Preview: Baluji Shrivastav at Lauderdale House
PUBLISHED: 11:43 20 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:46 20 August 2019
One of the world's leading sitarists - and a prominent campaigner for disabled people in the arts - is coming to Lauderdale House for a highly anticipated concert this weekend.
Baluji Shrivastav will combine with Patricia Rozario at Indian Music Meets Opera; a special show also fronting the talents of Mark Troop (piano), Linda Shanovitch (vocals) and Oscar Castellino (baritone).
Sunday's event will see Indian classical music combine with influences from Spain, Indonesia, jazz, opera and poetry. It's a fantastic opportunity for Shrivastav - who has been awarded an OBE for his services to music - to play a venue he knows well.
"I've often visited Lauderdale House with family for concerts and cabaret," he says. "We also performed with Jazz Orient at a festival the venue had outside in the park years ago.
"I like to get my "heart" exercise walking up the hill in the park! We are also local, live in Highbury and close by our son was born down the hill at Whittington Hospital."
Aged just eight months old, Shrivastav was blinded in his Indian village by a neighbour using a homemade remedy. Despite such a cruel setback before he'd even celebrated his first birthday, Shrivastav has gone on to build a successful musical career - working with artists including Stevie Wonder, Massive Attack, Madness and Shakira along the way.
Shrivastav will be joined by Rozario - herself an internationally acclaimed opera singer - throughout an evening performance which will include Ein Schwan by Edvard Grieg, Indian Love Lyrics by Woodforde-Finden and Saraswati by Linda Shanovitch.
Sunday's concert has been organised by the Baluji Music Foundation, which was established by Shrivastav in unison with musician and writer Linda Shanson in 2008.
Created to "share the joy of music," it was set up to boost people from "different cultural perspectives, and especially people who are differently abled" in to music.
Interactions: Indian Music Meets Opera is at Lauderdale House from 7pm on Sunday, August 25. Tickets are £15. More details here.