Hasu Patel, one of few distinguished female sitarists, will give a concert at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 29, in the Welles-Brown Room in Rush Rhees Library on the University of Rochester's River Campus. The performance is free and open to the public.
In India, where the sitar is the most popular string instrument, Patel made her first public appearance at age 10. She trained for years under sitar legends Ustad Vilayat Khan Saheb and N.B. Kikani and was the first woman to ever receive a music degree with a gold medal from the Faculty of Fine Arts School in Baroda. When she was 21, she won a stringed instrument performance competition in the state of Gujarat.
Patel performs the classical music of India known as "Raga Sangeet," a precise system of melodic notes accompanied by tabla, a pair of drums. She has appeared at various music conferences and festivals including the Woodstock 30th anniversary concert and the Chicago Jazz festival. Her local appearance will feature Arup Chattopadhyay, one of the most sought-after tabla artists of India who has accompanied both vocalists and other musicians such as famous sitarist Ravi Shankar.
Patel currently teaches sitar, tabla, and voice lessons at the Sursangam School of Music in Ohio as well as courses at the Conservatory of Music at Oberlin College. While in Rochester, she will be presenting two workshops. Workshop space is limited and registration can be done online at http://www.rochester.edu/College/humanities/register.
Patel's concert is presented as part of The Humanities Project, an initiative at the University of Rochester emphasizing the influence and contributions of the humanities to academic and civic life, and is also part of the Women in Music Festival of the University's Eastman School of Music.