What happens when a father and son, both sitar masters, collaborate in a jugalbandi, a duet? A powerhouse performance of Malkauns, the classic late night raga. Malkauns is an aadi raga, one of the original five ragas from which all other ragas derive. Its pentatonic scale make it particularly challenging for sitarists. The more than 50-minute recording of Malkauns is followed by the popular Raga Pilu played in a light classical style. In this recording maestro Debu Chaudhuri is joined by his son Prateek. Considered to be one of the finest sitarists of his generation, he studied with his father for many years. Maestro Prateek performs all over India. He is a professor of music at Delhi University. They are accompanied by the great tabla master Shafaat Ahmed Khan.
Winner of the Padma Bhushan, one of India’s most prestigious awards, Pandit Debu Chaudhuri, was a legendary figure in Indian classical music. He was born in 1935 in what is now Bangladesh. He took up sitar at an early age. He was a disciple of the great sitar maestro, Ustad Mushtaq Ali Khan of the Senia Gharana, the traditional school of Indian classical music named after Tansen, the father of Indian music. Debuji’s playing was noted for its sweetness and sensitivity. He was the long-time Dean of Fine Arts and Head of the Department of Music at Delhi University. He was the beloved guru of AR’s David Barsamian. Debuji and his son Prateek, also a noted sitar virtuoso, both passed away in New Delhi during the Covid-19 pandemic in May 2021.