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Arjun Verma is a sitarist trained by the legendary Maestro Ali Akbar Khan.
Arjun has spent his entire life steeped in the tradition of North Indian Classical music. The son of internationally performing sitarist Roop Verma, a disciple of Ali Akbar Khan and Ravi Shankar, Arjun began learning sitar from his father at age five.
As a teenager, Arjun was deeply inspired by the preeminent sarode maestro, Ali Akbar Khan, and he ultimately moved to the San Francisco Bay Area to study directly with Ali Akbar Khan for eight years. In 2007, Arjun was awarded a Shenson Fellowship by the San Francisco Foundation to support his continued study at the Ali Akbar College of Music. Since the Maestro’s death in 2009, Arjun has continued his training under the able guidance of Ali Akbar Khan’s son, Alam Khan. Arjun has also received guidance from Smt. Annapurna Devi.
Arjun’s playing is based on the musical approach of Maestro Ali Akbar Khan. He has developed innovative sitar techniques inspired by the Maestro’s style, and is also influenced by sitarist Nikhil Banerjee. Arjun’s playing also incorporates musical elements drawn from his long apprenticeship with his father, Roop Verma.
Arjun has performed with Alam Khan, as well as with renowned tabla players Pandit Sharda Sahai and Ustad Shabbir Nisar. Aside from playing Indian music, Arjun has experimented with using the sitar in other musical genres such as western classical, celtic, and jazz, and has performed with Bob Weir (of the Grateful Dead), Fareed Haque and Kai Eckhardt.
Arjun began performing at the age of seven, and has played concerts in the United States, Europe, and India, including noteworthy performances with his father at Prague Castle in the Czech Republic, and at the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland.