Richard Clayderman, one of the world’s most famous pianists, listens to Indian music for inspiration. The French piano sensation of the ’80s and ’90s will give his first public concert in Mumbai this Friday, along with young santoor maestro Rahul Sharma.
“I listen to Indian music when I get the time. Be it traditional, folk or popular Bollywood music, it all has a repertoire that catalyses creativity,” says Clayderman. “The approach, system and finesse displayed by different musicians is also impressive.” The 57-year-old semi-classical pianist is known not only for recording over 1,200 melodies for his albums, but also for his worldwide tours. He is known to have traveled to a new country every week for his concerts.This is not the first time that Clayderman and Sharma have teamed up. Their association began in 2002, when they fused the music from the santoor and piano for an album called Confluence. Its global success led the duo to cut a Confluence Part 2 soon after.
When asked what led him to play with Sharma, Clayderman says it’s all about plunging into new worlds of experimentation. “We are in a world of creativity and consumers, and it has become important to creatively associate oneself with artistes from across the globe. When I perform with Rahul, his expertise with the santoor fascinates me,” he says. For Friday’s concert at Sion’s Shanmukhananda Hall, Sharma and Clayderman will both play solo parts, followed by a selection of easy-to-listen fusion and jazz.
“The santoor and piano complement each other beautifully. The piano did evolve from string instruments, and its functioning is somewhat similar,” said Sharma, who will travel with Clayderman to Hyderabad for his next concert on Sunday.