Berklee Indian Ensemble to Perform at Chopra Center's Sages and Scientists Symposium

Margot Edwards
August 31, 2016
Press release
Members of the Berklee Indian Ensemble
Photo by Dave Green.

The Berklee Indian Ensemble will perform in Los Angeles on September 9 at the Sages and Scientists 2016 Symposium, where Deepak Chopra and more than 40 of the world’s preeminent thinkers, philosophers, doctors, scientists, musicians, and artists journey into life’s deepest mysteries and seek answers to its biggest questions. The Berklee Indian Ensemble is one of three special musical guests—the others are Michael Franti of Spearhead, and Berklee alumna Satya Hinduja '04. David Mash, Berklee's senior vice president for innovation strategy and technology, will also appear at the symposium as a featured speaker.

The Berklee Indian Ensemble is directed by Annette Philip, artistic director of the Berklee India Exchange (BIX), a platform for cultural conversation about Indian music through artist residencies, musical collaborations, and performances. With members from more than 40 countries, the Berklee Indian Ensemble is world-renowned through live performances in India and Boston, and its YouTube videos, including a collaboration with A.R. Rahman, that have been viewed more than 20 million times.

The group’s busy fall schedule brings it to Los Angeles directly from its performance in Bangalore, India, at the 54th Bengaluru Ganesh Utsava, a festival that attracts an audience of one million people over eleven days. In December, the Berklee Indian Ensemble will perform in Boston with award-winning Indian film composer and singer Shankar Mahadevan, bringing magic to the stage with a spirited and uplifting performance.

Launched in 2013, the Berklee India Exchange is a campus initiative establishing a platform for cultural conversation about Indian music through artist residencies, musical collaborations, and performances. It presents an opportunity for Indian students to showcase indigenous instruments such as tabla, sarod, and bhapang. It is an axis point for Indian students to share their music and experience with Berklee musicians hailing from more than 105 countries, and vice versa, harnessing the global power of the Indian music industry to foster a richer learning environment for all students.

Berklee is committed to bringing high-level Indian musicians to campus to empower students from all backgrounds. Large-scale events have included concerts, clinics, workshops, and master classes with world-renowned film composer Rahman; vocalist, composer and producer Clinton Cerejo; and vocalist Vijay Prakash.

In 2015, Berklee established the A. R. Rahman Scholarship and presented the first awards to three talented Indian musicians in May of 2016 in Mumbai. The scholarships—valued at more than $500,000—are funded through proceeds from events, including a sold-out concert at Boston’s Symphony Hall, where Rahman received an honorary doctorate from Berklee.

The Berklee India Exchange also facilitates the Berklee Global Tandon Clinic Series, which brings the Berklee experience to musicians in India through a gift from entrepreneur and Grammy-nominated musician Chandrika Tandon. Clinics have been held over the past year in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, and Chennai.