Rakesh Chaurasia, the nephew and child prodigy of flute maestro Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, has a famous name to live up to. Amongst the promising musicians of the second generation, Rakesh has carved a niche for himself , as an accomplished flautist. Incorporating the tradition of his renowned uncle and infusing his personal style , he has evolved a style which while maintaining the purity of the flute manages to capture the attention of the young listeners too. The most accomplished of disciples of his uncle, however, shows all the promise to carry the Chaurasia legacy to new heights.
Rakesh’s flute has matched note and rhythm with wind instruments of other cultures as well as having performed ‘jugalbandis’ with Carnatic and world famous instrumentalists . Rakesh’s forte is in blending his flute without really losing its identity in mixed instruments’ concerts. Rakesh has already globe trotted many times over, enthralling audiences at classical and non-classical concerts .He is also an accomplished studio musician having recorded with most of the leading stalwarts of the Indian film industry.
Rakesh has been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades. He received the Indian Music Academy Award, presented by the Honourable President Of India, Dr..A.P.J Abdul Kalam in 2007, the Aditya Birla Kalakiran Puraskar in 2008, the Guru Shishya Award in 2011, IWAP-Pandit Jasraj Sangeet Ratna Award in 2013 and the Pannalal Ghosh Puraskar 2013.
Despite his experimental work, Rakesh has never deviated from his main goal of becoming a full-fledged classical musician. He has regularly appeared in prominent festivals such as the WOMAD festival in Athens, Womad Earthstation in Europe, the ‘Festivals of India’ in Russia , Japan , USA , and Europe, His growing maturity and status has brought him invitations to perform solo at major events within India and abroad, including the Festival of Saint-Denis in Paris and the Leicester International Music Festival in England. Most notably, Rakesh was invited to conclude the twenty-four hour live BBC Radio broadcast celebrating Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee, reaching audiences worldwide.
Recently Rakesh toured as a duo for classical concerts as well as for The Masters of Percussion with legendary tabla virtuoso Ustad Zakir Hussain at some prestigious venues globally. Rakesh has also had the priviledge of performing with some international names such as Bela Fleck, Edgar Meyer, Joshua Redman.
Rakesh's most recent venture is his fusion band Rakesh and Friends(RAF) which creates music that appeals to the young without sacrificing the essence of classical music.
Modest Rakesh is the first to admit that he has a lot to learn, not just from his legendary uncle and maestro, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, but his peers too. He is destined to carve a niche for himself in the realm of Indian Classical Music with the simple yet extremely challenging instrument, the Bansuri.