A Musical Career In Review
INNOVATIVE COLLABORATIONS THAT ARE
Bringing the Sitar to New Audiences
Mohamed Assani is an award-winning sitar player and composer known for being a proactive ambassador for his rich musical tradition. Throughout his extensive career, he has brought the sitar to new audiences through innovative collaborations that have stretched the boundaries of his instrument. He has performed Hindustani classical music as well as his own original music across the globe — with orchestras, string quartets, hip hop artists, DJs, world music ensembles, jazz artists, Indian classical artists — and as a soloist. Mohamed has been invited to present his music to royalty and heads of state, including the Governor General of Canada, Royal Family of Dubai and HRH Prince Karim Aga Khan.
One of his recent projects has been co-composing a concerto for sitar and orchestra alongside composer John Oliver. This was premiered by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in November 2017. The piece was hailed as a “spectacular success” and “a triumph” by Musicworks Magazine. In 2018, he composed three original pieces for sitar, tabla and Chamber Orchestra as part of a commission by Indian Summer Festival, for an event called ‘Songs for Scheherazade.’ In 2018, he also received an award from Drishti Magazine for ‘Innovation in the Arts’.
Mohamed’s musical journey began at Dartington College of Arts in England, where he did a degree in Western Classical and World music. He then went on to learn sitar in the traditional way and is a senior disciple of Ustad Ashraf Sharif Khan of the Poonch Gharana.
In addition to his performance and composition work, Mohamed is a passionate and sought-out teacher with a Post-Graduate Certificate in Music Education. He has designed and taught world music courses at the University of Huddersfield in England and has taught teachers how to effectively take world music into the classroom. During his extensive career, he has also taught at the Royal Academy of Music and the BRIT School of Performing Arts in London, England.
Mohamed currently teaches Indian Music at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School of Music and also tours extensively in BC schools as part of the ArtStarts Artist in Schools program. He has inspired students of all ages in their musical journeys.
Mohamed is a leader in his field – forging new paths for his music to develop and grow, while remaining committed to the rich depths and roots from which his tradition has emerged. He is based in Vancouver, Canada.
“The sitar is my friend and
also my teacher. It has taught me
discipline and patience, how to think
and approach things differently,
how to develop a relationship
with the sitar but also with myself.”
IN THE NEWS
Bringing South Asian
Innovations to Vancouver
The Georgia Straight
“Assani is both a musician who’s deeply rooted in the artistic traditions of South Asia and a one-of-a-kind innovator who’s bent on ensuring that those age old forms will survive, and grow, in the modern era. Vancouver’s world music scene – already one of the best anywhere – might be about to get a whole lot more interesting.”