February 13, 2006
Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.—The musical group Kirtana will perform in a concert of South Indian bamboo flute music at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, in Buckley Recital Hall in the Arms Music Building at Amherst College, kicking off the college’s semester-long Festival of India’s Music. All of the festival’s concerts will take place in Buckley Recital Hall unless otherwise noted and are free and open to the public.
Kirtana’s principal performer is Gordon Korstange, venu (flute), who began his studies while in the Peace Corps more than 30 years ago and has studied with T. Viswanathan at Wesleyan University. He is accompanied by professor of music David Reck, veena (guitar), a graduate of the College of Carnatic Music, Madras, whose guru is Ranganayaki Rajagopalan, and David Nelson, mridangam (drum), a disciple of T. Ranganathan, who teaches in the world music program at Wesleyan University.
The festival will feature a number of Indian and Western musicians accomplished in Indian classical music traditions, including Umayalpuram Mali, a master drummer from South India who is in residence as a Copeland Fellow at Amherst College. Scheduled events for the semester are:
- South India’s Bamboo Flute” – Featuring Kirtana, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18;
- "An Introduction to South India’s Drumming and Rhythmic Concepts” – lecture/demonstration featuring Umayalpuram Mali, percussion, at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, in the Friedmann Room (Frontroom) in the Keefe Campus Center;
- "An Introduction to South India’s Drumming and Rhythmic Concepts” – lecture/demonstration featuring Umayalpuram Mali, percussion, at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 2, in the Friedmann Room in the Keefe Campus Center;
- “North India: Sitar and Bin” – Featuring Peter Row and Ensemble, at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 31;
- “South India’s Vocal Traditions” – Featuring B. Balasubrahmaniyan, vocals, at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 14, in Stirn Auditorium;
- “South India: Veena” – Featuring David Reck and Tim Ericksen ’88, and percussionists Umayalpuram Mali, mrindangam, and N. Ovindarajan, ghatam, at 8 p.m. on Friday, May 5.