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Sitar and Indian Cello
Performance Thursday

Posted 10:00 AM HST, September 17, 2013

By Vanessa Wolf

Shubhendra Rao and Saskia Rao-de Haas. Courtesy photo

Shubhendra Rao and Saskia Rao-de Haas. Courtesy photo.

Bring some Kleenex.

This Thursday in the McCoy Studio Theater at Maui Arts & Cultural Center, sitar maestro Shubhendra Rao and cello virtuoso Saskia Rao-de Haas will perform their concert program “East Marries West.”

The MACC reports that “the celebrated husband-wife duo have created a new musical language that is both avant garde and traditional at once. Combining artistic depth and technical virtuosity, Shubhendra and Saskia create their own music that tests the boundaries of the rich texture of classical Indian music. Indian and Western classical music traditions, folk traditions from different parts of the world and exciting rhythms are some of the inspirations for their compositions.”

Rao, a protégé of world-renowned Pandit Ravi Shankar, has been described as a “brilliant light for the tradition of the sitar.”

The composer and performer is considered one of India’s key soloists.

A child prodigy, Rao began playing the sitar at three years old.

He has performed as a soloist and collaborator at major concert halls and festivals such as Carnegie Hall in New York, John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, DC, National Arts Festival in South Africa, the Sydney Opera House, and the Theatre de le Ville in Paris.

Rao-de Haas, his wife, is a cellist and composer from the Netherlands.

She is a well-known supporter of Indian classical music and is considered a pioneer for introducing the Indian cello.

She has performed at The Legends of India in New Delhi, Doverlane Music conference in Kolkota, Baba Harivallabh Sangeet Mahasabha in Jalandhar, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and the National Arts festival in South Africa.

The New York Times praised a performance by the duo as “movingly meditative” and Newstime claimed that much of the audience was “moved to tears.”

If you’re not afraid to cry in public, you can take in the 7:30 p.m. performance for $22.

Tickets are half price for children 12 and under and discounted for MACC annual donors.

Have an idea for a fun, funny or thought-provoking story or topic? Get in touch: we want to hear from you. – Vanessa (@mauinow.com)

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