troppo, Lento, Molto vivace & Finale:Vivace ma non troppo and ended the night with a surprise!... an epic performance of a soundtrack from the 1990 Hindi movie "Bombay", that brought back fond memories for every Indian in the auditorium. The performance of the song offered an unusual look at the dynamics of quartet playing. The transformation from a slow meditative flute introduction of the song on a viola to a rhythmically explosive section was a treat to hear. The quartet's high energy and fluid performance throughout the concert was greeted with a thunderous standing ovation, aptly concluding a beautiful evening.

All proceeds from the evening - ticket and food sales were donated towards the noble cause of educating underprivileged girl children in India. Pictures from the event are below.


Special thanks to:

The Mt. Auburn String Quartet for performing at the event!

Food Sponsors - Restaurants Pongal and Himalayan Bistro

Swapna Maruri, Tufts University & TASA

Executive Without Borders for their continued support 

Reshma Mehta - Flyer Design

Friends, coworkers and everyone else who came & showered their support. 

Contact information:

Nanhi Kali Boston Chapter

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