November 2, 1998

Ghazal Ensemble to Perform at Middlebury College Center for the Arts on Nov. 11

"A rare collaboration involving two prominent artists from India and one from Iran … results in stunning improvisations. … The combination fuses the best musical traditions of two countries." --San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle

The Ghazal Ensemble, a group of three master musicians blending the historic traditions of Persia and North India, will perform on Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Concert Hall of the Middlebury College Center for the Arts on Route 30.

The performance offers the opportunity to hear musicians standing at the forefront of their respective traditions. Young virtuoso Shujaat Husain Khan plays the North Indian instrument, the sitar, which is familiar to many Westerners, as is the tabla, played by Swapan Chaudhuri, who has appeared in sold-out performances at Middlebury with Maestro Ali Akbar Khan. Referring to the third member of the ensemble, The New York Times said of Persian spike violin player Kayhan Kalhor, "the reedy scrape of bowed fiddle creeps out stealthily like a human voice, a rough and ancient sound against the metallic ringing of the sitar."

"Arguably the year's best world music album," said The Village Voice of Ghazal's 1997 recording, "Music from the Silk Road."

Indian classical music, with its highly developed structures of raga (melody) and tala (rhythm), has attracted a wide range of Western classical, jazz and pop musicians. Much less known in the West-but no less expressive and vast-is Persian classical music. Among the most highly developed and sophisticated musical systems in the world, both traditions share numerous historical and conceptual relationships. Most notably, both Persian and Indian music rely on complex improvisation within traditional forms, making each performance a unique experience.

Tickets for this Middlebury College Concert Series performance are $9.00 general admission and $7.00 for senior citizens. A pre-performance dinner at 6 p.m. at the Rehearsals Cafe in the Center for the Arts is also available. To order tickets or make dinner reservations, please call the College box office at 802-443-6433.