The Music of Amit Chaudhuri
In addition to being a writer and a poet, Amit Chaudhuri is also a musician. He is a vocalist in the North Indian classical tradition besides being a lapsed Canadian singer-songwriter. In 2005, he began a project in “non-fusion” music which brought these disparate sides of his musical personality (not to mention his creative and critical proclivities) together. The result is a repertoire of original compositions by Chaudhuri and estranging recontextualisations of pop, jazz, and rock standards that allow for the confluence of elements of raga and Indian classical improvisation with the “form” of jazz compositions, the blues pentatonic, and varied musical and urban soundscapes. He is a 2018-19 Fellow of the Institute for Ideas and Imagination, where he is writing a book on Indian music.
Embracing his penchant for improvisation alongside his passion for the classical and contemporary repertoire, American pianist John Kamfonas has performed around the world, from New York to India, Paris to Beijing. He gave his New York debut at Merkin Hall in 2012 and has performed in numerous summer festivals including the Atlantic Music Festival (Maine), Aspen Music Festival, Beijing International Music Festival and Academy, the Greencastle Summer music festival (Indiana). Other solo concerts include performances at Steinway Hall (New York), Baruch Performing Arts Center (New York), and Salle Cortot (Paris). As a proponent of contemporary music, Mr. Kamfonas has worked closely with composers including George Tsontakis, Eric Ewazen, and Victor Kioulaphides, and he has collaborated with members of Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. Mr. Kamfonas has been in residence at the Fondation des Etats-Unis and the Cité Internationale des Arts de Paris. He is currently on the faculty of the American Conservatory of Paris and holds degrees from Columbia University, Manhattan School of Music, and the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris studying under Phillip Kawin, Jean-David Coen, Marian Rybicki, and Jean Fassina.
Fritz Center Reiner for Contemporary Music; Columbia Global Centers | Paris; Department of Music, Columbia University; Columbia University Club of France; and Columbia Undergraduate Programs in Paris; The Institute for Ideas and Imagination