Award-winning young sitarist and composer Jasdeep Singh Degun will premiere Arya, his new concerto for sitar and orchestra, with the Orchestra of Opera North at Huddersfield Town Hall on 23 February 2020, before touring to Durham, Manchester and Birmingham in March.

A rising star of Indian classical and contemporary music who has already written and arranged music for string quartets, dance pieces and a film soundtrack, Jasdeep was awarded a Sky Academy Scholarship in support of his work on his debut album, Anomaly, under the mentorship of distinguished multi-instrumentalist and producer Nitin Sawhney. Ahead of the release of Anomaly next autumn, Arya will reveal Jasdeep’s skill and imagination in yet another field, that of large-scale orchestral composition.

Commissioned by Opera North, the idea for Arya took root during Jasdeep’s participation in a residency as part of the Leeds-based company’s Resonance programme for BAME artists. Its title plays on the Italian word ‘Aria’, meaning a melody sung by a single voice, represented by the sitar itself in this concerto, and an ancient Indian word with a similar pronunciation. Jasdeep explains: “the name ‘Arya’ in Sanskrit means ‘noble’, ‘honourable’, ‘precious’, or ‘valuable’, and the idea behind the piece is that the sitar is the ‘noble’ and ‘honourable’ vessel which takes the audience on a journey through the three movements.”

In the tradition of the Romantic concerto, the work introduces the sitar and the orchestra as antagonists, staging a series of confrontations between the two that lead to a conversation and an eventual reconciliation.

To book call box office on 01484 225755


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