IAA Presents Anirudh Varma Collective

HOUSTON: On the evening of September 29, 2023, the audience at the Zilkha Hall of the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts was treated to the captivating music of the Anirudh Varma Collective, a group of talented young musicians from New Delhi. In the US on its debut tour sponsored by the Indo American Association (IAA), the ensemble presented its unique repertoire of tunes that combine elements of Indian classical, Western classical, and contemporary music.

Sheetal Bedi, Executive Director of IAA, extended a warm welcome to the Collective and took the opportunity to thank the patrons, sponsors, funding organizations and several Houston media partners for their support. She also spoke about the overwhelming response to the 2023 season so far and that plans were underway in curating an even richer 2024 season.

From the time the members of the Collective took the stage, they enthralled all present with their raga-based compositions such as ‘Bajo re’, ‘Saade Naal’ ‘Nirbhay Nirgun’, and ‘Naino Waaleya’. They used Ragas like Bhimpalasi, Jaijaiwanti, Bihag and Tilak Kamod, presenting the compositions creatively by weaving Indian classical and contemporary music in one of the most unique presentations witnessed on the Houston stage. That the Collective’s performance was appreciated became evident from the cheerful calls for an encore by the audience, who were left wanting more of the wonderful music. The artists performed ‘Kahe Karat’ as an encore and concluding piece.

The evening was brought to a close with a vote of thanks from IAA Board member, Radhika Day as well as the Founder of the Collective, Music Composer, Anirudh Varma, who expressed gratitude to the IAA for providing the five-year-old Collective with a prestigious platform to showcase its music. He underlined the importance of supporting organizations like IAA for their exemplary work in keeping Indian culture and classical music relevant as well as recognizing the importance of giving a voice and expression to emerging artists.