For Immediate Release: June 15th 2004
Virasat Foundation to honour the World Renowned Sarangi Maestro Ustad Sultan Khan
Surrey, B.C. – Virasat Foundation is proud to announce that it will be honouring the world renowned Sarangi Maestro Ustad Sultan Khan with the title of “Pride of Performance” in a concert to be held at the Michael J. Fox Theatre in Burnaby, B.C. on Saturday July 17th 2004 at 7:30pm. Ustad Sultan Khan is considered to be a living legend and is amongst the finest classical musicians that India has produced. He is described by some, as one of the greatest improvisers of any instrument. His musical artistry is brilliant and his command over this difficult instrument is simply breathtaking. He has taken the art of Sarangi playing to new heights and has received worldwide recognition for giving it solo status. Virasat Foundation is proud to be honouring him for his contribution in keeping the art of Sarangi playing alive and for his outstanding dedication to the rich heritage and culture of India. In addition to this, Virasat Foundation will be releasing a beautiful colour souvenir brochure in dedication to him and his musical genius.
Ustad Sultan Khan was born into a family of musicians in Rajasthan in which the Sarangi had been played for eight generations. His father, Ustad Gulab Khan, groomed him meticulously from an early age and he gave his first solo concert at the age of eleven at an All India Music Conference. He has also received guidance from the great vocalist Ustad Amir Khan. The world famous Lata Mangeshkar introduced him into the world of Indian film music in the 1960’s where his Sarangi playing became very popular and was brought to the West by the great sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar in 1974 as part of George Harrison’s Dark Horse Tour. Since then, Ustad Sultan Khan has traveled the world over performing to huge audiences to great acclaim. Of late, he has also become very well known for his singing, in particular for “Piya Basanti” which earned him an MTV award with Chitra for best pop song and for his songs in several films such as “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam”, “Rahul”, “Gangajal”, “Maqbool”, to name but a few. Aswell as his solo performances, Ustad Sultan Khan is also known for his collaborations with Ustad Zakir Hussain, Dr. L. Subramaniam, Bill Laswell and the Tabla Beat Science, and various other top musicians. He has also formed his own group called “Ruhaniyat” promoting Sufi music.
Sarangi is one of the most difficult of all Indian instruments to play. The instrument is beautifully sonorous and is regarded as closest to the human voice. The sarangi is one of the main bowed instruments of India. It is hallowed from one piece of wood with a skin cover over the sound box. It’s most remarkable feature is the number of strings: three gut strings and no less than 36 sympathetic strings which give life to the sound. The most difficult problem lies with tuning of so many strings as well as the playing technique itself, which involves stopping the gut strings with the cuticles of the fingers. The Sarangi sings in the hands of the great Ustad Sultan Khan and evokes the innermost feelings of the listener and gives them a higher level of fulfillment with a deep sense of spirituality.
On this evening Ustad Sultan Khan will be accompanied by his brother Hanif Khan on tabla and will also be presenting a unique vocal item with local guest artiste Shashi Lata Virk.
Virasat Foundation is known for presenting it’s concerts at a very high standard, and this will be an evening not to be missed. There will also be available a wide selection of fine Indian Classical Music CD’s for purchase at the concert including a number of CD’s released by Ustad Sultan Khan.
About Virasat Foundation:
Virasat Foundation is an organisation dedicated to preserve and promote the rich culture, traditions and heritage of India. Virasat means what belongs to all of us, what has been handed over to us by earlier generations and that which we have to hold on to and pass on to the next generations. It is this Virasat that makes us what we are and will contribute to our next generation what they will be. Our mission is to preserve, promote and develop what is best in Virasat in its full grandeur and hand over to our coming generations a treasure greater than what our last generations handed over to us. This includes providing a climate for holding concerts and various social activities, perpetuating the cultural aspects such as Indian classical music, folk music, fine arts, etc., conducting educational programs, promoting Indian languages and traditional medicines and other services to the people.
For Further Information:
Ranjit S. Kalsi 604 562 4122 or Jaspal S. Randhawa 604 897 4512