The true Guru-disciple relationship is one that most westerners are unfamiliar with, but for sitar master Peter Van Gelder it is a life-long commitment that he entered into 35 years ago when he became the disciple of India’s greatest sarod master Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. Says Van Gelder, “There’s something indescribable about where that energy comes from that makes the raga really come to life.”
Peter Van Gelder will be accompanied on tabla by Dana Pandey.
The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center is devoted to offering intimate concerts of classical Indian music once a month.
Great acoustics. Open seating. Floor cushions and chairs available.
Please book your tickets in advance:
- Via PayPal (press the Register button below)
- By phone: 415-681-2731
- In person at the Center
Peter Van Gelder
Sitar master Peter van Gelder is one of the first and foremost Western disciples of the renowned Maestro Ali Akbar Khan, one of the greatest musicians and teachers of our time. He began to study Indian music with Maestro Khan who had come to teach a summer session in Berkeley. Peter found himself drawn to India, and spent two years studying under the guidance of Maestro Khan and his family in Calcutta.
Meanwhile, back in California, other young American students equally inspired by Ali Akbar Khan worked with benefactor Alan Watts to charter the Ali Akbar College of Music. Khansahib, as he is called by all his students and friends, agreed to become the artist in residence. A generous donation from Don McCoy (who also funded the Grateful Dead) got them up and running with a faculty of several of India’s top musicians. The college was run entirely by the students who worked for not much more than free lessons.
Peter returned to California and continued learning from Khansahib. He soon joined the college staff as a junior sitar. The college provided a setting for students to immerse themselves in the demanding music, and Peter had the opportunity to perform with musicians like Zakir Hussain, Shankar Ghosh, Ashish Khan, Lalgudi Krishnan and others.
In 1989 he was awarded the prestigious A.I.I.S. Professional Development Fellowship from University of Chicago to continue his career with a performance-study sabbatical in India during which he played in more than 20 public and private programs. Devoted full-time to the music of India, he now travels and performs widely and teaches sitar again at Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael, California.