- BioMichael’s interest in Indian music was sparked by hearing Ravi Shankar and Alla Rakha perform in Carnegie Hall in the 1970′s. He was immediately struck by the meditative and emotive quality of Indian music, and . Michael began studying Indian violin in 1978 with Roop Verma, a disciple of Ali Akbar Khan and Ravi Shankar. In recent years, he has made many trips to India, to study with Northern Indian violin maestro Pt. V.G. Jog and others. Since 1998, Michael has been performing Indian classical music in the New York City area and in India. In 2000, he gave a recital at the Calcutta School of Music, playing Bach, Mozart and Kreisler, an Indian raga, and Celtic music in the same program, and in 2002, at the invitation of the U.S. Consulate, he played a concert at the American Center in Calcutta, dedicated to World Peace. In January 2004, Michael performed at the Jaipur International Festival in Rajasthan. Enjoy an interview with Michael from KSFR Santa Fe radio Michael’s discography includes Vriddhi, Sumanas and Awakening Peace, recorded in Chennai between 2000 and 2002 with noted veena player and medical doctor, P. Bharathi, who has pioneered music for therapy in India. These recordings…
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Mentoring Students in India
I spent February of 2014 in India, and the highlight of this trip, even above performing, was working with students, young and old.
In Mumbai, I gave a workshop to the violin students of Milind Raikar, helping them with the basic, essential economy of movement and muscle use, changing strings with the bow with relaxed arms and shoulders.
In Delhi, I gave a master class for students of the Delhi Music Society, emphasizing relaxation of the fingers of the bow, and of the left hand while shifting (changing position).
In Kalimpong, in northern Bengal, I gave an all-day workshop to the violin, viola and cello students of the Gandhi Ashram School, coaching early school age to high school children. They then joined me in two concerts, in Kalimpong and Darjeeling, playing a Nepalese song, and then joining me in a Celtic jig I composed from a raga, with call and response both with me and each other. It was satisfying to see them play with such grace.
Sound and Health through Music Workshops
In the fall, I gave the fourth music and meditation session at the Park Slope Food Coop, each time with people who desired inner aliveness and peace. Comments from participants included “relaxed my body and mind” and “I feel more aware”. In response to the question, “What will you take away with you from this experience?”, a singer-songwriter wrote, “a more calm, meditative state; the inspiration to practice singing and playing my scales more.”
Playing in Hospitals
This Christmas, I visited the sister-in-law of a friend in the hospital and played violin for her. I played Celtic tunes, solo Bach, Indian ragas, Christmas carols and hymns. Occasionally tears came to her eyes as she listened, talked and smiled. Watching her joy as her niece clogged to a Celtic jig brought smiles to all our faces