Graphich from poster for concert with sitarist Rabindra Goswami and tablaist Ramu Pandit

Hartwick Hosts Classical Indian Music Concert

October 20, 2017

Hartwick College will host two of North India’s best-known classical musicians, sitarist Rabindra Goswami and tablaist Ramu Pandit, in concert on Friday, October 27 at 8 p.m., in the Celebration Room, Shineman Chapel House, on the College campus. This rare opportunity to hear traditional North Indian classical music by two of its finest exponents is free and open to the public.

Joining the duo is tanpura player Tracy Verma, well known locally for her work with her husband, the late sitarist Acharya Roop Verma, with whom she has accompanied and recorded numerous CDs.

“Rabindra Goswami and Ramu Pandit – both natives of Varanasi, India – are two exceptionally gifted performers who have toured North America several times over the past decade,” said Professor of Religious Studies Dr. C.W. (Sandy) Huntington. “This will be their third concert at Hartwick College. Based on our past experience, I can guarantee that this promises to be a magnificent evening of authentic North Indian classical music.”

Goswami has been a professional musician for nearly 50 years, and is recognized as a senior artist who plays pure, traditional raga music, unlike many Indian classical musicians who have become well known in the West. He is a disciple of the late Amiya Devi, and studied the ancient Dhrupad style with Pandit Ramakant Mishra. Later, Goswami studied the advanced intricacies of raga with Dr. Balchandra Patekar.

Goswami has won a number of national awards in India, including first place in the Prayag Sangeet Samiti All-India Competition in 1967, and second place at Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Natak Academy in 1972. He is an “A-level” Artist of All India Radio and Television, and has performed throughout India and around the world.

He was also a fellow at Yale University’s Institute of Sacred Music in 2014, composing ragas inspired by music in the Christian tradition.

Ramu Pandit is a long-time professional performer of classical, semi-classical, folk, and popular music. A life-long disciple of Pandit Sharda Sahai, he is a colorful performer and experienced educator who specializes in demonstrating and explaining Indian music to Western audiences. A Master of Music, he has also performed for All India Radio, and played percussion on film soundtracks in Bombay for legendary composer S. D. Burman. He currently directs the Sarangi Institute of Banaras (India), an organization he founded to preserve the sarangi, an instrument with a long pedigree in Indian classical music.

Verma is a student of Indian culture and music, with her inspiration coming from both her husband and tablaist Pandit Sharda Sahai. She also has a background in Western music, founded the Catskill Choral Society Girl Choir, and sings with the Catskill Choral Society.

Verma has also been a yoga practitioner for 40 years, with spiritual and yogic training from Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati and Dr. Edith Epstein. She teaches yoga at Hartwick College and the Atma Lotus Center in Oneonta, NY.

The performance is sponsored by a grant from the Foreman Institute of Creative and Performing Arts at Hartwick College.

For a video sample of Goswami and Pandit in concert, visit YouTube.

For more information on the evening’s performance, contact Huntington at huntingtonc@hartwick.edu or (607) 431-4325.