Middlebury

Sarod player Rajeev Taranath to perform classical Hindustani music Oct. 6

September 26, 2005

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-A prominent ambassador of India's classical Hindustani music, sarod player Rajeev Taranath will share his craft at Middlebury College with a concert at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 6, in the Center for the Arts Concert Hall.

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"I will just close my eyes, listen to the mood and absorb what is going on around me and the music will come."    - Rajeev Taranath

Taranath is famous in his home country for his skill as a sarod player. Smaller than a sitar, a sarod is often described as an Indian lute and is a commonly used instrument in classical Hindustani music. Taranath was awarded the Indian government's highest honor in the arts, the Sangeet Natak Akademi for 1999-2000, in recognition of his excellence in instrumental Hindustani music.

Trained by Maestro Ali Akbar Khan, Taranath had earlier received vocal instruction from his father Pandit Taranath and other musicians since he was a young man.

Raga and tala are the two key elements in Hindustani music, which is also characterized by improvisation. Raga is a melodic form and tala is a rhythmic cycle. Every raga has its own principal moods, from loneliness to joy. The New York Times declared, "Rajeev Taranath's sarod improvisations mixed the spiritual and the spirited . the raga began with introspective meditation and proceeded into an exuberant rhythmic celebration."

Taranath's touring takes him around the world to such places as Australia, Europe, the United States and the Middle East. In addition to giving concerts, he also works as a musical director in the Indian film industry and has won awards for his musical scores. Taranath divides his time between India and California, where he is a visiting artist at the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles.

Taranath is hailed consistently for his musical strength, imaginative power, emotional range and technical skill. "His tone is radiant and rich, charged with the sensitivity of his soul," wrote a reviewer for the Indian publication The Hindu. "Taranath is making music that moves sublimely from brooding introspection to climaxes of breathtaking excitement," said New Classic/Online World Music Magazine.  

In an online interview, InsideWorldMusic.com describes Taranath as "a highly disciplined player" who "adds his own unique use of melody and rhythm" to the music he performs.

For the Middlebury concert, Indian musician Abhiman Kaushal will join Taranath on stage. Kaushal will play the tabla, a set of two drums. Their performance is sponsored by the Middlebury College Performing Arts Series and the department of music. Tickets for the performance are $12 for general admission and $10 for seniors. For tickets or information, contact the Middlebury College Box Office at 802-443-6433 or  www.middlebury.edu/arts