Sanchari Pal January 13, 2017 Famous Personalities, Music
Born with sensibilities far removed from Indian ethos, several foreign artists have nevertheless danced their way into the hearts of Indian classical music connoisseurs. Theirs is not just a passing fancy but a deep-abiding love that has helped them overcome huge challenges, from mastering difficult ragas to adapting to Indian classical instruments. Today, these Indian classical musicians of foreign origin are playing a unique role in enriching the musical heritage of the country.
Here are 8 foreign artists who have shown that the melody and richness of Indian classical music transcend boundaries.
8. Setsuo Miyashita (Santoor)
A disciple of the legendary Shivkumar Sharma, Setsuo Miyashita from Japan gave up a money-spinning restaurant business in Nagoya city to learn the santoor. In a 2006 interview to the DNA, Setsuo Miyashita said,
“In 1987, I heard Shivji (Shivkumar Sharma) on a Japanese TV channel. It was six minutes of divine music. It completely changed my life. I knew immediately what was my calling. Few years later I came to Mumbai and met Shivji. I was a guitarist. Santoor is a very different instrument. Just imagine, the guitar has six strings, while the santoor has 100.”
Today, Miyashita is one of the leading Indian classical music artists in Japan who has taught the art of playing santoor to many aspiring Japanese musicians. His music is reknown for its focus on beauty, healing, peace and harmony.