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Arts & Life

Tagore Beyond Boundaries hopes to make songs written a century ago accessible today

A black and white photo of Rabindranath Tagore
Wikimedia Commons - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg
Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel prize in 1913 for literature but he remains relatively unknown in the western world. Banerjee is trying to change that.

 

As controversy swirled around Bob Dylan's 2017 Nobel prize for literature, some argued that Dylan wasn't even the first songwriter to win the prize. That honor may belong to Indian songwriter, poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore.  

He was born in Calcutta in 1861, he was awarded the Nobel prize in 1913, and he lived until 1941. 

 

Mousumi Banerjeea research professor of Biostatistics at the School of Public Health & Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Michigan, grew up listening to Tagore's music. She's working to make the music and lyrics of Rabindranath Tagore more accessible to the world through her nonprofit, Tagore Beyond Boundaries.

 

Mousumi Banerjee
Credit Mercedes Mejia/Michiagn Radio
Mousumi Banerjee

She joined Stateside to share how he influenced her while growing up, what his impact has been in India and Bangladesh, and how his work is being translated from the original notation to a western one to increase the audience for his work.

 

As part of spreading his work to a western audience, the Pioneer High School Orchestra and Choir are performing, "Tagore Soul and Strings," on April 17 at Washtenaw Community College's Towsley Auditorium. More information can be found here

 

Listen above for the full conversation.  

 

Support for arts and culture coverage comes in part from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

 

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