Artists' Television Access

3rd i Presents: Battle of the Bollywood Maestros

Sunday, August 15, 2010, 5:00 pm, $8-$10 sliding scale

If you’re not familiar with the comporsers R.D. Burman vs A.R. Rahman  –  now’s the chance to get acquainted with some astounding talent and infectious music! Master of Ceremonies, the musically-minded Robin Sukhadia, will present a profile of the two music directors with facts and film clips about how they rose through the ranks of Bollywood, what songs put them on the map, and just why they are considered ‘Bollywood Maestros’.

R.D. Burman revolutionized the sound of Bollywood in the 60s and 70s, bringing a world of influences to Hindi film music. The trifecta of R.D. Burman, Asha Bhonsle (playback singer) and Helen (dancer/actress) churned out hit after hit with songs like O Haseena Zulfonwali which captured the simmering sexuality of the times.

A.R. Rahman began his career in the Tamil film industry with Mani Ratnam’s Roja (1992), and quickly rose to become the leading music composer in Bollywood in the 90s. With training in multiple classical music traditions (Carnatic, Hindustani and Western), Rahman has brought Bollywood music to the world stage, and composed music for Bombay Dreams, an Andrew Lloyd Weber musical, and Slumdog Millionaire (2008), which won him an Academy Award.

Each composer will be represented by 5 songs  from their vast catalog for the musical showdown. Audience members will get to vote on each song (ballots will be provided), and a running tally of votes will be maintained throughout the evening. The Maestro with the most number of votes at the end of the evening will ascend to the status ofBollywood Legend!

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Recently completing a Master in Fine Arts at the California Institute of the Arts, Robin Sukhadia has been studying tabla under Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri at the California Institute of the Arts and the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael, California for the past eight years. His special focus on the musical traditions and rhythms of south Asia informs his approach to musical arrangement and composition on a wide range of concert, film, and album productions. For the past seven years, Robin has traveled internationally on behalf of Project Ahimsa, an organization committed to empowering impoverished youth through music education. He performs and teaches extensively, in both classical and contemporary contexts, and has developed innovative music education programs at the Weill Institute at Carnegie Hall, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the de Young Museum in San Francisco, the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the Machine Project in Los Angeles and the Sangati Center in San Francisco. In 2010, Robin was awarded a Fulbright Senior Research Award to expand his work with music education in India.