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Strings of tradition

As a child Satish Vyas stayed as far away from music as he possibly could. His only association with music was through his father, the great vocalist, Pandit C R Vyas. “I used to sit with my father for his daily riyaaz. It was not that I hated music, it was just that I was not sure if I would pursue it as a career,” he tells us.

But a santoor concert by Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, which young Vyas attended in 1966, changed his life forever. “I was only six when I attended my guru’s concert. I was so fascinated by his music and the instrument (santoor) that I wanted to learn it,” he recalls.

But even though his father was a well-known vocalist, Vyas was told to pursue his academics before he entered the world of music. “I had to complete my graduation first. It was only after that I went to train under my guruji full time.”

He has also performed in London with ace drummer Sivamani, Louis Banks and Shankar Mahadevan for a concert. “Classical and western music can co-exist. Merging both forms only makes it more accessible and enjoyable,” he says.

Having taken the santoor to many nations across the world, the maestro says he feels sad that not much has been done to revive classical music in India. “People abroad have much more respect for and fascination for instruments like the santoor,” he laments.

Mumbai says Vyas, is a city fond of good culture. “I am excited to play here after so many years.Santoor is not only a beautiful instrument but also has soothing and meditative properties,” he concludes.

When: March 17, 6 pm
Where: SM Shetty School, Hiranandani Gardens, Powai 

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