Jhankar presents Confluence
Confluence featuring ...
Saskia Rao-de Haas on the Cello
Saskia was born in Abcoude, the Netherlands in a family of music lovers. Saskia
studied cello under the Hungarian cellist Tibor de Machula and went on to do a Masters in
Ethnomusicology from the University of Amsterdam and the Conservatory of Rotterdam where she
studied under Hari Prasad Chaurasia and Koustuv Ray. She came to India in 1994 where she studied
Indian music under Dr. Sumati Mutatkar at the Delhi University. Subsequently, she was has also tutored
by Pandit D.K. Datar, Pandit Deepak Chowdhury and Pandit Shubhendra Rao. Saskia’s instrument, the
Indian Cello, is a unique custom-made instrument to suit the requirements of Indian music, based on her
comparative study of Indian string instruments and western baroque instruments. he has invented new
techniques for the cello that allow her to nurture its inherent closeness to the human voice and explore
unrestrained all its possibilities.
Saskia has performed in India at prestigious music festivals and has
toured extensively through North America, Europe and Asia and performed at leading theatres, such as
John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, and Musee Guimet in Paris. Her recent performance at the
Edinburgh festival was described as a ‘work of outstanding originality’. Apart from Indian music, Saskia
also performs Western classical, Avant Garde and folk music and is an accomplished composer. In
2014 her foundation jointly set up with her husband, launched the project Music: Every child's
birthright to help underprivileged children reach their musical potential. The project includes a music
education curriculum from nursery school up to high school level.
Shubhendra Rao on the Sitar
Shubhendra was born in Southern India. His father, N R Rama Rao (who was one of the
earliest and closest disciples of Ravi Shankar), initiated him into the intricacies of the sitar. At the age of
seven he started training under the legendary sitarist, Pt Ravi Shankar. In 1984, at the insistence of his
teacher, Shubhendra moved to Delhi to live with and learn from him in the true guru-shishya tradition.
The years that followed were a period of introspective and creative metamorphosis, practicing from
anything between ten and twelve hours every day. His teacher nurtured his talent, giving him deep
insights into what it entailed to become a complete artist. In 1987 Shubhendra gave his first solo concert
in Bangalore, and since then has gone on to establish himself as one of the distinguished
instrumentalists of his generation. An ardent and enthusiastic collaborator, Shubhendra has worked
with musicians across genres. Some of the wonderful musicians he has composed for and collaborated
with are Jazz guitarist, Freddie Bryant, singer Ryoko Moriyama from Japan, and Iranian musicians,
Ciavash Borhani on Taar and Samer Habibi on Kamancha. Shubhendra has performed at some of the
most prestigious venues like Carnegie Hall and on Broadway in New York, John F. Kennedy Center for
Performing Arts, Sydney Opera House in Sydney, and Edinburgh Festivals in Scotland, to name a few.
Aditya Kalyanpur on the Tabla
Percussionist, Aditya Kalyanpur was born in Mumbai, India. He began his training on
the tabla (Indian drums) at the age of five under the guidance of Tabla Maestro late Alla Rakha Khan and
his son Zakir Hussain. His style consists of bold and clear execution of syllables, pinpoint precision in
rhythm coupled with a colossal repertoire of compositions and improvisational technique. He has
accompanied artists like Shivkumar Sharma and Shujaat Khan. Kalyanpur went on tour with A.R.
Rahman for his JAI HO World Tour. He can be heard on Katy Perry's "Legendary Lovers" from her album
"Prism,". He has also recorded with Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones.