David Whetstone is a disciple of the legendary sitarist, Ustad Vilayat Khan. He has collaborated and toured extensively with poets Robert Bly and Coleman Barks, appearing with them in numerous recordings and films. David co-founded Ragamala Music & Dance Theater and supplied original text, stories and music utilizing both Indian and Western vocal and orchestral idioms, for critically acclaimed programs such as Ragamala, The Puppet Master, Canticle of Mary, and Ashoka, Beloved of the Gods. David has performed in venues such as Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Guthrie Theater. The Rochester Symphony & Chorus premiered excerpts from his opera, White Nights, after Fyodor Dostoevsky’s short story, live on Minnesota Public Radio. An American Institute of Indian Studies Senior Research Fellow, David’s first fundamental sitar training was with Dr. Brian Q. Silver, and he has trained with numerous others, including vocalist Hafeez Ahmed Khan, Deputy Director of All India Radio. David also has trained in Western classical music, having studied with Philip Meyers, Solo Hornist of the New York Philharmonic, for five years. Recent appearances have been with poets Li-Young Lee and Jane Hirshfield, writer Mirabai Starr, and theologian Matthew Fox. David lives in Minneapolis, and is a Senior Lecturer at Carleton College.
David began to teach for the University of Minnesota at the age of nineteen, and he has evolved methods that particularly enable an adult beginner to advance rapidly. David’s training in both Indian and Western classical music facilitates good communication of the ideas and concepts of sitar to young and old pupils.
Shantilal Shah has been studying and performing Indian Classical Music with intense passion for the last 40 years. His basic taalim was under Pandit Mahadev Prasad Mishra of the Banaras Gharana, and later became a worthy disciple of Taal-Yogi Pandit Suresh Talwalkar.
His deep knowledge of music has allowed him to shine in particular as an accompanying artist, having performed with some of the greatest names in Indian Classical music including Pt. Jasraj, Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia. Pt.Rajan Misra and Pt.Sajan Misra. Along with his accomplishments in the field of Hindustani Classical Music, he was also a featured performer in the 2004 Hollywood film, Dancing in Twilight, and in the Houston Grand Opera’s acclaimed Operetta, River of Light, in 2014.
He has also proven himself to be one of the most successful Tabla-Gurus of the present generation. with innumerable disciples having received in-depth Taalim under his direct supervision, including several who have become professional musicians. Determined to positively influence the lives of all his students, the lasting bonds he has developed are testimony to his devotion to his art and dedication to his disciples.