19 Nov 2022, Sat, 7.30pm
20 Nov 2022, Sun, 7.30pm
(Intermission: 1 x 20mins)
Esplanade Concert Hall
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This event is over.
With more than a quarter-century's worth of performing experience behind her, Anoushka Shankar is a singular, genre-defying artist who crosses multiple realms—from classical to contemporary, acoustic to electronic. Returning after 15 years to Singapore at Kalaa Utsavam, the masterful sitarist collaborates with other outstanding musicians for a truly transcendent performance. Anoushka will be joined by her long-term collaborator Manu Delago—a master composer and performer in his own right—as well as Orchestra of the Music Makers, one of Singapore’s leading symphony orchestras. The show will be conducted by Joshua Tan.
Continuing the legacy of her father, the legendary Ravi Shankar, Anoushka Shankar is considered one of the world’s most renowned sitar players. Her genre-defying music reflects her Indian background as well as her life in London and California. Although Shankar’s musical backbone is formed from classic Indian sounds, there are elements of Philip Glass, Radiohead and Joni Mitchell in the mix as well. Her dynamic and spiritual musicality has won legions of fans around the world, with performances at Glastonbury, Sydney Opera House and the BBC Proms, seven Grammy Award nominations, recognition as the youngest and first female recipient of a British House of Commons Shield, credit as an Asian Hero by TIME Magazine, a Songlines Best Artist Award and a 2021 Ivor Novello nomination for her score for the BBC’s adaptation of ‘A Suitable Boy’.
Ravi Shankar’s Sitar Concerto No. 3
Anoushka Shankar has been, to date, the sole performer of Ravi Shankar’s Sitar Concerto No. 3 since she premiered the work alongside Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in 2009. Written specially for her, the Concerto’s three movements trace the journey of a young girl, from childhood’s joys to the first love of adolescence, and eventually into the adventure and confidence of young adulthood. The final movement features space for an extended improvised cadenza by Anoushka Shankar.
The second half of the concert features music from Anoushka Shankar’s recently released live album Between Us…
Conductor and arranger Jules Buckley worked with Anoushka to produce new orchestral arrangements of her own previous works, including those from her Grammy-nominated albums Rise, Traveller, Traces of You and Land of Gold. Together they consciously moved away from a purely ‘Classical’ sound by immersing the sitar into a lush orchestral soundscape. Key to this sound world is master musician Manu Delago, Anoushka’s long-term collaborator and co-writer of some of the evening’s music, who will be performing tonight on percussion and handpan.
Mask-wearing is optional. However, audiences are encouraged to continue to exercise responsibility and caution, such as wearing masks when in crowded places.
“…she put personal expression into songs following the scales of ancient ragas, which can only be mastered through years of rigorous practice.” – The Sunday Times Review
The Shankar house, a respite from a world where Anoushka grew up under the public’s intense gaze, was seldom a silent place. Musicians were a permanent presence—learning, rehearsing, improvising, or simply playing musical games around the dinner table. Anoushka began studying the sitar and Indian classical music from the age of 9 under the intensive tutelage of her father, Pandit Ravi Shankar: a master of the instrument, and a figure without whom 20th century music would quite simply not have been what it was. After making her professional debut at 13, she began touring worldwide alongside her father, then embarked on a successful touring career when she was 18, becoming known for her virtuosic yet emotional playing style, unusual instrumentation, and precise rhythmic interplay. Having discovered electronic music as a teenager before later immersing herself in the Goan psychedelic trance scene, she found parallels with the meditative, introspective qualities of Indian classical music in the ecstatic release of the dancefloor—using different colours to paint the same picture.
“Intriguingly beautiful… A mercurial sound indeed” – DJ Mag
As a two-year-old Manu Delago began what would become a very musically-inclined life as he sat behind his first drum kit and started playing for various bands as a young teenager.
He has also collaborated with various genre-leading artists. He appeared as a guest on two albums of psy-trance producers Shpongle and performed on various occasions. In 2011, he recorded for Björk's Biophilia album and has since been her touring drummer, playing four world tours with the Icelandic singer. In 2013, he started performing and writing music with the sitar-player Anoushka Shankar. For his work on her album Land of Gold, Manu Delago earned a Grammy nomination.
Joshua has conducted the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, Beethoven Bonn Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, Sapporo Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Taipei Symphony Orchestra, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, China Philharmonic Orchestra amongst others. He has studied with various eminent conductors—James DePreist, Charles Dutoit, David Zinman and Kurt Masur.
Joshua is at home with symphonic, operatic, ballet works and also equally adept with music for film and multimedia. Presently Principal Conductor of the Singapore National Youth Orchestra and Director of the Asia Virtuosi, he has served successful stints as Resident Conductor of the National Centre for the Performing Arts (China) Orchestra, Principal Conductor of the Guiyang Symphony Orchestra and Associate Conductor of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra.
Orchestra of the Music Makers
“We are the music makers. And we are the dreamers of dreams.” – Arthur O’Shaughnessy, Ode
The Orchestra of the Music Makers (OMM) is a Singapore-based symphony orchestra established in 2008, comprising over 140 highly trained volunteer musicians. Although many have chosen careers outside of music, its musicians are dedicated to the high standards of music-making and community work which OMM stands for. Under the mentorship of Chan Tze Law, a leading Singaporean conductor, and Vice-Dean of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, OMM has become an integral part of Singapore’s classical music scene and has gained international repute.
19 Nov 2022, Sat
20 Nov 2022, Sun
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