Ian Ritchie, the Festival Director, says:
“Every year we make sure that our Festival programmes reflect in cultural terms the historic trading links between the City of London and other parts of the world, thereby giving artists and audiences opportunities to present or experience a great range of work. India provides a major focus for the 2008 programme, which offers common creative ground as well as distinctive platforms for eastern and western cultures, showcases major international figures, and not only caters for but also draws upon the rich diversity of our own local communities here in London. There will be something for everyone.”
Amjad Ali Khan, India’s great sarod player has won numerous awards, honours and accolades and has played in every major concert hall in the world as well as performing for HRH Prince of Wales at Highgrove. He will join forces with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in SAMAGAM – his new concerto for sarod and orchestra, notated and conducted by David Murphy. This performance will be the concerto’s London première. (Wed 25th June; Mansion House).
Amjad Ali Khan will also give a solo recital in partnership with brilliant cellist Claudio Bohórquez exploring the worlds of classical Indian music, Bach and improvisation(Thur 26th June; Innholders’ Hall).
Bombay-born soprano Patricia Rozario studied in London at The Guildhall School of Music and in 2001 was awarded an OBE. She unites east and west in a recital spanning Goethe’s West-Eastern Divan poems as set by Schubert and Mendelssohn alongside a new Tagore song-cycle by Param Vir and Goan folk songs (Thur 3rd July; Drapers’ Hall).
The great tabla player Zakir Hussain is today appreciated, both in the field of percussion and in the music world at large, as an international phenomenon and the favoured accompanist for many of India’s greatest classical artists such as Ali Akbar Khan and Ravi Shankar. He will be joined by the finest percussionists from India’s classical and folk traditions exploring the frontier between traditional and contemporary, folk and classical (Fri 4 July; Barbican Hall).
One of India’s most eminent vocalists, Ajoy Chakrabarty was the first recipient of the Kumar Gandharva Award (the most prestigious National Award for the best musician of India under forty-five years of age) and was the first Indian Classical vocalist invited to perform in Pakistan. In this programme he will demonstrate his amazing mastery across diverse forms of Indian music (Sun 6 July; LSO St Luke’s).
Internationally acclaimed flautist, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia is regarded as the greatest living master of the Bansuri – the North Indian bamboo flute. He has collaborated with several Western musicians, including John McLaughlin and Jan Gabarek and has also composed music for a number of Indian films. He has performed throughout the world winning acclaim from varied audiences and fellow musicians including Yehudi Menuhin and Jean Pierre Rampal. (Tues 8 July; Guildhall Old Library)
An extensive and ever-growing programme of free outdoor events will enrich the Festival and enliven the City’s open spaces during the summer. Highlights include one of the finest gypsy bands of Rajasthan and the Jaipur Kawa Brass Band, performing in the Festival’s ‘Family Day’ on Hampstead Heath, when London’s connections with India will be celebrated through music, art, workshops and other activities.