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. David can help you acquire a sitar – please be sure to contact him before getting one!