Accompanying the divas are:
Paul Silverthorne, one of the UK’s foremost viola players, who holds the principal position at the London Symphony Orchestra.
Rohan de Saram, an outstanding cellist, who’s been described as “a rare genius.”
Dhruba Ghosh, one of India’s most accomplished sarangi players.
Encounter, composed by Param Vir, is an innovative composition bringing together two very different idioms. Param Vir says: “I want to open up Indian classical music to contemporary western harmonic and instrumental practice, give raga a modern edge and see it from a fresh vantage point. Rather than western musicians imitating Indian music, I will radically fuse raga melodies and tala time cycles with modern harmonic techniques.”
Over the remaining three days, the Festival — the largest annual Indian classical festival in Europe — presents a rolling line-up up world-class musicians from throughout the sub-continent and leading UK musicians. Among the talent from the north Indian Hindustani tradition, there is the celebrated santoor maestro, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma; flute exponent, Sunil Kant Gupta; one of India’s finest sitar players, Kushal Das, and the brilliant Pandit Anindo Chatterjee on tabla. From the world of dhrupad, the oldest surviving musical style in India, the Gundecha Brothers are one of leading exponents of this ancient tradition of temple music. And from the south Indian carnatic genre, the festival presents the spell-binding singing of sisters Ranjani and Gayatri, tavil maestro, R.K. Palanivel and Rajhesh Vaidhya, playing his improvised veena with a dash of innovation.
In all, the Fesitival at the Kings Place presents 14 major morning, afternoon and evening concerts, several mini-concerts, free events, films and workshops.
Beyond London, there are performances at Leicester’s Curve, The Sage Gateshead, Birmingham Town Hall, Leeds, Manchester, Milton Keynes and Cobham. In all there are more than 40 artists presenting almost 30 concerts across England.