Innovative guitarist coming to Auckland

One of the most renowned musicians of India will perform in Auckland next month.

Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, who has perhaps reached unequalled level of professionalism in playing the ‘Mohana Veena,’ a modified version of the slide guitar will present a concert at the Dorothy Winstone Centre of Auckland Girls Grammar School on March 16.

Basant Madhur of Sargam School of Music (which is organising the programme in association with Lotus Foreign Exchange and Mohammed Rafi Academy of Music), will accompany him on the tabla.

The 62-year-old master also performs Hindustani classical music and is known for his Grammy Award winning Album, ‘A Meeting by the River,’ a fusion of tracks in conjunction with a number of internationally acknowledged artistes.

Global Star

He appeared at the ‘Crossroads Guitar Festival’ held in Dallas (US) in 2004, organised by Eric Clapton, one of the most famous songwriters, singers and guitarists of our times.

A recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1998) and the government honour of Padma Shri (2002), Pandit Bhatt has taught several international artistes. They include Counting Crows’ Bassist Matt Malley and Australian Musician Lawrie Minson.

Pandit Bhatt attracted international attention by his successful Indianisation of western Hawaiian guitar through perfect assimilation of Sitar, Sarod and Veena techniques.

Grand Master

He gave it an evolutionary design and shape and by added 14 more strings, which came to be known as the ‘Mohana Veena.’

With blinding speed and faultless legato, he is acclaimed as one of the most expressive, versatile and greatest slide players in the world.

Experts say that his electrifying performance always captivates audiences throughout the world.

“He has become the cultural ambassador of India by carrying the Herculean task of glorifying and popularizing Indian culture and music throughout the world.

“The outstanding features of his style are his natural ability to play the ‘Tantrakari Ang,’ incorporating the ‘Gayaki Ang’ on Mohan Veena, which is the greatest advantage of this instrument over Sitar, Sarod and Veena,” they said.

What: Concert by Pandit V M Bhatt

Who: Sargam School of Music

Where: Dorothy Winstone Centre,

Auckland Girls Grammar School

16 Howe St, Auckland

When: Saturday, March 16 at 630 pm

Tickets $60 (VIP $45 & $30 )

Contact: Basant Madhur

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