Episodes:

Musician posed playing the violin and gazing upward toward a stone statue of Ganesha seated upon a tiered pedestal.

Photo from www.lalgudigjrkrishnan.com

Master of South Indian Music:
Lalgudi G. J. R. Krishnan, violin

Hear how the Western violin is transformed into a virtuoso vehicle for South Indian classical music in the hands of one of its most accomplished exponents, Lalgudi Krishnan. Since being introduced into Indian music in the 1830s, the violin has been adapted in a variety of ways and is heard here in a wide range of ragas devoted to Shiva, Rama, Krishna, and Radha. Lalgudi Krishnan is joined by Kamalakar Rao on the double-headed drum, mridangam, and A. S. Shankar on the ghatam, a large clay pot unique to South Indian music. This performance was recorded live in concert at the Freer Gallery in May 2000.

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A Legend of Indian Classical Music:
Vidushi Veena Sahasrabuddhe, vocals

One of India’s greatest classical vocalists, Vidushi Veena Sahasrabuddhe, performs music dedicated to the Hindu goddess of learning and the arts, Saraswati, and to the goddess Durga, consort of Shiva and slayer of the buffalo demon Mahisha. In 2013, the late singer received India’s highest honor in the performing arts, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Puraskar, from the National Academy of Music, Dance, and Drama. This concert was recorded in 1999 in conjunction with the exhibition Devi: The Great Goddess.

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Krishna Mohan Bhatt performs Indian ragas on sitar, accompanied by tablas virtuoso Anindo Chatterjee on percussion. Their concert features an extensive rendition of raga Yaman Kalyan as well as music inspired by folk tunes and Bengali devotional songs.

Krishna Mohan Bhatt performs Indian ragas on sitar, accompanied by tablas virtuoso Anindo Chatterjee on percussion. Their concert features an extensive rendition of raga Yaman Kalyan as well as music inspired by folk tunes and Bengali devotional songs.

North Indian Classical Music:
Krishna Mohan Bhatt, sitar;
Anindo Chatterjee, tabla

Hear one of India’s most esteemed soloists as Krishna Mohan Bhatt performs Indian ragas on sitar, accompanied by tabla virtuoso Anindo Chatterjee on percussion. Their concert features an extensive rendition of raga Yaman Kalyan as well as music inspired by folk tunes and Bengali devotional songs. Yaman Kalyan is one of the most popular ragas and can be heard throughout Indian musical culture, from Bollywood film songs to the most elevated classical recitals.

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Kadri Gopalnath in performance at Le Guess Who? (Netherlands) in 2018 (photo leguesswho.nl)

Saxophone Summit: Kadri Gopalnath and Rudresh Mahanthappa

Kadri Gopalnath and Rudresh Mahanthappa, two leading artists from American jazz and Indian classical music, combine their prodigious talents in this one-of-a-kind collaboration. They are backed up by an all-star lineup of guitarist Rez Abbasi, violinist A. Kanyakumari, drummers Royal Hartigan and Poovalur Sriji, and bassist Carlo de Rosa.

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Members of the Silkroad Ensemble performing a new composition at the Freer|Sackler.

The Grammy Award-winning Silkroad Ensemble gives the world premiere of a major new composition that Silkroad musicians, inspired by works of art on view in the galleries, wrote for the Freer|Sackler. Performing in this debut are Sandeep Das on tabla (Indian drums), Kojiro Umezaki on shakuhachi (Japanese flute), Shaw Pong Liu on violin and erhu (Chinese fiddle), Wu Tong on vocals and sheng (Chinese mouth organ), Jeffrey Beecher on bass, and Shane Shanahan on percussion.

Silkroad Ensemble: Musical Postcards from the Freer|Sackler

The Grammy Award-winning Silkroad Ensemble gives the world premiere of a major new composition that Silkroad musicians, inspired by works of art on view in the galleries, wrote for the Freer|Sackler. Performing in this debut are Sandeep Das on tabla (Indian drums), Kojiro Umezaki on shakuhachi (Japanese flute), Shaw Pong Liu on violin and erhu (Chinese fiddle), Wu Tong on vocals and sheng (Chinese mouth organ), Jeffrey Beecher on bass, and Shane Shanahan on percussion.

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Yogic Sounds of India: K. Shridhar, sarod

Immerse yourself in the yoga of sound (nada yoga) through contemplative melodic explorations and invigorating rhythmic improvisations performed by K. Sridhar, one of India’s most prominent soloists on the sarod (Indian lute). Sridhar believes Indian ragas “can be appreciated as a language that reveals different aspects of the Divine,” and he discusses the yoga of sound in the podcast notes. This performance was recorded live in concert in 2013 in conjunction with the exhibition Yoga: The Art of Transformation.

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Sufi Music from India: The Chishty Sufi Sama Ensemble

Hear the driving rhythms and vocal gymnastics of qawwali, Sufi music from South Asia, performed by an ensemble based in Ajmer Sharif, one of India’s most sacred Sufi shrines. Present throughout much of the Islamic world, Sufis seek to personally experience the divine through music, poetry, self-discipline, and contemplation. The Chishty order of Sufis was founded in India in the thirteenth century.

This recording was made live in concert at the Meyer Auditorium on April 30, 2011.

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North Indian Classical Music:
Shujaat Khan, sitar

Grammy Award nominee Shujaat Khan is one of the leading exponents of Indian classical music. On the occasion of India’s fiftieth anniversary of independence, he performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall and for the United Nations at Assembly Hall in Geneva, Switzerland. He also has appeared at Royal Albert Hall in London, Royce Hall in Los Angeles, and Congress Hall in Berlin. With the innovative Indo-Persian trio Ghazal, he earned a Grammy nomination in 2004 for the group’s third recording, Rain. This performance was recorded in concert at the Freer Gallery on April 30, 2010.

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L. Subramaniam: Master of Indian Music

One of the giants of Indian classical music made his first Smithsonian appearance since 1994 for this concert, recorded on September 24, 2009. During the thirty years of his international career, L. Subramaniam has performed with jazz artists Stéphane Grapelli, Herbie Hancock, and Jean-Luc Ponty, as well as the New York Philharmonic; written film scores for Salaam Bombay! and Mississippi Masala; earned a Grammy nomination; and received the revered title of Padma Bhushan from the president of India.

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Sufi Music from Rajasthan: Rangeela

Travel to the fabled caravan routes of desert India with this eight-member ensemble. Their infectious rhythms spring from thirty-six generations of musicians who performed for Rajput maharajas and at temple festivals, where Muslim musicians, Hindu devotion, and rich local culture blended with invigorating results. Presented in cooperation with Folk Arts Rajasthan. Recorded live at the Freer Gallery September 18, 2005. (1:09:16)

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