Music crosses borders to capture the human soul

Indian classical music is increasingly becoming popular with worldwide audiences, transcending nationality, ethnicity and language, a leading artiste said.

Pandit Rajendra Prasanna, one of the foremost flutists and shehnai players of India believes that music has the ability to captivate the human soul and unite people into a bond of friendship and goodwill.

“Music appeals to the heart and brings out all human emotions. Hindus believe that flute was the art of Lord Krishna and an instrument that can transport people to a world of peace, tranquility and ecstasy,” he said, speaking to Indian Newslink from Australia.

“I am delighted and proud that Indian musicians practicing the fine arts and classical music are welcome throughout the world. There is no politics or ideological differences among artistes. For instance, I was received with warmth and respect in Pakistan during my performances in that country,” he said.

He was the first flutist and shehnai player to visit Pakistan after the partition for a music concert in 1986.

Pandit Prasanna will perform at the Concert Chamber of the Auckland Town Hall on March 15 as a part of the ongoing Auckland Arts Festival.

He said his forthcoming concert would be the first in New Zealand.

“I am really excited to visit your beautiful country. I have heard that New Zealanders are great patrons of music and art and I am looking forward to a unique experience,” he said.

According to him, there was increasing interest from youngsters to learn to play the flute and shehnai.

“I follow the Guru-Shishya Parampara (Teacher-Student Tradition), which brings the right environment for teaching and learning. This tradition enhances the spiritual relationship between the teacher and the taught,” he said.

Pandit Prasanna hails from the renowned ‘Benaras Gharana,’ and is a master of flute and shehnai. Groomed by his grandfather Pandit Gauri Shankar and father Pandit Raghunath Prasanna, he is known for a unique blend of fluency and melody in his recitals. His systematic ‘badhat’ with an aesthetic approach has been one of the main qualities of his presentations.

He is a recipient of several awards and citiations. He has performed extensively in India, Asia, Middle East, Europe and Russia.

Pandit Prasanna participated in the Grammy Award, winning music video organised by Pandit Ravi Shankar at the Royal Albert Hall, London in 2002 in memory of George Harrison. He received a Grammy Award Certificate in 2004.

For further details about the concert and other events of the Auckland Arts Festival 2011, contact Auckland Arts Festival Publicist Emma Willis on (09) 3740331

Email: emma.willis@aucklandfestival.co.nz

What: The Spirit of India

Shenai & Flute concert by Rajendra Prasanna

Organiser: The Auckland Arts Festival

When: March 15 at 7 pm

Where: The Concert Chamber, Auckland Town Hall

Tickets: From $42.50 to $57.50

From: www.buytickets.co.nz

Contact: (09) 3573355 or 0800-289842

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