August Concert NYC

28 August 2009 Songs of the Soul Concert. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, New York University. Two back-to-back free evening concerts were offered to accomodate an overflow crowd of Manhattanites seeking music of the soul.

Surprise guest Addwitiya Roberta Flack shared her unparalleled memories of Sri Chinmoy. The timeless appeal and heart-warming voice of Grammy Award-winning Roberta Flack has touched millions around the globe since the late 1960s. 
A vocalist extraordinaire, a classical concert pianist, an opera director and founder of her own music publishing and production company, Roberta was a suprise special guest at the Songs of the Soul Concert much to the delight of her audience. A legend in her own time, she brought the house down as she invited all the audience to join in her performance.


Both concerts began and ended with the orchestral grandeur of the 100 plus members of the Gandharva Loka Cosmic Symphony. Comprised of international musicians, the orchestra is a uniqublend of both eastern and western modes from  The concert also included a variety of soloists, a cappela groups and instrumental ensembles who performed a wide range of musical interpretations of Sri Chinmoy's music.

 Songs of the Soul Performers

Gandharva Loka Orchestra | Cosmic Symphony
Dr. Madan Shankar Mishra | Improvisations on Sitar
Sahadeva’s Group | A cappella singing
Roberta Flack | Legendary Vocalist, pianist
Shambhu Neil Vineberg and Viddyut Balmer | Instrumental interpretations
Mountain-Silence | Arrangements of meditative music
Premik Russell Tubbs on flute and saxophone
Gandharva Loka Orchestra | Cosmic Symphony

Program Notes from the evening

Special Guests

Madan Shankar Mishra – sitar
Madan is on tour from the Faculty of Music and Fine Arts at Delhi University. He belongs to a distinguished musical lineage - Madhubani Gharana - that goes back six generations. Madan studied sitar under his father, Pandit Uma Shankar Mishra, and tonight he will offer us imaginative improvisations on Sri Chinmoy's compositions.

About the Performers (in alphabetical order)


Gandharva Loka Orchestra
Founded in 2007 by Sri Chinmoy, the Gandharva Loka Orchestra is comprised of over 100 singers and musicans from around the world, and is led by Swiss musician Panchajanya Burri, a classically trained guitarist, who in cooperation with Amsterdam pianist Matthijs Jongepier has created the soaring and dynamic symphonic arrangements of the Maestro's songs.

This vocal and instrumental ensemble is composed of talented musicians from Austria, Germany and Switzerland.They perform throughout Europe, and in 1989 sang for Pope John Paul II. The group's leader, playing guitar, is Gunthita Corda, and featured musicians are Dundubhi Dikel on violin and Shamita  on cello.

Sahadeva's Group
SahadevaTorpy is an events organizer in the United Kingdom. For many years, his all-male choir has performed Sri Chinmoy's songs in their original form, without any instrumental accompaniment. Their singing has been likened to Gregorian chant.


Shambhu Vineberg and Viddyut Balmer
Sri Chinmoy's soulful melodies blend perfectly with the jazz-influenced expressions of world-class guitarist Shambhu Vineberg. Tonight he collaborates with Viddyut, a classically trained violinist, to create an uplifting and daring interpretation. Shambhu has performed and recorded with Whitney Houston and Narada Michael Walden.

All photos courtesy of Jowan Gauthier.

 "Thank you for this concert. Many artists from so many countries performing with such a elegance in the spirit of good will."  More audience feedback

Songs of the Soul Official site