The Enchanting age old Sarangi and the young Maestro Kamal Sabri.
Press Clippings     

Delhi, Friday, January 4, 2002
His Father's Son

In fine footsteps...Kamal Sabri with father Ustad Sabri Khan.

He scoffs at classical musicians who indulge in showmanship on the stage to win over new admirers. And vows to stay honest to his father's teachings. Welcome to the world of Kamal Sabri where the past sits easy with the present…

'People should value my work, not just admire the jacket of the album. I want to take time to launch my album. Work is more important than mere profile.'

"Sarangi has never been a popular instrument. It is very neglected instrument. Very few people regard it as a solo instrument."

"However, gradually, I would like to change all that. My performances abroad have enthused me, thrilled me into believing that it may be difficult, but it is possible."

"When you are a classical musician or singer, you are not supposed to be jumping around on the stage simply because sur is crucial to classical music. This music is the truth, it is pious, derived as it is from the Shastras. After all, it is Shastra sangeet."

"When a singer decides to take up a popular form of expression, people come to see him or her, not listen to him or her."

"Music is my virasat. Half the respect I command is derived from my lineage. But I know, ultimately, it is my performance, which will matter. But I cannot let my ancestors down."

"I don't agree with people who say that audiences for classical music are diminishing. People understand Indian classical music even in Holland!"

Impressed? Welcome then to the world of a Political Science graduate from Delhi University! No, they don't teach you how play the tabla or to strike the right notes even as they concentrate on Marx and Weber.

But it helps to be the seventh generation classical musician from your family. It helps to be the son of Ustad Sabri Khan as well. As does some 'taleem' in the Sainia Gharana of Rampur-Moradabad.


It helps to be Kamal Sabri, voted the Young Maestro by the Indo-Sri Lankan Cultural Council sometime back. And if life were a series of self-help exercises, he would probably clinch all the issues in his favour.

After all, the 25-year-old handsome musician, has cared to step beyond the rarefied environs of lineage, though he acknowledges its role in a candid manner. "I did Political Sciences Honours from DAV College mainly to learn something beyond music as well." Then on second thoughts, he adds, "But, don't worry, my politics is also musical!"

Planning to have four concerts in Delhi and Kolkata, Sabri is soon going to be part of fusion music with his counterparts from Finland lending their rhythm to his sarangi.

Kamal Sabri...aiming at newer horizons.

Incidentally, he has just returned from a concert tour of Europe where he gave 10 solo concerts.

He represented India in 'The Art of the Bow' show in Geneva last year and made history by becoming the youngest performer in the millenium concert--24 Hours of Raga in France.

"You can bring tradition into fusion. But you cannot bring fusion into tradition," is now defends the charges that he may be guilty of diluting classical music.

"I started my 'riyaaz' from the age of five years. My first performance came up when I was 13. My father taught me how to play, how to live life. I cannot be dishonest to his teachings."

If lineage be any guarantee of melody, play on. After all, a music album is just round the corner.



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