The Score Magazine March 2023 issue ft Ricky Kej March 2023 issue | Page 12



Tell us about your early years of music
I have spent my entire life steeped in the tradition of North Indian Classical Music , and from the moment I was born , this music nourished me in a way no other art did . My father , the internationally performing sitarist Roop Verma , was a disciple of Ali Akbar Khan and Ravi Shankar , and I began learning sitar from him when I was five . Having grown up in the US , I also developed a connection with Western Classical music from a young age , played in school orchestras , and developed a curiosity about the similarities between the two styles which has carried through to my current musical explorations .
How did you pick up the sitar as an instrument ?
Not very easily at first , with my tiny five-year-old arms – my father had to tie the sitar to a chair to hold it up ! But in all seriousness , I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to begin learning from my father at such a young age , and to share the experience of playing sitar with my father for decades .
Who was your teacher and what are your best learnings ?
As a teenager , I was deeply inspired by the preeminent sarode maestro , Ali Akbar Khan ,
The Score
12 highonscore Magazine . com