1st November 2015

Music of Benares

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Sitar maestro Pandit Shivnath Mishra makes his first visit to the UK.

Sitar maestro Pandit Shivnath Mishra makes his first visit to the UK for an intimate show which also features his sitar playing son Deobrat Mishra and his great nephew, tabla player Prashant Mishra.

Shivnath began studying vocal music at the age of 5, from his father Badri Prasad Mishra and his uncle Pandit Mahadev Prashad Mishra. In a family of great classical Indian vocalists he was the first one to master the sitar. Shivnath has won numerous awards for his music beginning with a gold medal at the All India Music Conference in 1966, at the age of 23.

As well as playing Indian classical music, he has also collaborated with jazz musicians John Handy, Paul Horn, David Freezen and Ben Conrad.

He is one of the few musicians in contemporary India who “sing inside” while playing the instrument. This Benares style of singing is mainly Thumri* and so highly ornamental, emotional and expressive.

With two sitarists on stage this is a ‘jugalbandi’ (dual) presentation of classical and folk that appeals to audiences everywhere.

It is also collaboration between Guru and Shishya (disciple) and also father and son. Deobrat has learnt sitar from his father since the age of 6 and since 1995 has toured all over the world, promoting classical sitar and fusion.

The promoter would like to thank Arts Council England and Sampad for their generous support for this event

*Thumri is a North Indian vocal form based on the romantic-devotional literature inspired by the bhakti movement. The text is usually derived from the Radha-Krishna theme and is of primary importance.