ABOUT PANDIT RAM SAHAI FOUNDATION
In 1965 Pandit Sharda founded Pandit Ram Sahai Sangit Vidyalaya in India to offer access to musical education to those outside of the Guru-Shishya system (a very formalised and traditional route of learning). The Vidyalaya produced many musicians at concert level. In 1987 Dr Frances Shepherd and Pandit Sharda Sahai founded the Vidyalaya in UK, with branches in Europe and North America. Pandit Ram Sahai Foundation, a subsidiary trust of Pandit Ram Sahai Sangit Vidyalaya, was set up in 2002 to meet the current needs for generating and understanding Indian music.
Pandit Ram Sahai Foundation provides a wide scope of opportunity for all people interested in the learning, performance and teaching of South Asian music and dance. As a member of the National Federation of Music Societies, the Foundation has been heavily involved in the promotion of concerts of internationally acclaimed and up and coming artists both in the UK and abroad. The foundation has been keen to promote unity and a cross exchange of cultures amongst musicians, organising performances that bring together virtuosos such as Pete Lockett and Ramon Ruiz to Pandit Sharda Sahai and Balachander Muthukrishan. The Foundation is currently promoting young and up coming artists: Vamshi Krishna (carnatic vocalist), Nafees Irfan (tabla player), Shruti Soni (kathak dancer).
Having received support the Arts Council’s Regional Arts Lottery Programme, the Foundation set up a platform in which two groups of musicians were brought together for a week of intense rehearsals in order to create new compositions. The pieces they created were performed live in concert and recorded for the purposes of producing CD’s and DVDs. These pieces are to be notated and made available for use as an educational resource for world music studies.
The work of the Foundation is developed through partnerships with a wide range of organisations. Currently the Foundation is very privileged to have from Prayag Sangit Samiti, Allahabad (India), Pandit Shantaram Vishnu Kashalkar. He is highly esteemed vocalist and musicologist and is supporting us in our development of systems for training students and for the professional development of teachers.
One of our innovative programmes has been to bring advanced students from India to assist in the training of students in the UK through traditional riaz (practise) sessions and practise with accompaniment. Through the work of PRSF its students have been able to not only draw from the music’s deepest roots but also been enabled to fuse the best of East and West, essentially creating their own genre and identity.