Simon Kohli - Indian Sarod musician

Simon Kohli - Indian Sarod musician


Unforgettable Indian Classical music from seasoned virtuoso performers! Simon has been learning Sarod for 15 years and is an accomplished musician. "The music was absorbing, atmospheric... an enchanting evening that must be repeated" "Subtly crafted music...the music was captivating"


North Indian Classical Music

Simon is a virtuoso Indian classical musician living in the South West of England. Simon specialises in the Sarod, a large string instrument similar to the Sitar. He took his initial training on the sarod from Ustad Wajahat Khan in London in 1993 for many years of one to one lessons and has been performing since he graduated from the University of Winchester in 1998 with a BA Hons in World Music and English.

At that time Winchester had a thriving World music department where he was lucky enough to study Ethnomusicology with Dr Malcolm Floyd and Dr Frances Silkstone. After moving to the South West in 1999 he has continued to receive tuition from Sri Krishnamurthi Sridhar, the Sarod player based in Stroud and Sri Tapan Roy, who is an excellent Sarod player although his main instrument is the Tabla. Simon has also attended the Indian Music Summer School at the Royal Academy of Music in London where he studied with Purbayan Chatterjee. Simon is of mixed Indian and English heritage.

Simon performs traditional North Indian Classical music on the Sarod, both solo and accompanied by the Tabla. He can bring his own PA for audiences upto 400 people. A raised stage and attractive carpet should be provided if possible but he can bring his own carpet if unavailable.

Simon is available for stage concerts, festivals, corporate and private bookings. He can also give lecture/demonstrations, workshops, improvisation workshops, and teaches Indian music privately or with small groups.

Tapan Roy - Tabla
Born into a musical family, Tapan took an early interest in playing the Tabla (Indian classical percussion instrument). From the age of fourteen, he was privileged to be trained by Pandit Shankar Ghosh, the renowned Tabla maestro of the Farukhabad Gharana (school). After years of dedicated apprenticeship, Tapan emerged as an accomplished Tabla player.

Tapan also graduated in classical music specialising in Tabla, from Prayag University, Allahabad. He soon became well-known within the classical music circuit both in his home city, Calcutta, and India as a whole. As well as being a successful performing artist, he is an experienced teacher - he taught at the Birla Academy of Art and Culture, the premier musical institution in Calcutta, from 1975 until 1998, when he came to the UK.

He has played with many famous musicians and classical dancers. He was a leading participant in the ‘Music of the Drum’ ensemble, led by its composer Pandit Shankar Ghosh. He is not only a virtuoso Tabla player, but is equally at home in light classical and popular music and is an adept performer on the Sarod and similar instruments.

At present, Tapan is settled in Bristol, where he has already built up a formidable reputation as both a teacher and performer. His skills are in great demand from all over Britain and he gives lessons in Tabla to pupils in Bath, Bristol and the surrounding area. As such, he has made a valuable contribution to the richness of the cultural life of the region. During the course of his musical career, which spans the past four decades, he has performed all over India, the sub-continent, Japan and in the UK, including concerts in Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Royal Albert Hall.

The Sarod, a 25-stringed Indian lute is not an instrument heard too often in Thornbury and it was therefore a rare delight to hear it being played by Simon Kohli in the Chantry.
Thornbury Gazette

“Fantastic opportunity for teachers to experience first hand an Indian classical music performance, providing inspiration to widen their children’s cultural awareness.”
Jilly Hillier, Marlborough Brandt Group

“The music was absorbing, atmospheric … an enchanting evening that must be repeated…
“Subtly crafted music … the music was captivating”
Audience members

Contact Details
This show is suitable for small stages at festivals, village halls, medium sized Arts centres etc. Audiences who enjoy Jazz, Blues, Folk music and Classical music might enjoy this music. The programme could include a Tabla solo if desired. Please contact Simon direct on 07730 872233, or more information and demo music and to send an email enquiry visit

Upcoming Concerts
Private function in Gloucester, accompanied by Dhyan Singh on Tabla, 28 May 2009
Concert and Workshop at Vegan Fayre in Amphitheatre and Waterfront Square, Bristol, accompanied by Tapan Roy on Tabla, 30 May 2009
Private function in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, accompanied by Tapan Roy on Tabla, 31 May 2009
Private function in Bristol, 20 June 2009
Private function in Canterbury, 26 June 2009
Private function in London, accompanied by Tapan Roy on Tabla, 4 July 2009
Indian Music workshops in Harmonium, Sitar and Tabla with Sixth Form at Katharine Lady Berkeley's School in Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, 8 July 2009
Private function in London, accompanied by TBC on Tabla, 25 July 2009
Private function in Lo

Set List

Usual performance will be two sets, each comprising around 45 minutes of pretty much continuous music. The first set usually begins with solo sarod: a meditative kind of music that begins slow and builds up in speed and complexity. After about 15 minutes the tabla enters and the music thereafter continues to build up to the climax.

The second set will usually feature a much shorter solo sarod piece, with a different 'raga' from the first half with a different mood, and will build in speed quicker.