Artist in Residence 2023/24: Soumik Datta

Soumik Datta standing on the Southbank with sarod looking into camera and smiling

The Philharmonia Orchestra is pleased to announce that Soumik Datta will be its Artist in Residence for the 2023/24 Season. Now in its third year, the Artist in Residence initiative has previously featured House of Absolute (21/22) and Love Ssega (22/23). 

Soumik will be working with the Philharmonia and its musicians throughout the next 12 months. The residency will culminate in a performance at the end of the season which will feature a mixture of (Western) classical and South Asian musicians, instruments and music styles. Soumik will be exploring themes relating to refugees and asylum seekers, diaspora, and social and racial inequality. His talents will bridge Indian music with contemporary composition and storytelling using a variety of art forms.

Soumik Datta said: ‘Making music is an act of service for me. To be able to ignite human imagination and allow audiences to project their thoughts, feelings and worries onto my music fills me with gratitude and purpose. Now, as Philharmonia’s Artist in Residence, I hope to expand that fabric of sound, challenging myself and the Orchestra to hold our diverse listeners in a warm, inclusive, sonic embrace.’ 

Teddy Prout, Director of Learning & Engagement at the Philharmonia Orchestra said: ‘We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with Soumik, a visionary artist who will bring so much to our artistic and creative work, both on the stage and in our communities. In a world where there continues to be more that divides us than unites, we are pleased to have appointed Soumik to explore how we can push the arts to be more relevant than ever.’

Thorben Dittes, Chief Executive at the Philharmonia Orchestra said: ‘I’m so excited to see what Soumik and the Philharmonia musicians will create together during his year as our Artist in Residence. He is not just a master musician, but a master collaborator, and he shares our vision of music as a force for bringing people together and transforming the world into a better place for everyone.’  

‘One of the biggest new music talents in Britain’ (Vogue) and winner of the 2022 Aga Khan Music Award, Soumik Datta is a visionary musician with the ability to cross boundaries, cultures and art forms. A sarod virtuoso, bandleader, TV presenter and Artistic Director of the Soumik Datta Arts charity, his work embraces traditional and contemporary art forms to address the urgent issues of our times.

One of the last disciples of the sarod legend, Pt. Buddhadev Das Gupta, Soumik is now acclaimed for extending the reach of the sarod, collaborating with refugees, mental health and climate change practitioners as well as artists from disparate global traditions including – Beyonce, Jay-Z, Nitin Sawhney, Akram Khan, Anoushka Shankar and BBC Singers.

Soumik’s previous highlights include performing at BBC Proms, Glastonbury Festival, WOMAD, Singapore Arts Festival, St Paul’s Cathedral and compositional commissions for British Film Institute and Shakespeare’s Globe.

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Clair Chamberlain, Bread and Butter PR