The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Star Spot

Calling for change…

In the institution of classical music is this upcoming sarod player. The days where talent is judged by genealogy have passed, says the 24-year-old who has moved with his melody from stage to stage, country to country. Music may not run in the family, but it sure does run in the blood.

Breaking the rules…

Is something he is good at, having modified the sarod to make the fingerboard thinner and more accessible to those with smaller hands, without tampering with the sound. A more dynamic and flexible instrument is what he is hoping to create. Arnab, who grew up in Mumbai though is now settled in Calcutta, has also experimented with his own version of fusion. While a student of international relations and music at Hampshire College, Massachusetts, he ganged up with two guys — a guitarist and banjo player — for the Srutidarpan project, which merged the Hindustani and bluegrass traditions.

Inventive impulses…

Like these are what won him a Ford Foundation scholarship to study abroad. He was also awarded a Junior Fellowship in Music by the ministry of human resources, India. Arnab’s done his time to prove his worth. Starting out with music at the age of three, the tabla and vocals were his first love. Moving on to the complicated sarod, he had his first stage performance at 13. He has since taken a bow at the United Nations, New York, the Nehru Centre, the National Centre for the Performing Arts and at the IMG-Britannia Young Masters’ Festival in Mumbai and at the Uttarpara Music Conference closer home.

Sailed through stopovers…

Having little time besides with over 90 concerts last year in India, the US and Europe. This year Arnab is headed for South Africa and New Zealand. Passed up a job at Goldman Sachs and a berth at Princeton post-grad to go on tour. Calcutta should get to see him in action at a concert coming in May at Kala Mandir.

Plug ’n’ play…

May soon be possible, as this early starter has a couple of audio recordings in the pipeline. He is working on the score of a documentary for which shooting in the city is to commence soon.

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