30th April 2024

Audiences will have a rare opportunity to catch sitar maestro and award-winning film composer Niladri Kumar in Leeds on Thursday 16 May, when he brings his immersive musical experience to the Howard Assembly Room for the very first time.

Having started to learn sitar at the age of four under the tutelage of his father, a disciple of Ravi Shankar, Niladri Kumar is known not only for his technical mastery of the instrument, but also for his ability to push the boundaries of Indian classical music to create his own unique sound, captivating people across the globe. For this event, he will be joined on stage by tabla virtuoso Yashwant Vaishnav.

The concert is being brought to the Leeds venue in collaboration with South Asian Arts-uk (SAA-uk), a centre of excellence in the city for Indian classical music and dance. It follows the success of several previous collaborations between Opera North and SAA-uk, including the critically acclaimed opera Orpheus which saw Monteverdi’s 1607 work being reimagined to include Indian classical music alongside European baroque. The Howard Assembly Room regularly hosts events with SAA-uk to celebrate both the Winter and Summer solstices, as well as welcoming many other South Asian musicians to its stage throughout the year.

Keranjeet Kaur Virdee MBE, Chief Executive & Artistic Director, South Asian Arts-uk, said:

“This concert is a rare opportunity for audiences and SAA-uk Hindustani music students to experience an artist of Niladri’s calibre live, along with tabla virtuoso Yashwant, who already has a strong following among our young tabla students. They’re very excited to have the opportunity to see him in action, and have their fingers crossed, they can meet both artists in person.  I’m also delighted that the talented saxophonist Jesse Bannister, along with a Yorkshire based tabla player, will be kicking off the event in the Howard Assembly Room, the best and most fitting venue for this particular genre of classical music.”

Niladri Kumar and Yashwant Vaishnav, with Jesse Bannister as support, will play at the Howard Assembly Room on Thursday 16 May at 7.30pm. Tickets can be booked online with prices starting at £20 including a booking fee. Students and younger people can enjoy the concert for just £10 as part of Opera North’s Under 30s scheme.