Since its founding in 1985, the Ali Akbar College of Music in Basel, Switzerland, has become one of Europe’s most important centers for the study of the classical music of North India. Its activities include seminars, master classes, private and group instruction and public recitals.
In November 2010 the College celebrated its 25th Anniversary with intensive and introductory seminars and a Gala concert. We are so grateful for the wonderful gift of music that our founder, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, brought to us and we remain dedicated to continue spreading this great tradition in the years to come.
The Annual Seminars of the Ali Akbar College regularly attract up to eighty students from more than ten countries. The seminars are open to all students, from beginning to advanced levels, and instruction is offered in sitar, sarod, tabla, vocal, theory and history. The seminars with Ali Akbar Khan and Swapan Chaudhuri have offered a unique opportunity for students to work with two of India’s most renowned performers and teachers.
Visiting Lecturers - The Ali Akbar College regularly invites some of India’s finest musicians to give seminars and workshops. Over the years some of the guest lecturers have included Lakshmi Shankar, Alla Rakha, Zakir Hussain, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Sultan Khan, Pandit Jasraj, Prof. George Ruckert, Sankar P. Chowdhury and the Gundecha Brothers.
Concerts – In addition to annual concerts with Ali Akbar Khan and Swapan Chaudhuri, the Ali Akbar College has invited some of India’s top virtuosos to perform in Basel. These have included Bhimsen Joshi, Nikhil Banerjee, Mohiuddin Dagar, V.G. Jog, Alla Rakha, Kishori Amonkar, Shivkumar Sharma, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Ram Narayan, Sultan Khan, Swapan Chaudhuri, Zakir Hussain, Anindo Chatterjee, Ajoy Chakraborty, Buddhaditya Mukherjee, Parween Sultana, Ronu Mazumdar, the Gundecha Brothers and many others.
During the last 30 years, the Ali Akbar College has given training to over 1800 students from more than 17 countries, and has been an active organizer in presenting over 200 concerts of India’s finest virtuosos!
Music Academy of Basel - Since its founding in 1985, the Ali Akbar College has worked closely in cooperation with the Music Academy of Basel. The annual seminars with Maestro Khan and Swapan Chaudhuri have regularly taken place on the campus of the Music Academy. These events, as well as concerts, workshops and some of the regularly scheduled introductory classes, are presented in cooperation with the “Studio für Musik der Kulturen – SMK” (Studio for musics of the world’s cultures), a department of the Music Academy which also presents concerts and workshops of music traditions from around the world.
Television – The Ali Akbar College was the subject of a 1-hour documentary film produced by the Swiss-Italian Televison Network, entitled Il Filo d’Oro: Ali Akbar Khan – La Strada Del Suono, (The thread of gold: Ali Akbar Khan â€“ the highway of sound), directed by Werner Weick. The film, which received high praise from critics, gives a close-up portrait of Ali Akbar Khan, from his early childhood under the tutelage of his father, to his recent years of work in Basel, as a teacher and in performance. Also, the College’s popular “Tabla for Kids” seminar was featured in the childrens’ television program on DRS 2 “KIDZ”.
“Many years ago my father gave me the mission to spread this music “as far as the sun and moon shine.” This has been my life-long work and I don’t want it to die. It is of great importance that my closest students and disciples, like Ken, continue this work in the future. Therefore I ask you all to give him your good wishes and support to continue this mission so that the great tradition of Indian classical music can be passed on to future generations. I would also like to thank the city of Basel and the Music Academy of Basel for all its help and support during the past 20 years. I have always felt very welcome in Basel and have many fond memories of my visits here.” Ustad Ali Akbar Khan