About Us

founders

Shubhendra & Saskia Rao Foundation is a dream come true for internationally renowned artists, Pandit Shubhendra Rao and Saskia Rao-de Haas. The husband-wife duo is hailed as ‘taking Indian music into a brave new era’. They have performed at prestigious music festivals and concert halls of the world. Pandit Shubhendra Rao and Saskia Rao-de Haas have experience of more than 30 years in music. The Shubhendra & Saskia Rao Foundation is their way of sharing the knowledge they have acquired about music and its power to help children to uncover their full potential.

PANDIT SHUBHENDRA RAO
Composer and performer, Pandit Shubhendra Rao is ranked amongst the key soloists of India who lived with his guru, Pandit Ravi Shankar in the Guru-Shishya Parampara for over 10 years, assisting him in concerts and compositions all over the world. He is an unmatched master at his instrument whose playing reminds the listener of the masters of yore transformed into today’s era. Shubhendra is a musical ambassador by his natural ability to bridge cultures across the world. In November 2007, he was awarded the “Youth Icon for Classical Music” by India’s popular Zee Television Network.
SASKIA RAO-DE HAAS
Saskia Rao-de Haas is a brilliant cellist and composer from the Netherlands who is based in India. She has enriched North Indian classical music with her unique instrument, the Indian cello, and created a distinctive playing style with it. She studied with Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia as well as at top institutes in the West, CODARTS and University of Amsterdam. In addition to her prestigious status in India, Saskia is an accomplished Western classical cellist. In 2011, Saskia was awarded the ‘Pandit Jasraj - Rotary Club of Hyderabad Award’ for Cross-Cultural Understanding by the Maestro himself at a scintillating ceremony in Hyderabad.

VISION & MISSION

Our vision is to make music the birthright for every child.

Music helps people interact more peacefully; increases their intellect and uplifts communities. In our opinion, music should be a part of the main curriculum of every school and considered a necessity, rather than a luxury.

We want to promote classical music, not in an isolated and elitist way, but by connecting it to today’s world. With Indian sensibility but with a global outlook. What we have learnt from and about music is what we want to share with as many people as possible and make it available to a wider spectrum of the society, especially those who do not have easy access to music. Our dream is to ensure every child has access to good music education and takes pride in classical music as their own heritage.

Our mission is to empower and uplift people through music.

Most children are unfortunately not exposed to their rich classical music heritage either at home or at school.

Our mission is to revolutionize music education in schools by providing a curriculum-based teaching with a solid foundation in universal music concepts but with an Indian outlook. We will work with international experts on music education that will inspire the children.

We have created a ‘glocalized’ music education to empower the youth in our Music 4 All curriculum. We also organize concerts, seminars, workshops and other such events that will help people understand the power of music.

Similar to the slogan “Right to Learn” that is used for children’s education, our mission is to add music to this slogan and say, “Right to learn Music”.

10 OBJECTIVES

  • Empower people through music education and experiencing music in a way that helps them grow as human beings.
  • Provide a strong foundation for music education in India.
  • Develop curricula for music education in India by bringing together the knowledge available within and from outside India.
  • Provide workshops by artists, scholars and educationists from different backgrounds and organize seminars with experts from all over the world.
  • Create a pool of trained music teachers who understand the methodology of teaching music to children. Most music teachers in India are not exposed to the educational side of teaching music during their training in a formalized way. We want to train music teachers privately and at university level by providing music education modules.
  • Start choirs and orchestras of children to empower them and teach them how to empower their communities through music.
  • Provide a strong community for musicians across genres to enter a meaningful dialogue on music education and the role of art music in today’s world.
  • Promote Classical arts to people who might not have access to it in their daily lives.
  • Organize concerts and festivals to raise awareness and to showcase young talent and established artists alike.
  • Create a Gurukul outside the city for the talented to train them in the traditional Guru-Shishya Parampara.

VALUES

It is safe to say that we have ourselves learnt about life through music. The values that we follow in our music are the values we base the Shubhendra and Saskia Rao Foundation on.

As a music student you learn discipline, always aim for perfection and work on it until that is achieved. It teaches you not to be afraid of criticism and take the constructive part as a way to improve, learn from both your mistakes as well as strong points equally.

A perfect ensemble radiates teamwork, harmony, quality, accountability, fun, upliftment of each member, inspiration, mutual respect, optimism and empowerment of each individual member.

As a performer we learn that music is a perfect dialogue between the musicians and the audience through clear communication. You have to always give the best of yourself to others and always respect your audience, no matter how small or big. You need to also remain true to yourself and your beliefs because only then will you be able to give an authentic and uplifting performance. At the same time, we should approach the stage with humility and understand the crucial role each person plays.

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