In January 2017, DHF put on a pioneering international musical programme at the vibrant cultural hub of the Kala Academy in Goa, and the newly restored Royal Opera House in Mumbai under the Honorary Patronage of HRH Princess Irene.
DHF has a particular interest in education and music as the vehicles for keeping monuments and heritage alive. Through the East-meets-West music project, we sought to inspire and celebrate with young, aspiring instrumentalists the musical dialogue that has existed between the East and the West over centuries.
DHF was honoured to partner with formidable artists on the project as well as the Bagri Foundation as Principal Sponsor. The project was the brainchild of internationally-acclaimed conductor, David Murphy and was developed with his ensemble Sinfonia Verdi along with the legendary sarod virtuoso, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and his sons Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash. David Murphy has been hailed as ‘one of the most exciting and original artists of his generation’. As both a conductor and a musical pioneer, he has garnered a reputation for his inventive musicianship.
Ustad Amjad Ali Khan has won numerous awards over the years for his musical contributions as both performer and composer, none more prestigious than the Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award of the Republic of India. His sons Amaan and Ayaan Ali Bangash are also now recognized on the global stage as leading musicians in their own right. The Khan family has a history in ‘East-meets-West’ collaborations most recently releasing the album Soul Strings with American classical violinist Elmira Darvarova in 2015, and the follow up album Amalgam released in 2016.
All partners had long experience of musical projects involving trans-cultural collaboration that proved invaluable, informative and, above all, inspirational for performers and audience alike. The project aimed to both raise awareness of, and inspire local Goan children to take pride in, their Indo-European cultural heritage. Through master classes held at the Lourdes Convent in Saligao, Goa beginning on 16th January, Goan children witnessed and were able to play a part in a musical collaboration through the fusion of Eastern and Western traditions.
They whelped create a unique cross-cultural work that was performed for the first time at the Kala Academy, Goa on 19th January. The performance also included works by Mozart, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and David Murphy. The project then moved to Mumbai for a performance at the newly restored Royal Opera House on 20th January.
We are immensely grateful to the Bagri Foundation for their generous support, Showhouse Events who have provided financial and in-kind support for the project as well as Thomas Cook Airlines for their support with international travel.