NWS concludes its exploration of the world of percussion with this special performance featuring tabla master Zakir Hussain performing the world premiere of his own work. NWS alumnus Alex Orfaly’s Danzón Luna will also receive its world premiere. This performance is part of NWS’s season-long festival Percussion Perspectives.
Michael Linville enjoys a varied career as pianist, percussionist, harpist, conductor, educator and arranger. The Dean of Chamber Music and Fellow Development at the New World Symphony, Mr. Linville programs and coaches much of its extensive non-orchestral performance activities. Additionally, he is the conductor and coordinator of the New World Percussion Consort and acts as curator of MUSAIC, the New World Symphony’s website of educational videos featuring outstanding artists and educators in classical music.
Mr. Linville first came to the New World Symphony in 1993 as its Piano Fellow. In 1997 he was invited to join the Symphony’s administrative staff and has served in several capacities, including Director of Admissions and Dean of Musicians. As a performer, Mr. Linville has appeared with NWS, the symphonies of San Francisco and Honolulu, the Florida Orchestra and the former Florida Philharmonic. Since 1993 he has been a member of the Breckenridge Music Festival in Colorado, performing concerts as pianist, percussionist and conductor during the summer season and in chamber music and educational projects during the winter. In 2016 he was named an Artistic Partner of the Festival, co-curating its chamber music series with violinist Kate Hatmaker.
Zakir Hussain, tabla
The pre-eminent classical tabla virtuoso of our time, Zakir Hussain is appreciated both in the field of percussion and in the music world at large as an international phenomenon and one of the world’s most esteemed and influential musicians. The foremost disciple of his father, the legendary Ustad Allarakha, Mr. Hussain was a child prodigy who began his professional career at the age of 12, accompanying India’s greatest classical musicians and dancers and touring internationally with great success by the age of 18. His brilliant accompaniment, solo performance and genre-defying collaborations, including his pioneering work to develop a dialogue between North and South Indian musicians, have elevated the status of his instrument both in India and globally—work begun a generation earlier by his father—bringing the tabla into a new dimension of renown and appreciation.
Widely considered a chief architect of the contemporary world music movement, Mr. Hussain’s contribution has been unique, with many historic and groundbreaking collaborations, including Shakti, Remember Shakti, Masters of Percussion, Planet Drum and Global Drum Project with Mickey Hart; Tabla Beat Science, Sangam with Charles Lloyd and Eric Harland; CrossCurrents with Dave Holland and Chris Potter; in trio with Béla Fleck and Edgar Meyer and in quartet with Herbie Hancock.
As a composer, Mr. Hussain has scored music for numerous feature films, major events and productions. He has composed three concertos, and his third, the first-ever concerto for tabla and orchestra, was premiered in India in 2015 by the Symphony Orchestra of India, premiered in Europe and the U.K. in 2016 and in the U.S. in 2017 by the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center. A Grammy Award winner, Mr. Hussain is the recipient of countless awards and honors, including Padma Bhushan, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, the U.S.’s National Heritage Fellowship and Officier in France’s Order of Arts and Letters. Voted “Best Percussionist” by both the Downbeat Critics’ Poll and Modern Drummer’s Reader’s Poll over several years including 2020, he was honored in 2018 by the Montreal Jazz Festival with their Antonio Carlos Jobim Award. In 2019 he was named a Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellow and received two honorary doctorates, one from Berklee College of Music and the other from Indira Kala Sangit University in Khairagarh, India.
As an educator, Mr. Hussain conducts many workshops and lectures each year, has been in residence at Princeton University and Stanford University, and, in 2015, was appointed Regents Lecturer at University of California, Berkeley. His yearly workshop in the San Francisco Bay Area, conducted for the past 30 years, has become a widely anticipated event for performers and serious students of tabla. He is the founder and president of Moment Records, an independent record label presenting rare live recordings of Indian classical music and world music. He was resident artistic director at SFJAZZ from 2013 until 2016, and was honored with SFJAZZ’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017, in recognition of his “unparalleled contribution to the world of music.”