Santoor maestro Kunal Gunjal, disciple of the legendary Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma, presents an evening of North Indian classical music in memory of his late teacher, accompanied by tabla virtuoso Aditya Kalyanpur.
Kunal Gunjal is a master of the santoor, a hundred-stringed box zither akin to the hammered dulcimer. His teacher, Padma Vibhushan Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma (1938-2022), is largely responsible for introducing the instrument into the tradition of North Indian classical music, borrowing and extending on the santoor’s original role in the Sufiana Mausiqi tradition from Kashmir. As the youngest disciple of Pt. Sharma, Kunal has performed in various prestigious music festivals and conferences throughout India and the U.S. including the Devnandan Ubhyakar Yuva Sangeet Utsav and the Gunidas Sangeet Samelan where he opened the festival for Ustad Zakir Hussian. He has many accolades to his honor including the Dr. Vasantrao Deshpande Yuva Kalakar Puraskar and was also awarded at Vedic Heritage by Sangeet Martand Pandit Jasraj. Kunal is also a recipient of the National Scholarship, awarded by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India and the Sawai Gandharva Scholarship. He has produced an album which features santoor in a western film score. This album has also been nominated for the Hollywood Music in Media Awards. Kunal recently moved to Boston with his family, so we are delighted to welcome him to the area!
Aditya Kalyanpur is no stranger to Salem State. He first performed here in 2009, has conducted numerous workshops with our students on the Indian tabla, and co-taught a course on Zoom with Salem State music professor Dr. Peter Kvetko during the pandemic. A child prodigy who was groomed by the colossal figures of tabla, Ustad Alla Rakha and his son and world music superstar Ustad Zakir Hussain, Aditya Kalyanpur carries the torch of the Punjab gharana through an intense touring schedule and by teaching a vast array of students throughout the world. He established the New England School of Music (NESOM) in 2008, so while he splits his time between Mumbai and Southern California, it has been our good fortune to welcome Aditya-ji back to the Boston area at least once per year.