Enchanting Flute Recital by Sri Sameer Rao || IIC's innovative Double-bill Music and Dance Recitals in Delhi

To be honest, we stumbled upon Sri Sameer Rao ji's flute recital at India International Center quite by accident. This was a part of IIC's Double-Bill Music and Dance Recitals series and we had come into watch Rachana Yadav's Kathak Recital of "Nirantar". What we were not aware of was that it was to be preceded by Sri Rao's recital.

To be honest, we stumbled upon Sri Sameer Rao ji's flute recital at India International Center quite by accident. This was a part of IIC's Double-Bill Music and Dance Recitals series and we had come into watch Rachana Yadav's Kathak Recital of "Nirantar". What we were not aware of was that it was to be preceded by Sri Rao's recital.

So we didn't get the opportunity to listen to it from the beginning. And even though we were early for Rachana Yadav's recital, the pleasing music floating out from the auditorium drew us in. The set up inside the auditorium was quite simple actually. It was just two people on the stage - Sri Sameer Rao ji (playing the flute) and Sri Adarsh Shenoy (accompanying him on Tabla), but the atmosphere was captivating. 

Related Blogpost - Rachna Yadav's mesmerising Kathak Recital of 'Nirantar' || For that one hour, the artist was our connection to divinity

First, let me share a bit about Indian Flutes. There are two major types - Carnatic and Hindustani. Carnatic flute is known as Venu or Pullanguzhal and is mostly used in Southern Indian Carnatic Music. The Venu has eight finger holes and one embouchure hole. 

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Hindustani Flute is popularly known as bansuri. And it is mostly used in North Indian Hindustani Music. A bansuri, as the name suggestions, is mostly made of bamboo and has 6 finger holes and 1 embouchure hole. 

The Bansuri is the instrument that Lord Krishna is never seen without. There's something very soothing about the notes of the bansuri. We sometimes hear someone practicing in our society and it makes the most unpleasant of the evenings pleasant. And it is this flute that Sri Rao specializes in. 

There is no doubt that Sri Sameer Rao is a highly accomplished flautist. And it was apparent by how his recital had captivated the audience that evening, even chance audience, like us. Sri Sameer Rao started Sameer his musical journey under Pandit Veerabhadriah Hiremath and was also hand-picked as a disciple by the legendary flautist Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia.

Sri Sameer Rao ji has also received several accolades for his art. He was awarded a scholarship by the Music and Dance Academy of Karnataka in the year 1997-1998. He was recogized with the "Yuva Pratibha" award by The Directorate of Kannada and Culture, Govt. of Karnataka, in 2004. 

Sri Guru Ganayogi Panchakshara Sangeet Yogashram Trust, Chennai, conferred upon him the "Award of Excellence" in 2004 . In addition to the above, he was awarded the “NadaKishore” by Nada Bramha Sangeeetha Sabha of Mysore in 2006 and “Surmani” by the Sur Singar Samsad of Mumbai, in 2008. 

And accompanying him was Sri Adarsh Shenoy Ji on the Tabla. Sri Shenoy is also a multitalented personality. Besides being a Project Manager at Hewlett Packard and a talented chess player, Sri Shenoy is a very dynamic musician. 

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Apart from accompanying Hindustani Classical Instrumental and Vocal Recitals, he is also adept at accompanying the complicated Carnatic notes. He is also into fusion music and has played alongside several international musicians, such as Norwegian Drummer Thomas Stronen, German Composer Mike Herting, Mathias Shriefel among others and some Indian jazz and rock musicians like Amit Heri, Keith Peters, Bruce Lee Mani in world music concerts.

Sri Adarsh Shenoy was initiated into the world of percussions by his first Guru Nagaraj Rao Gaikwad ji, at the age of 8. Gaikwad ji inculcated in him a strong grounding of the Delhi and Ajrada Gharanas.  He then proceeded to receive training in Farrukhabad Style from Pandit Rajgopal Kallurkar. Shenoy ji is now receiving advanced lessons from Pandit Yogesh Samsi or Mumbai and also learning about the Carnatic Talaa system from Vidwan Sri Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma ji, a respected Mridangam Artist from Bangalore. 

From both these artists, one can learn the benefits of always learning new things and improvising. So true that a true artist is a student throughout his or her life. 

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