On October 6, the Rubin will close the 17th Street galleries and transition into a global museum model. Read more about our future.

Utsav Lal and Richard X Bennett

A Night of Piano Ragas

Friday, March 15, 2019
7:00 PM–8:30 PM

Few pianists had explored the structure of Indian ragas, “melodies that color the mind,” until the last ten years. The two leading exponents of this new form, Richard X Bennett and Utsav Lal, join together for an unprecedented performance of piano solos and duets. The resulting music draws additional strength from myriad jazz and post-modern concepts.

Lal comes to the Rubin fresh off his critically acclaimed release Indian Classical Music on the Piano, while Bennett returns to the Museum having just completed a five-city tour of India. Two pianos, 176 notes, and 460 strings will combine to create new sonic and creative possibilities, deriving fresh inspiration from an ancient source.

The concert grand piano for musical performances is provided by Yamaha.

Presented with Harrice Miller Entertainment and community partner Sunny Thakkar.

About the Musicians

Utsav Lal, often known as the “Raga Pianist” has set a precedent with his innovative handling of Indian classical music. Recognized for his unique creative vision, the 26-year-old classical and jazz pianist has an impressive career which includes performances at global venues like Carnegie Hall (NYC), Southbank Centre (London), Kennedy Center (Washington DC), and extensive collaborative work with Celtic, Indian, jazz, and improvising musicians. Utsav tackles the limitations of the piano confronted with this ancient improvisational tradition through inspiration from his guru Ustad Wasifuddin Dagar (of the legendary Dhrupad Dagar family, which goes back 20 generations). He also draws inspiration from a vast array of sources such as the Persian piano tradition, the work of Australian minimalist piano trio The Necks, and musicians who sought to expand the expressive capabilities of the piano like Ran Blake, Anthony Coleman, Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou, Cecil Taylor, and the work of Helmut Lachenmann. Utsav Lal blends these diverse influences to create his own unique voice on the piano. His music has a powerful intensity and is acclaimed for its sincerity and depth.

Richard X Bennett has been playing and composing Indian-influenced music for the past ten years, creating a unique and soulful blend of jazz piano with raga. He has six raga-based releases on Indian labels as well as four releases in the past two years on Ropeadope Records. rXb’s music has been described as “unabashedly joyous, groove-centric, and spiritually danceable” (New York City Jazz Record) and “hypnotic” (John Schaefer, WNYC).

Tickets: $25.00

Members Tickets: $20.00

Become a member today!