Silence Concerts


When I am silent, I fall into the place where everything is music.

Rumi (1207-1273)

The best explanation of what a Silence Concert is, is to experience it! The responses of audiences have been quite overwhelming since the emotional effect is so powerful.
We organize Silence Concerts as pure experiences to enjoy music and in the form of workshops for organizations in the art of listening.

We could not have described the effect of Silence Concerts better than the following articles have:

Life Positive

Sounds of silence

By Punya Srivastava
July 2014

An invitation for 'a silence concert' turned out to be an experience of a lifetime.

Silence Concert, organised by Soul Centric in Delhi, is an initiative of Shubhendra and Saskia Rao to celebrate the pure essence of music that has somehow got lost in the cacophony of the usual ‘concerts’. Hence, it did away with rituals like introductions, applause, and speeches. The audience was requested to be seated well before the concert opened, with cellphones switched off. The show started with Pt. Shubhendra Rao on sitar accompanied by Pt. Shailendra Mishra on tabla. Rao is a protégé of the renowned sitarist Pt. Ravi Shankar and a thinking musician endeavouring to take music beyond conventional boundaries. Pt. Mishra is a graded AIR artist who has accompanied major names of Indian classical music in various international shows.

The jugalbandi notes filled the room and reverberated through every soul. Every taan of the sitar, every thaap of the tabla would compel me to exclaim with joy, but in that intensely meditative space, I learnt to direct that appreciation within. Eventually, the only thing that mattered was pure consciousness of the music. The experience moved beyond music, juxtaposing the beat with the rhythm of one’s breath; a moment of oneness for the artist and the audience in an ambience devoid of any distraction. The concert ended without applause as per the directions, but the effect lingered. Even several minutes afterward, the audience was reluctant to speak, none in the mood to break the spell that Pt. Rao’s music had created that evening.

Silence Concert is a unique concept that needs encouragement from every related quarter to bring forth the true purpose of music. Hitherto, I listened to music. After the Silence Concert, I have learned to experience it.


Just the music

September 20, 2012


INITIATIVE Sitar player Shubhendra Rao and cello player Saskia Rao-de Haas have conceptualised concerts where music is not heard but experienced, writes SHAILAJA TRIPATHI

Icall up Shubhendra Rao and start off with a request to mail me the pictures of the concert. Just as the sitar player begins to clarify that no cameras, no videographers and no cell phones were allowed while the concert was on,

I recall what Shubhendra had told me that silence reigns in these concerts and anything that disturbs it in the smallest way possible is not welcome here. Classical musician couple Shubhendra Rao and Saskia Rao-de Haas have embarked on a new journey.

Enriching experience
Established musicians, the duo has floated ‘silence concerts’, in which the only sound that reverberates is music. “There are no introductions, ceremonies, gimmicks, talks, speeches or applause. The setting is serene, beautiful and set up to experience beauty within through the pure experience of music. Through controlling external influences that can distract listener and performer the concert experience is enriched,” says Shubhendra.

Under the aegis of their silence concert movement, the artists recently gave their first performance at Global Arts Village in Chattarpur for a set of 50 people.

“You won’t believe the energy that was there. Even after five-ten minutes of the concert people were in trance. Before entering the space, the guests were advised not to clap during and after the concert. Their mobile phones were literally checked. Once everyone had come in, doors were closed. One guy had come in five minutes after the concert had started but wasn’t allowed in. And he was late due to the rain but even then…It’s like sanctifying the whole place.” So, even after the concert was over, people were hesitant to talk so they were just whispering.

Control, he informs, wasn’t restricted to the audience but even extended to themselves while performing.

“You can still play beautifully if you play in a controlled manner through volume modulation without having to play to the gallery,” feels the sitarist, a senior disciple of Pandit Ravi Shankar. Saskia and Shubhendra are of the view that some concerts end up becoming a show and this initiative is aimed at reclaiming and reintroducing the element of sanctity into it. Not every concert can have the same meditative silence pervading it and nor they need to for music has different functions to fulfil.

“Just yesterday we played a corporate show and you can’t expect the same to happen there. But our point is that along with such concerts, let this also co-exist. “And not only the audience, as musicians we also need to do such things. It requires us to go within yourself. The idea was the result of this churning within us. There are times when we have to perform in settings that we ourselves don’t feel happy about.”

With first concert over, the duo is now working towards the second one, which could be at any spiritual centre in the city. To be performed in small intimate spaces initially, they plan to take it to mainstream venues and bigger crowds.

“Certainly not 50,000 people but yes the corporate crowd could do with something like this.” For their future concerts, they intend roping in other musicians as well.
There are times when we have to perform in settings that we ourselves don’t feel happy about

Contact us for a presentation or concert.

Children’s concerts

This year, the girls of the Hope school will give a public performance to showcase what they have learned in a year and share that with their families, friends and community at large.


We organize workshops, concerts, seminar and random events all over the city to raise awareness of the power of music. Keep an eye on this page for the events to come!

Shubhendra & Saskia Rao Foundation Celebrated Children's Day with MUSIC BY CHILDREN, FOR CHILDREN On 14th November 2014, 5pm-7pm, at Amphitheater Open Plaza, Select CITYWALK, Saket, New Delhi.
A concert, interactive music sessions and carnival full of exciting activities for the whole family.

• Instrument making demonstration by master lutier Sanjay Sharma of Rikhi Ram’s Music.
• Compere: Richa Anirudh
• Soloists: Ishaan, Zargam and Ayesha
• Music 4 All choir: Music for Hope project with Aadi, Aradhaya, Anohita, Advay, Avni, Krish, Leo Hayashi, Ojas, Reedhi, Sushmit and Udit.
• Live painting: Jason


Meaningful dialogue between musicians across genres remains an important tool to help people understand each other. We love working with artists across cultures and attach a lot of importance in maintaining and establishing relations with music (education) institutes in and out of India. On our international tours we do not only get the chance to play in some of the world’s most beautiful concert venues, but also collaborate with musicians across genres. We also give workshops, lectures and demonstrations in music institutes across the globe. Through these experiences we promote both Indian classical music as well as learn from other artists about their music. These musical dialogues are so special to us, that we also invite international artists as guest teachers when they visit Delhi to tell about their music. Expect to see concerts, events and festivals with this theme.

At the Holywell music room, Britain's first concert hall, Oxford University.

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