Two Living Legends will come together on the 15th August in Sydney at the John Clancy Auditorium. Impossible, Unfathomable, but it is happening. They will give two solo performances accompanied by Pandit Vijay Ghate on the Tabla, a North Indian percussion instrument, that was used and seen at a recent Akram Khan Concert. The two great musicians, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma and Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia are noted for their ability to have carved a pathway in music for themselves. The blazing trail of their music marks time in the era of history for its unique unsurpassed beauty. Just as there is only one Bill Gates, one Michael Jackson, one Renoir, there is only one Santoor player in the world today as there is only one Hari Prasad known for their divine music.
Their paths and their backgrounds are very different. While Shivji comes from the Valleys of Kashmir, Hariji spent most of his time learning music in Benaras. Shivji’s father played an important role in being the first to introduce him to the Santoor, Hariji’s father was a famous wrestler and did not welcome Hariji’s musical ventures.
The Santoor at the time was a little known instrument only used to accompany Sufiana Music in Kashmir. Its role in the North Indian Classical Styles was non-existent. Shivji’s experimentation was as he says almost a path of self discovery as he laboured on tuning 100 strings and tried different types of strokes, the thought crosses my mind, would I have the patience to just tune these 100 strings let alone then pick it up to play it ? Shivji’s adaptation of the Santoor is therefore almost a miracle and one that came to him after many hard years of labour.
Hariji took to the flute like duck to water after he listened to a famous flautist. His early initiation into vocal music was in Benaras but he later blossomed under the guidance of Annapoorna Devi, the daughter of Allauddin Khan of the Maihar Gharana. Hariji also created his own effects on the flute and is an established, acclaimed and unsurpassed flautist in India today.
Both legends have over a 100 or more recordings in their favor. Both have been given the highest national awards for musical achievement in India. Both have collaborated with western musicians of equal acclaim. History shall be made on the 15th of August in Sydney, no doubt. In the meantime, enjoy a rare recording where you can hear both of them play together below. More details Here