Opening night Indialogue Festival
From 23 to 26 November, India House Leuven is organising the four-day Indialogue Festival with music, films, workshops, family moments and so much more. During the opening evening, 49 STRINGS, a unique strings ensemble with musicians from India and Europe, will be performing. Within the western concept of a classic string quartet, they bring a blend of North Indian ragas, South Indian talas and Rajasthani folk tunes.
You are also invited to join the Indian reception after the concert.
This performance is part of Indialogue, a biennial festival in Ghent and Leuven that focuses on dialogue and exchange with the Indian art world.
49 STRINGS is a unique strings ensemble with 4 special musicians from India and Europe. Together, they play a total of 49 strings: the violin, cello, sarangi and kamaicha. The four musicians like to experiment within the western concept of a classical string quartet. In an unreleased blend of North Indian ragas, South Indian talas and Rajasthani folk tunes, they challenge each other in their haunting quest for acoustic beauty.
Saskia Rao-De Haas plays the cello and had her own Indian version of a classic cello built, with an additional playing string and ten resonance strings. Her cello is smaller than its western counterpart, which allows her to sit on the ground when playing it, as is usually the case for classic Indian instruments.
Ambi Subramaniam plays a violin that has also slightly been modified in terms of shape and playing technique. This ensures that the instrument can be played in both a classic western and Indian style. Ambi was described as the “new king of the Indian violin” by the Times of India, and Ozy Magazine hailed him as “India’s Itzhak Perlman”.
Ikhlas Khan is the contemporary representative of the sindhi sarangi, a string instrument from the city of Jodhpur. The instrument has four main strings and two sets of resonance strings. Ikhlas is one of the few virtuoso players of the instrument left after his father, Sadik Khan, who also trained him, passed away.
Dara Khan plays kamaicha. It is a fretless lute with a large, round sound box covered in goatskin leather. The instrument has many resonance strings, which add sound in addition to the three main strings. Dara performs all around the world. He recently won the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, a national award presented by the President of India.
with Saskia Rao-De Haas (Indian cello), Ambi Subramaniam (Indian violin), Dara Khan Manganiyar (kamaicha) and Ikhlas Khan Langa (sindhi sarangi)