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  • West meets East - 50 years later

    A unique revival of the legendary project initiated by Ravi Shankar and Yehudi Menuhin

  • WEST MEETS EAST

    Two of the greatest musicians of the 20th century

    A beautiful friendship

    Three albums

    Grammy Award for the best chamber music(1968)

    A stepping stone in the field of World Music

    YEHUDI MENUHIN

    Yehudi Menuhin is one of the greatest musicians of the twentieth
    century.

     

    As a violinist, conductor and educator, he has been regarded as
    a citizen of the world.

     

    He is well known for his remarkable friendship with the famous Romanian musician George Enescu, who was not only his
    teacher, but also his mentor.

     

    In 1952, he had a memorable visit to India
    when he met Ravi Shankar.

    RAVI SHANKAR

    Ravi Shankar is the iconic sitar player of the 20th century, ambassador
    of Indian classical music in the West, influencer of many other
    musicians throughout the world (i.e George Harrison from Beatles, John
    Coltrane).

     

    He introduced millions of jazz, rock and classical lovers from
    Europe and America to the heritage of Indian classical music.

     

    He is often considered "The Godfather of World Music"

    ENESCU - a bridge between West and East

    Coming of a people who inhabit the very borderline between West and East, Enescu developed a deep interest in Oriental music and Ravi Shankar recalls how, in the early thirties, in Paris, he often used to listen to him and his brother Uday Shankar rehearsing with their
    musicians.

     

    Enescu had a special role in Yehudi Menuhin's musical training and showed him a gateway to the Oriental world, which had fascinated Menuhin since childhood.

     

    Naturally, Menuhin chose to dedicate to Enescu the western
    composition from the first "West meets East" album:


    "The Sonata on this record could only have come from the mind and heart of one born and bred of a union between the intuitive world of the East and the crystallized and consolidated world of the West."

    The first meeting

    The two artists first met in New Delhi in 1951 when Menuhin went to India to play a number of concerts. It was at that meeting that Menuhin first heard Shankar play. He was astonished at the improvisational freedom, rhythmic and melodic subtleties that he heard in the music and instantly formed a particular
    attachment to it.
     

    ‘I had never before seen a western classical musician respond so emotionally to our music, not just show interest in its technical aspects.

    This reaction of Yehudi’s to our music and my own reaction to his personality were the beginning of a beautiful friendship between us.
    RAVI SHANKAR

     

  • 1967

    The first "WEST MEETS EAST" concert

    Ravi Shankar and Yehudi Menuhin started to collaborate in 1966, fourteen years after their first meeting. Menuhin was responsible for the Bath Festival in the UK and decided that they should have concert together at the festival. He was not familiar with Indian music and was not accustomed to improvisation. However, he performed in a remarkable way, becoming the first Western musician in the world to play a "raga" on stage alongside Indian artists. The album recorded one year later would become one of the most famous in the history of the EMI record label, being awarded Grammy in 1968.

     

  • Ravi Shankar and Yehudi Menuhin - Human Rights Day Concert - 10 December 1967

  • 2017 - 2018

    Revival

    In 2017, 50 years after the release of the "West meets East" album, Shankar and Menuhin's music was performed live on stage for the first time. A sold out tour featuring the most famous compositions of the "West meets East" trilogy brought 2500 spectators to the concert halls. In 2018, the repertoire was enriched with arrangements for violin and Indian instruments of famous Romanian classical songs having a folk source of inspiration.

  • ARTISTS

    Alexandru Tomescu

    violin

    Alexandru is the most acclaimed Romanian violin player. His fruitful musical career has been building since his debut in 1985 in successful concerts throughout the world in halls such as Théâtre des Champs Elysees – Paris, Carnegie Hall – New York or Metropolitan Arts Centre – Tokyo, appearing with conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Kurt Masur or Christoph Eschenbach. Alexandru took up the difficult challenge to explore a musical tradition very different than his own. He travelled 50 years back in time and followed Yehudi Menuhin's journey, who had received several sketches from Ravi Shankar and, based on them, had created the "West meets East" music through practising and improvising together.

    Udhai Mazumdar

    tabla

    Udhai Mazumdar is a direct disciple of Ravi Shankar, with whom he studied in the guru-shishya parampara tradition, living together with the master. He has performed for the Royal Families of Britain and Sweden. He has accompanied Ravi Shankar on various occasions and has shared the stage with Zakir Hussain on the eve of the 75th birthday celebration of Ravi Shankar. Udhai played a key role in our project - to bring Ravi Shankar's music to live, starting from the few existing notations. As a composer, he enriched the "West meets East" repertoire with new arrangements which got him standing ovations and warm feedback from the audience.

    Rohan Dasgupta

    sitar

    Honoured with the President’s award of India, recognised as a proficient sitarist by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and a regular performer in the global stage, Rohan Dasgupta is an emerging name in the music fraternity of India, one of the most
    charismatic sitar players of the younger generation. With his fine expertise and creative instinct, Rohan has always shown his orthodox and magical command over the implicit nuances of the
    Ragas and, just Ravi Shankar, a keen interest in experimentations with other forms of music.

    Bhaskar Das

    bansuri

    Descendant of a great family of musicians from Allahabad, Bhaskar received his first flute at the age of four, from master Bholanath Prasanna, professor of the legendary Hariprasad Chaurasia. His talent has been rewarded in numerous music competitions and he has got the privilege of performing for a diplomatic event in Delhi hosted by Indian prime minister Narendra Modi for the King Philippe of Belgium. Bhaskar brought a soulful dimension to some of the "West meets East" compositions, originally played on the metal flute.

  • Sînziana Mircea

    piano

    A young Steinway Artist, Sînziana Mircea obtained her Bachelor’s Degree from Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Kӧln (Germany) and a Master’s Degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama,
    London (UK), with a scholarship provided by Steinway & Sons UK. Currently, she is pursuing the Master in Arts Management and Administration at the Bocconi Business School in Milano (Italy).

    Sinziana symbolizes the presence of Hepzibah Menuhin, Yehudi's
    sister, in the "West meets East" project.

  • MUSIC

    The repertoire of the "West meets East" project includes Western classical music compositions selected by Yehudi Menuhin, North Indian classical music, crossover compositions by Ravi Shankar, along with a new section - arrangements of Western music for violin, bansuri, sitar and tabla.

    Raga Piloo by Ravi Shankar - Violin, Sitar, Tabla

    Live recording from the concert held on 23rd October 2017, Auditorium Hall, National Art Museum, Romania

  • PARTNERS

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