Hartwick Welcomes Renowned Sitarist Alif Laila

April 6, 2010

Acclaimed sitarist Alif Laila will perform in concert at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 16 in the Celebration Room of Shineman Chapel House on the Hartwick College campus. The performance is free and open to the public.

In the words of Pandit Krishna Bhatt, Laila "is one of the most impressive female sitarists who brings out the emotion of the ragas with great depth in feeling."

At a very early age, Laila entered the study of Indian classical music. She was trained in Dhaka, Bangladesh by the late Ustad Mir Qasem Khan, nephew of legendary maestro Ustad Allauddin Khan, in the Nazrul Music Academy. After some time, she was taken under the wing of Ustad, to be taught in-depth on a one-to-one basis for eight years.

In 1988 she moved to the United States, far away from the origins of her music, yet finding the fortune of many eminent musicians and teachers who guided and influenced her. Her intense study of music continued with teachers Partha Chatterjee and Krishna Bhatt, both of whose music are influenced by Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, one the greatest sitarists of all time. She also received blessings and guidance from Sur Samrat, "the king of melody" and living legend Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.

Laila has performed in concert at places such as The Smithsonian in Washington, DC, Rubin Museum in New York, The Detroit Museum of Arts, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, The Kerala Arts Society, Kerala, South India, the National Museum of Bangladesh accompanied by tabla virtuoso Anindo Chatterjee, and other venues throughout the world from Hawaii to Switzerland to India and elsewhere. Her audio-visual production Hridayaragam (Melodies of The Heart) and her live performance video were featured in the Smithsonian's Women's History Month production for 2008. Her latest CD, The Romance of Raags and Songs in Bengal, explores the melodies of Bengali songs based on ragas.

For more information, contact Lynda Clark at 607-431-4800 or

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,480 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three Year Bachelor’s Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030