Zuckerman links Indian, European music in concert

by Frances Cha | 5/4/06 5:00am

It isn't often that the opportunity comes along to see two different musical worlds collide with each other on one stage -- especially when they are embodied in the performance of just one artist.

As part of a Dartmouth Music Department Residency, internationally renown musician Ken Zuckerman will be showcasing his lifelong exploration of the remarkable links between classical Indian and medieval European music.

The performance, entitled "Meeting: Two Worlds of Modal Music, Indian Ragas and Medieval Song," will be held on Friday, May 5.

The program gives the listener the opportunity to hear the similarities and contrasts between the two musical worlds in dialogue. Although seemingly disparate, both musical traditions are considered examples of modal music and are based on complex structures from which the musicians must improvise during performance.

Zuckerman trained under sarod maestro Ustad Ali Akbar Khan for over 30 years and has been the first Western musician to perform with Maestro Khan in concerts.

"One was awed by the quality of his talent, for boundaries of country, language and custom were swept away by the passion of his determination to master not only a difficult, fretless instrument, but also the mysteries of classical music. Ken has achieved what very few Indians have -- becoming a worthy disciple of Guru Ali Akbar Khan. Surely this is the highest tribute a student can pay a teacher; to prove himself worthy of receiving knowledge and utilizing it to the full. It is also the acid test of a Guru, to be able to inspire a disciple to such heights of excellence," praised the Hindustan Times.

Combining Gregorian chant with variations of the Indian raga, Zuckerman promises to deliver an eclectic performance that will expose listeners to uncharted musical territory.

The concert will be held on Friday in Rollins Chapel at 8 p.m. General admission is $24 and $5 for Dartmouth students.

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