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Skidmore College

An evening of Indian music Sept. 16 at Zankel Music Center

September 13, 2012

An evening of Indian music Sept. 16 at Zankel Music Center

Skidmore College's Department of Music presents faculty member Veena Chandra, sitar, with guest artist Devesh Chandra on tabla at the Arthur Zankel Music Center, Sunday, Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

Veena Chandra, born in Debra Doon in the valley of the Himalaya mountains, began to play the sitar at age 12, thanks to the encouragement of her father. He was so passionate about the sitar that he decided to name his daughter Veena, which is also known as the predecessor to the sitar. Her father played various instruments such as sitar, flute, table, harmonium, and banjo, and passed on his love of music to his daughter. Veena Chandra has been playing the sitar for 55 years, becoming an internationally known performer, teacher, composer, and choreographer.

She received her master's degree in music and sociology and a bachelor's degree in teaching. In addition, she has had advanced training with sitarists such as Shri Satish Chandra, a student of Ravi Shankar and Ustad Vilayat Khan Saheb. She has been awarded various prestigious grants such as Community Art Grants from the Arts Center, Troy and NYSCA, the New York State Folk Art Grant, Artists Decentralization Grant, among others. She also won the artist award as a composer from the Albany League of Arts in 2002. Her sitar concerts take place in performance halls, music festivals, workshops, and universities in both India and the U.S.

She has taught sitar at Agra, Dyalbagh universities and colleges; founded and teaches at the Dance and Music School of India in Latham, and has been a sitar instructor and a lecturer at Skidmore Music Department since 1990. The tradition of music extends throughout the family, in which Veena Chandra has been the inspiration for her youngest son, Devesh. Since the age of 3, Devesh Chandra has been learning the tabla hand drums. His early influence in Northern Indian Classical Music led him to perform with his mother in various concerts.

The Chandras are known for their dynamic improvisation on the sitar and tabla. In every raga, Veena's attention to each tone in the scale creates soothing and meditative emotions that reflect different times of the day in nature. Even though North Indian Classical music is particularly complex and technical, audiences have continually appreciated the emotional and imaginative experience that they deliver.

For reservations visit or call the Zankel box office (518) 580-8381 for more information. The Zankel Music Center is wheelchair accessible and offers listening devices for the hearing impaired. For more information, please visit

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