Rakesh Chaurasia
Indian flutist Rakesh Chaurasia | Credit: Mvkulkarni23

With its 750 seats, intimate atmosphere, and excellent acoustics, Irvine Barclay Theatre is an ideal place to hear music. As part of the Orange County venue’s new Global View series, on Sept. 17 audiences will be treated to an evening of Hindustani music.

Featured on the program are Rakesh Chaurasia, a master of the bansuri (bamboo flute) who hails from a famous lineage of flute maestros; Rahul Sharma, a santoor player and disciple of his father, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, who continues to make his mark on the worlds of both Indian classical and fusion music; and Abhijit Banerjee, who is known for his focus on Indian percussion (tabla, ghatam, and morsing) and interweaves an impressive array of rhythms with melodies stemming from Indian classical music.

“We strive to bring a breadth and depth to our programming that includes a wide range of genres and performers,” said Jerry Mandel, chairman and president of Irvine Barclay Theatre, in a press release. “Orange County,” he added, “is home to a diverse demographic, and we’re excited to bring the Global View series to the community. We have curated renowned artists from around the globe who will bring their cultures and acclaimed music to the intimate setting of the Barclay.”

Indeed, the collective reach of performers on the Sept. 17 program is formidable. Banerjee has recorded a number of CDs composed music for television, as well as having worked with well-known jazz musicians. Sharma has released more than 60 albums and was the first Indian musician to record with French pianist Richard Clayderman, the release then becoming one of India’s best-selling albums. Chaurasia, recipient of the 2007 Indian Music Academy Award, has traveled the globe performing in festivals, including WOMAD (World of Music, Arts, and Dance), and was invited to conclude the 24-hour live-music broadcast to a worldwide audience on BBC radio that celebrated Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee.

As part of the Barclay’s 2022–2023 season, the Global View series also includes concerts by Grammy Award-winning santoor player Hamid Saeidi and guest performers (Oct. 9), the Soweto Gospel Choir (Oct. 20), and on March 16, 2023, the celebrated percussionist Zakir Hussain. And with Chaurasia, Sharma, and Banerjee kicking off the series, the Barclay, which opened its doors in 1990, adds to the multicultural musical fabric of Southern California.

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