Tags for: Hasu Patel: Mystical Ragas
  • Performance
Hasu Patel Sitting and Playing Sitar

Photo courtesy of Hasu Patel

Hasu Patel: Mystical Ragas

Friday, August 25, 2023, 7:30–9:00 p.m.
Location:  Gartner Auditorium
Gartner Auditorium

About The Event

World-renowned and Cleveland-based sitarist Hasu Patel performs a concert of ragas that coincides with the exhibition A Splendid Land: Paintings from Royal Udaipur at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

In India, it is currently monsoon season, and the annual rains bring new life and a dramatic transformation of the landscape from arid to lush. For centuries, poets have reveled in describing the feelings of lovers separated and reunited on account of the heavy rains. In paintings, artists from Udaipur celebrated the moods of the rulers during the monsoon, satisfied with the abundance of the kingdom. Trained in Gujarat, a region bordering the kingdom of Mewar where the Udaipur paintings were made, Hasu presents a concert that aurally portrays the various moods of the monsoon season.

Hasu Patel, composer, performer, and educator, is one of the few contemporary world-class female artists performing classical music on sitar, the most popular string instrument of India. Hasu plays sitar in a very special style known as gayaki ang, where the sitar replicates the fluidity and subtle nuances of the human voice. This innovative technique, which is credited to her guru, sitar legend Ustad Vilayat Khan Sahib of Imdadkhani Gharana, is the most significant contribution to her musical inheritance. She has dedicated her life to preserving and propagating, in its pristine purity, the fascinating and highly evolved classical music of ancient India.

Born in the culturally rich city of Baroda, India, Hasu began her musical studies in early childhood. She is the first woman to receive a music degree with a gold medal in the 75-year history of the Faculty of Performing Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, India. At age 21, she won first prize in Gujarat State for the stringed instrument competition held by All India Radio. Her performance highlights include playing at the 1999 Woodstock anniversary concert, the Chicago Asian American Jazz Festival, and the Women’s Composers Festival of Hartford. The United Nations awarded Hasu its Lifetime Achievement Award for her extraordinary service to humanity.


Krish Dewan is a proponent of the Imdadkhani/Etawah gharana of sitar and a student of Hasu Patel’s. He received his foundational training in Hindustani classical vocal music and tabla from Ustad Hamid Hussain. Through his playing, he brings out the subtle dynamics and microtones that are characteristic of Hindustani classical vocal music while maintaining the purity of each raga and its development. Krish’s style aims to marry the beauty of each raaga (raagdari) with the virtuosity of rhythmic cycles (laykari).


Sudhanshu Deshpande studies tabla under the guidance of Shri Nihar Paranjpe, Shri Sandeep Hattangady, and Shri Prabhakar Betrabet in the Farrukhabad and Lucknow styles of training. He was awarded first place for the Swarayogita Hindustani Classical Competition.


Tejas Nair plays the esraj, a rare Indian bowed instrument, in the Imdadkhani Gharana style, which he inherited from Hasu Patel. Tejas pursued studies in classical composition and music theory at the New England Conservatory of Music.


Tom Cvetkovich began his sitar studies with Hasu Patel in the late 1990s. Mr. Cvetkovich is primarily a visual artist, and sitar music combined with Patel’s devotion, love, and rigor for Hindustani classical music has helped inform and inspire Mr. Cvetkovich’s many Indian iconography-inspired artworks. For this performance, Mr. Cvetkovich performs on the tanpura, an instrument that looks similar to a sitar but provides the drone sounds necessary for the performance.

$25, CMA members $22

The 2023–24 Performing Arts Series is sponsored by the Musart Society. This program is made possible in part by the Ernest L. and Louise M. Gartner Fund, the P. J. McMyler Musical Endowment Fund, and the Anton and Rose Zverina Music Fund.

    The Cleveland Museum of Art is funded in part by residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

    Performing arts programs are supported in part by the Ohio Arts Council, which receives support from the State of Ohio and the National Endowment for the Arts.