Malhaar: A Requiem for Water

Choral Fusion

Experience the transformative melodies of “Malhaar: A Requiem for Water” by composer Reena Esmail, presented by Yale Choral Artists. Inspired by mystical Hindustani raags invoking rain, this performance blends Latin requiem texts with Hindi poetry, exploring water’s beauty, loss, and renewal. Join us on a journey of hope with Mumbai vocalist Saili Oak, renowned for bridging Indian and Western classical music. Dive into a world of music and reflection on our relationship with water and the earth.

Saili Oak

Saili Oak is an acclaimed Hindustani vocalist known for her distinguished work in the Indian-Western Classical music crossover space, making her the foremost Hindustani vocalist for contemporary American Composers. A native of Mumbai and now based in California, Saili is a senior disciple of Dr. Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, a leading vocalist of the Jaipur gharana. Her performances have been admired for her meticulous and well-crafted raga exploration. Saili has provided vocals for World Premieres for some of the foremost orchestras and has performed with notable ensembles across the US. She has been featured on several albums including ‘Beyond’, ‘Sing about it’, ‘Afterglow’, ‘Kala’ to name a few.

A passionate educator, Saili maintains a robust vocal teaching studio (SailiMusic), and is a frequent guest speaker, panelist and workshop participant at conferences and universities across America.

Saili began studying music at just three years of age and won the All India Classical music competition when she was seventeen. She has earned several awards and scholarships throughout her career.

Saili holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Hindustani Vocal Music, and a Master’s Degree in Accountancy. She is also a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Yale Choral Artists

The Yale Choral Artists is a professional choir founded in 2012 by the Yale School of Music and the Yale Glee Club to enhance and enrich Yale’s strong commitment to the choral arts. The choir is a project-based ensemble comprised of leading singers from around the country and is directed by School of Music faculty member Jeffrey Douma. Current members of the Choral Artists also perform in the ranks of such acclaimed ensembles as the Trinity Wall Street Choir, Chanticleer, the Handel and Haydn Society Chorus, Voices of Ascension, Seraphic Fire, Conspirare, and many others, and are also leading concert soloists, particularly in the area of early music.

The Yale Choral Artists made their debut in an all-Handel program led by guest conductor William Christie at Yale and at Carnegie Hall. They have since performed as a featured ensemble at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas, the Yale International Choral Festival, and the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and have appeared in two productions with the renowned Mark Morris Dance Group. Recent projects include a collaboration with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra in a program of Britten and Pärt, an appearance at the New York Philharmonic Biennial, the East Coast premiere of David Lang’s the national anthems, the premiere of Martin Bresnick’s new concert-length oratorio Passions of Bloom: Whitman, Melville, Dickinson, a program pairing Poulenc’s virtuosic cantata Figure humaine with Josquin’s Missa L’homme armé super voces musicales, the premiere of Paola Prestini’s The Glass Box with the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, and the premieres of Garth Neustadter's Memory of Water and Alejandro Viñao's Poems and Prayers with The Percussion Collective. Their debut recording on the Naxos label of new works by Yale composers Han Lash, David Lang, and Ted Hearne with the Yale Philharmonia was reviewed glowingly by Gramophone Magazine and Opera News, where it was hailed as a “Critic’s Choice.”

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