Music: Khyal – Music and Imagination

Amit Chaudhuri
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Amit Chaudhuri is a leading novelist, essayist, poet, and musician. He learnt khayal from Pandit Govind Prasad Jaipurwale of the Kunwar Shyam gharana and was his principal student in Hindustani classical music. He became a classical performer in the mid-1980s, and his North Indian classical recordings were first released in the 1990s by HMV in India. He has performed khayal worldwide.

His experiments in ‘not fusion’, in which he brought jazz, blues, and other kinds of music together with the raga, were released by Times Music and EMI in India, and Babel Label in the UK. The second CD in this genre, Found Music, was on's Editor's Picks for 2010. 'Summertime', from his first album, was one of the versions of Gershwin's composition featured on BBC 4's Gershwin's Summertime: The Song that Conquered the World. He has also been a featured artist on various flagship UK radio and TV shows, including Loose Ends and BBC 2's Review Show.

He wrote the libretto for Ravi Shankar's opera, Sukanya, and sang and read from his work in 2019 as part of the finale of the London Review of Book's 40th anniversary celebrations at Queen Elizabeth Hall.

The West Bengal government conferred the Sangeet Samman on him for his contribution to North Indian classical music in 2018.

His book, Finding the Raga (2021), about his relationship with North Indian classical music, won the James Tait Black Prize in 2022.He is Creative Fellow at University College London, where he will showcase his music projects in khayal and 'not fusion'.

Accompanied by Guest Musicians

In association with SAMA Arts Network Ltd