Soumik Datta is a British Indian composer and virtuoso player of the sarod – a 19 stringed fretless instrument with a nomadic history spanning ancient Afghanistan, colonial India and modern day global downloads.
Soumik is not only a solo virtuoso. He is also innovative and generous, working with other musicians to create fabulous new pieces, bringing his sarod and their instruments to new and wider audiences around the world.
Trained by the sarod legend, Pandit Buddhadev Das Gupta while completing his Masters in Composition at Trinity College of Music, Soumik’s concerts bridge the world of Indian classical and contemporary music. His artistic hallmarks are his collaborations with other artists: Beyonce, Jay-Z, Bill Bailey, Manu Delago, Akram Khan, Nitin Sawhney, Anoushka Shankar, Bernhard Schimpelsberger, Talvin Singh, Joss Stone, Shankar Mahadevan to name a few.
In 2014 he played his sarod for the instrument’s first concerto, composed by Param Vir bridging the worlds of contemporary western music and Indian raga music. In the same year, Soumik was commissioned by Edinburgh Mela and the Commonwealth Games to re-score Satyajit Ray’s 1960’s epic Goopy Gayne Bagha Gyne. The show has received rave reviews and been played by leading orchestras such as Scottish Chamber Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Moroccan Orchestra.
In 2015, Soumik was invited to Antwerp to co-compose music for dancer/choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s latest show: Fractus V. Handpicked by Sidi Larbi, the show is a collaboration between dancers and musicians from across the world from Korea to Congo, Japan to England. Soumik has toured extensively with the show receiving standing ovations throughout its international tour.
Soumik’s most recent work is his collaboration with his brother Souvid Datta - an award winning visual journalist and photographer. Together, they travelled across six states of India, shooting and collaborating with over 100 grassroots musicians, many of whom are the last torchbearers of their music. The product of this collaboration is Tuning 2 You: Lost Musicians of India - an ambitious six part, film series about the plight of musicians in rural India. Supported by the Bagri Foundation, the Rumi Foundation and Soumik Datta Arts, it is the first big film project by the Datta brothers which releases in autumn 2016.
Soumik Datta Arts is a charity set up in 2013 by Soumik Datta to support new, collaborative musical projects and to assist young talent. Based in London, its trustees are Sir David Green (Chairman), Nihal Arthanayake, Simon Broughton, Rachael Dennis, Ferdy Lovett, Freddie Matthews, Tristan Neagle, Shrina Shah, Sam Toolan and Tana Wollen.