"Ali Akbar Khan is the most sensitive, intuitively masterful musician of the age... His music is hypnotizing, mesmerizing, ethereal and mystifying, peaceful, enthralling, and exciting beyond description." (San Francisco Chronicle)
More than any other instrumentalist, Ali Akbar Khan has been responsible for bringing worldwide attention to the sarod, a stringed instrument from India that sounds like a cross between a steel guitar and a banjo. On Saturday, April 10, Mr. Khan will perform at 8pm in Kresge Auditorium, his most recent Boston appearance since his sold-out concerts at MIT in 1993 and 1996.
Presented by MITHAS (MIT Heritage of South Asia) and the New England Hindu Temple (NEHT), tickets are $30, $20 and $10 and are available by calling x8-7971.
Mr. Khan learned the tradition of Indian classical raga at the feet of his father, the pioneering instrumentalist Allauddin Khan, who also trained Ravi Shankar and many other prominent musicians. He has won awards and played in venues ranging from intimate royal chambers (he was court musician in his youth to the Maharaja of Jodhpur) to Madison Square Garden, in appearances with George Harrison and Bob Dylan.
Mr. Khan has won honorary degrees from several universities, titles from the governments of India and Bangladesh and is a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. Now in his 70s, he maintains a rigorous schedule of recording, concertizing and teaching.
The versatile and ancient 25-string sarod, played with a pick made of polished coconut shell, is known for its resonant sound. Mr. Khan will be accompanied by tabla player Swapan Chaudhuri on the paired hand drums.
A version of this article appeared in the April 7, 1999 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 43, Number 25).