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Hasu PatelDirector/Founder Sursangam School of MusicClassical Music of North India – Hindustani Music on Sitar, Tabla and Voice
HASU PATEL, composer, performer, and educator, is one of the few world-class female artists performing Classical Music on the sitar, the most popular string instrument of India. Hasu plays Sitar in a very special style known as Gayaki Ang (vocal style), where the sitar replicates the fluidity and subtle nuances of the human voice. This innovative technique, which is credited to her Guru, Sitar legend Ustad Vilayat Khan Sahib of Imdad Khani Gharana, is the most significant contribution to her music inheritance. She has dedicated her life to preserving and propagating in its pristine purity this fascinating, and highly evolved classical music of Ancient India.
Born in the culturally rich city of Baroda, India, Hasu began her musical studies in early childhood. At the age of 10, she made her first public appearance. She had many years of rigorous training under her illustrious Gurus Prof. N.B. Kikani and Ustad Anwar Khan Sahib. She is the first woman to receive a music degree with a gold medal in the 75-year history of the Faculty of Performing Arts, M.S. University, Baroda, India. At the age of 21, she won the prize in Gujarat State for the stringed instrument competition held by All India Radio.
“My Music, My Dream – It gives me an eternal pleasure when I teach the students and play before music lovers around the world. The more one plays, the more humility captivates one,” says Hasu with much determination and joy. To her, Indian classical music is a rare and divine art, which calls for absolute dedication called sadhana.
Here in the United States, she has continued to pursue music ceaselessly for the past three decades. She has performed the Classical Music of India known as Raga Sangeet (scientific, precise, subtle, and aesthetic system of melodic notes accompanied with tremendous vitality on Tabla) at various universities, performing art centers, music and sound healing conferences, world/jazz/country music festivals, radio/television stations, churches/temples, yoga ashrams, and with Indian Classical dance ensembles.
Her few performances in the USA include:
- Woodstock’s 30th (1999) and 50th (2019) anniversary
- the Chicago Asian Jazz Festival
- the Rhineberger Chamber Hall of Cleveland Orchestra
- the Warner Concert Hall at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music
- the Women in Music Festival at the Eastman School of Music
- 9th Festival of Women Composers at Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Her international activities include performing Sitar concerts in Canada, India, Taiwan and at the 2008 Beijing International Congress on Women in Music at the China Conservatory of Music, Beijing, China.
World Premiere of Sitar Concertos based on Indian Ragas with Western Orchestras
Hasu accepted the unique opportunities and challenges from three western conductors to compose Sitar Concertos featuring Indian Classical Ragas. The result was three stunning compositions, Mangal Dhwani (auspicious sound) and Swara Mangalam (musical notes are auspicious), for both the Sitar and Tabla with an Orchestra. The third Swara Leela (manifestation of musical notes) was composed for the Sitar and Tabla with a chorus and orchestra. This led to Hasu becoming the first Indian female composer and performer of sitar concertos.
- Performed the world premiere of Mangal Dhwani (Raga Bageswari) with the Doctors Orchestra of Houston in February 2008
- Performed world premiere of Swara Mangalam (Raga Yaman Kalyan) with the Canton Orchestra of Michigan in March 2008
- Performed the world premiere of Swara Leela (Raga Yaman Kalyan) with the Lafayette College of PA in April 2017.
She was honored for her outstanding achievements in the field of Performing Arts, public service, and contributions in music.
- Award of Excellence—Shiva’s Dance International of Cleveland, OH
- International Women Composers of the World – 8th Annual Women Composers Festival, Hartford, CT.
- Hind Rattan Award – the NRI (Non-Resident Indians) Welfare Society of India, Delhi, India
- International Peace Ambassadors – The Lifetime Achievement Award for extraordinary Service to Humanity by the UNITED NATIONS
- Ohio Heritage Fellowship Award – By Ohio Arts Council for authenticity, artistic excellence tradition of Art form.
Hasu was honored to be included as the only Indian musician among 25 prestigious Women Composers of United States in the book In Her Own Words by Dr. Jennifer Kelly of Lafayette College, PA.
- Sursangam School of Music – Founder and Director
- International Alliance for Women in Music (IAWM) – Member and past Board Member
- The American Composers Forum – Member
- The American Music Center – Member
- Ohio Arts Council – Ohio Artists on Tour and Arts Midwest performing artist.
- Greater Columbus Arts Council – Artists-in-Schools
- Oberlin College of Ohio – Taught Classical Music of India at Conservatory of Music for 20 years
Hasu Patel, Composer, Performer, Educator:
She is one of the few world-class female artists performing today Classical Music on the Sitar, the most popular string instrument of India. She has dedicated her life to preserving and propagating in its pristine purity, It is the fascinating, and highly evolved classical music of Ancient India.
Indian Classical music has a rich artform which can be traced back to the Vedic period which evolved over thousands of years. Over the centuries, it also absorbed the Persian and the folk music of Indian subcontinent. This was handed down generation to generation through an oral tradition of learning that included music, history, cultural, and spiritual understanding.
The primary mission is to propagate, preserve, nurture, understand and appreciate India’s ancient art form in its pristine purity. This is carried out in schools and colleges, Yoga Ashrams, group or individual classes, lectures, seminars, workshops and performing arts events. Class performances and concerts are also held routinely. Ongoing music education programs are carried out for vocal music, Tabla, Sitar, Esraj, and Harmonium. To preserve this ancient artform, some classes are recorded for future studies. Raga notations are composed in Indian score system and in western score system giving a deep breadth of the modalities to explore Indian Classical music of India.
She is teaching Sitar, Tabla (Indian drums) and vocal to K-12 and college students.
She has taught Sitar, Tabla and Vocal music at Oberlin College of Ohio for more than 20 years. She has received the Ohio Heritage Fellowship in 2018 for her continuing artistic accomplishments and dedication for the Performing Arts in 2018. She has also received The Lifetime Achievement Award for extraordinary Service to Humanity from the UNITED NATIONS along with many awards. She works tirelessly to instill the love and interest in younger students in Ohio, around the nation, and across the world.