British sitar maestro Mick Taylor dies aged 69
Mick Taylor, one of few exponents from the West who studied various aspects of Indian classical music and received rave reviews in India and elsewhere for his gayaki (vocal) style of playing the sitar, has passed away at the age of 69.
A disciple of Imdad Hussain and Imrat Khan, Cambridgeshire-based Taylor had been suffering from cancer for some years, and died on June 21, leaving behind his wife Alpana Sengupta, a distinguished Kathak dancer, son Arun, and grandchildren.
“Mick stood out among British exponents of Indian classical music due to his ‘sadhana’, dedication, he went through the whole process of learning. He performed solo and with many Indian musicians over the years”, said Jay Visvadeva of Sama Arts Network, a leading London-based cultural organisation.
“I have known him since the mid-1970s. He had many students and was also closely involved in organising concerts in the United Kingdom of leading musicians such as Hariprasad Chaurasia, Shankar Ghosh and Shujaat Khan,” he added.
Taylor’s engagement with Indian classical music began in 1969. He was particularly close to Imrat Khan, the sitar and surbahar maestro, and followed the Imdadkhani gharana. He also composed music for Kathak performances by Sengupta.
His performances in India over the years included several in New Delhi at the Kamani Auditorium and the India International Centre, and in Kolkata at the Sangit Kala Mandir, Birla Academy for Art and Culture, and Rabindra Bhavan.