Rudra Veena Maestro
Kolkata based Carsten Wicke is regarded today as one of the world's most outstanding Rudra Veena maestros, whose music is carrying the almost lost sound of the Rudra Veena from the thousands-of-years old tradition into the present.
Born in Germany Carsten learned Violin and singing as a child. His journey into Indian music started in the 1990ties while studying India’s most popular percussion instrument with the international renowned Tabla Maestro Pandit Anindo Chatterjee. Being fascinated by the old classical Dhrupad music Carsten meets India’s legendary Rudra Veena Master Ustad Asad Ali Khan whose musical family tradition goes back over many generations, including outstanding Beenkars (Veena players) like Sadiq Ali Khan, Musharraf Khan and Rajab Ali Khan. Ustad Asad Ali Khan accepted him as one of his few Veena disciples and taught him traditional Rudra Veena in Khandarbani Style. While studying the vocal tradition of the Dagarbani Dhrupad with Ashish Sankrityayan, the current director and teacher at the Dhrupad Kendra in Bhopal, Carsten completed the musical versatility of his Veena playing.
Carsten Wickes presentation of the old classical Raga music unites in an unparalleled way the meditative depth in the Alap (introduction) ‐ the unparalleled fortitude of the Dagarbani Dhrupad ‐ with the dynamic interpretation of the faster performance stages (Jor, Jhala) ‐ a distinguished characteristic of the Khandarbani style. While combining subtle melodic variations with complex rhythmical finger stroke techniques his exceptional playing style creates a unique listening experience that is appreciated by Indian music lovers as well as by the international audience.
Beside his musical work Carsten develops new Rudra Veenas in collaboration with Indian craftsmen, to counter the present shortage in the manufacturing and supply of this rare instrument. Honoring his dedication for the Rudra Veena the Indian Council For Cultural Relations has awarded him with the Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan Senior Fellowship for Music.