Hariprasad Chaurasia @ Islington Assembly Hall

I have been a lover of Indian classical music for decades, and have been fortunate enough to have seen and heard concerts by many of its greatest exponents, usually in the company of my guru, Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi. These recitals would last for hours, generally all through the night, with the music carrying you through. But it was not always the great maestros of sitar, sarod, violin, flute, tabla or voice, there were also equally elevating performances of bhajans and qawwali by singers from temples and masjids in the villages of India. So when I was presented with the opportunity to photograph Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, the greatest exponent of the bansuri (Indian bamboo flute), at Islington Assembly Hall on 17 June, I knew I had to take it as I may never get the opportunity again.The evening was opened by Kefaya Trio, a European guitarist and piano, with a tabla player, doing their own interpretations of traditional ragas, and were later joined by Afghani singer Elaha Soroor.

Panditji was accompanied on stage by tabla, tanpura (drone) and another bansuri player, which is a fairly standard arrangement. Despite his advanced years and failing health, Panditji still played sublimely.

 

Kefaya Trio

Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia

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