Kala Samvada with Pt. Shubhendra Rao & Vid. Saskia Rao-de Haas

Pandit Shubhendra Rao 

Composer and performer, Pandit Shubhendra Rao is ranked amongst the key soloists of India who lived with his guru, Pandit Ravi Shankar in the Guru-Shishya Parampara for over ten years, assisting him in concerts and compositions all over the world. He is an unmatched master at his instrument whose playing reminds the listener of the masters of yore transformed into today’s era. Shubhendra is a musical ambassador by his natural ability to bridge cultures across the world. In November 2007, he was awarded the “Youth Icon for Classical Music” by India’s popular Zee Television Network.

Vid. Saskia Rao-De Haas

Vid. Saskia Rao-de Haas is a brilliant cellist and composer from the Netherlands who is based in India. She has enriched North Indian classical music with her unique instrument, the Indian cello, and created a distinctive playing style with it. She studied with Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia as well as at top institutes in the West, CODARTS and University of Amsterdam. In addition to her prestigious status in India, Saskia is an accomplished Western classical cellist. In 2011, Saskia was awarded the ‘Pandit Jasraj – Rotary Club of Hyderabad Award’ for Cross-Cultural Understanding by the Maestro himself at a scintillating ceremony in Hyderabad.

The couple have put their diverse backgrounds together for the cause of India’s children. While music is, of course, very close to their hearts and they find it uplifting, they feel it should play a bigger role. They opine that music can contribute significantly in the development of a child, and studies in neuroscience and psychology have shown this.

With Saskia ji’s training in Western classical as well as Hindustani music, and Shubhendra ji’s training in the guru-shishya parampara, the two hope to combine the best of these two approaches to “revolutionise” music education in the country.

They have been developing a curriculum for music education from the nursery level to high school.