Pt. Udhav Shinde
Pandit Udhav Shankarao Shinde Apegaonkar, leading pakhawaj drum artist, studied with his father, Padmashree Bapu Apegaonkar. He performs solo pakhawaj at major venues in India and Europe, including Salle Moliere in Brussels and Maison de L'Inde in Paris, and tours extensively throughout India and Europe with India's top dhrupad singers. He performs frequently with top surbahar artist Pushparaj Kosti. He is the pakhawaj player on the CD's of the Gundecha Brothers' 'Raga Bageshwari,' and Sayeeduddin Dagar's 'Inde: Chant Dhrupad de la Dagarvani,' used in Anne Teresa DeKeersmaeker's production "Desh." Pt. Shinde tours regularly in India with his popular "Tal Sparsha" percussion jugalbandi program, featuring his senior pakhawaj students. In Oct. 2008 Tal Sparsha made their European debut in Belgium and France, performing classical pakhawaj, as well as fusion programs with western musicians. With singer Judy Rust, Pt. Shinde performs the "Khela Mandiyela" Marathi abhanga program throughout Maharashtra. In Feb. 2009, they made their U.S. debut at the Marathi Sahitya Sammelan in San Jose, CA. Pt. Shinde has received the Mumbai Tal Mani Award, the Gold Medal at the Varanassi Dhrupad Festival, and he and Judy Rust are co-recipients of the St. Jnaneshwar Shanti Award. He is the director of a gurukul for pakhawaj and dhrupad, and has been appointed senior guru of pakhawaj by the Government of India and the Government of Rajastan. A highly-respected teacher throughout Europe, Pt. Shinde gives pakhawaj workshops at venues including the Alandi Center in Holland, DeSingel Conservatory in Belgium, Anagath Center in France, and the University of Berlin.
Judy Rust began her singing career in Los Angeles, performing with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Music Center Opera, a Bach ensemble under Christopher Hogwood, and as soloist in the Immanuel Presbyterian concert series. In 1989, she relocated to Belgium to sing with the Vlaamse Opera in Antwerp, where she is currently on contract. She has sung lieder recitals in Austria, Belgium and France, and has been a featured soloist in the Vlaamse Opera's concert series, performing songs of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Berg, Brahms, and Britten. Judy first became interested in Indian music on a trip to India in 1982, where she started studying abhanga of the poet-saints of Maharashtra. While in Belgium in 2001, she met Dhrupad singers Wasifuddin and Sayeeduddin Dagar, and began to study Dhrupad. Their accompanist, Pt. Udhav Shinde Apegaonkar, found that Judy knew some of the songs of the Varkari tradition, and suggested they work together. Since then, they have performed the Marathi abhanga program, "Khela Mandiyela" throughout Maharashtra, in venues including the Bal Gandharva, Tapadya Auditorium, the Maharashtra Maza festival in Mumbai, the Lata Mangeshkara Theater in Indore, and at Varkari festivals. In Feb. 2009, they made their U.S. debut with "Khela Mandiyela" at the Marathi Sahitya Sammelan in San Jose, CA. Judy is the first foreign musician ever to have performed in the temple of Vitthoba in Pandharpur. She and Pt. Shinde are co-recipients of the 2007 St. Jnaneshwar Shanti Award.