It's a baseball season right now. And you hear the song, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" sung a lot, specially if you go see a baseball game. Here at Bothell Music Lessons, too, students are using this song to practice their instruments or to practice singing these days. The surprising thing is that the composer and lyricist who made the song, didn't know much about baseball. There is an interesting story behind how it was created. You can read about it on this page, "About Take Me Out to the Ball Game" on Mizue's (one of the instructors at Bothell Music Lessons) sheet music website.
A voice student was practicing Ave Maria by Schubert. So, we thought about talking a little about Ave Maria by Schubert. Please don't get mixed up with Ave Maria by Gounod and Bach. Ave Maria by Schubert is actually titled "Ellens Gesang III." It's a beautiful vocal piece accompanied by a gorgeous piano or organ accompaniment. You can learn more about this work on a blog written by one of the instructors at Bothell Music Lessons. Please visit this page, "About Ave Maria by Schubert."
Today, we would like to talk a little about this huge production of opera "Prince Igor." Massive number of singers and a lot of huge chorus pieces. The music was written by a Russian composer, Alexander Borodin from the romantic era during the time when a lot of amazing Russian composers came out. One of the instructors at Bothell Music Lessons has a blog about the opera "Prince Igor." on her sheet music website. She also has a blog about its composer, Alexander Borodin. We think you would enjoy both blogs.
Today, we would like to talk a little bit about a English folk song, Scarborough Fair that became very popular after Simon & Garfunkel sung their version of it in the 60's. Since then, this song has been liked and practiced a lot by music students of voice, piano, guitar, brass instruments, woodwind instruments, and string instruments. One of the instructors at Bothell Music Lessons wrote a detailed resource blog about the song, Scarborough Fair. If you are interested, please visit the page, "About Scarborough Fair at her sheet music website.
Pandit Shankar Ghosh ranks among the very best of tabla masters in India and comes from the famed Farukhabad gharana of “Hindustani” classical music. Ghosh was born 1935 in Kolkata, India, and began receiving his musical lessons from a rather early age from Pandit Anath Nath Ghosh. The future maestro received further training under the likes of Pandit Sudardhan Adhikari, Ustad Feroz Khan and Pandit Gyan Prakash Ghosh, from the Lucknow, Punjab and Kolkata gharanas, respectively. Prasun Banerjee and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan further also helped lay his foundation with their Hindustani music. After a career spanning the better part of a century, Ghosh passed away in 2016 in Kolkata, India.
The year 1962 was a high point for Pandit Shankar Ghosh, when he toured a number of countries with none other than Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, the sarod master, that won him a lot of acclaim on an international level. Many also remember him for his concert with Micky Hart of the band Grateful Dead, in San Francisco that same year. He was also a part of tours undertaken by the likes of Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Vilayat Khan and Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, and also collaboratively performed with stalwarts such as John Bergamo and Greg Ellis. As a display of his incredible dual-prowess as both a musician and a teacher, Ghosh also served as a professor at the Canadian universities of McGill and Montreal.
Ghosh was also an occasional vocalist, keeping with the Patiala gharana, and a recipient of the prestigious “Sangeet Natak Akademi Award,” along with the “Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan Award” and the “ITC Sangeet Research Academy Award.” He married Sanjukta Ghosh, a vocalist of the Hindustani classical style (Patiala gharana) and the couple had a son, Bickram Ghosh, a tabla master in his own right. Ghosh well remembered and used to reminiscence of his days of learning by speaking of his own teachers, such as Firoz Khansaheb. The latter possessed a rich and robust style, mostly noted for his efficient two-finger style of the Delhi Gharana, elements which influenced Ghosh himself.
The tabla virtuoso’s excellence was further amplified through his compositions, in conjunction with his performances. Music of The Drums (1975) was a standout vision of his, an orchestra which was also utilized as in the closing ceremony of the 1982 Asiad Games in New Delhi. This was a unique orchestral setup, inclusive of only tabla, later renamed as the Calcutta Drum Orchestra, even performed in Japan to rave reviews. Anindya Chatterjee, the tabla player, was introduced to the icon as his uncle was Ghosh’s disciple. He noticed a distinct change in Ghosh’s performance over the years, from speed and clarity to complex and beautiful renditions of “bol-bani”. These served to inspire Chatterjee in his own career and style.
As one of the founders in Ali Akbar Khan College of Music in California, his influence has reached far beyond the borders of his own country, as one of the vanguards of tabla music. Most of his disciples are established tabla players in their own right. Today, he is deeply and widely missed both within and beyond the musical fraternity as a champion of his chosen profession. A profession which he considered as a part of his very being.