David Trasoff Bio

DAVID TRASOFF is a senior disciple of the late maestro Ali Akbar Khan. David was privileged to have studied sarode performance and North Indian classical music with his guru since 1973. Acclaimed for his performance in both the United States and India, David has appeared in concert in arts centers, universities, conservatories and festivals in the United States, Europe, and Asia and has made numerous performing tours in India. David holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an M.F.A. in music from California Institute of the Arts. He served as Director of the Indian Music Ensemble at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and has taught at the California Institute of the Arts, University of California Riverside, California State University San Marcos, Pomona College and the Rotterdam Conservatory CODARTS program. David has composed and performed music for film, theater and dance projects, including an award-winning Los Angeles production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the acclaimed Indian art film Leela. His recordings include a CD of North Indian classical music recorded with Ustad Zakir Hussain.


2011: Recipient of the President’s Scholarship from the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation to support travel, performance and music research Germany and Europe.

2012: Gordhain Patel Visiting Distinguished Professor of Indian Music Studies at the University of Georgia Hodgson School of Music.


The evening’s performance left no doubt about his prowess...There was tremendous depth, feeling and soul in Trasoff’s performance.” – Ajanta Krishnamurty, The Telegraph, Calcutta

This is the first time I have seen a foreign artist play an Indian instrument with such command...pure Indian artistry" – Mukesh Garg, Navbharat Times, New Delhi

a distinguished performer on the sarod...a force to be reckoned with” – Subha Mazumdar, Newslead, Allahabad

...an almost mystical sound. Trasoff’s technique was impressive...now and then there would be an outburst - half gasping moan, half transfiguring spirit - that hung in the air like an instant of pure truth. Those are the moments you live for in music...” – Daniel Buckley, Tucson Citizen

...the artist gave a delightful rendition in vibrant and luminous swaras (notes). ” – Batuk Dewanji, Times of India, Bombay

The raga...was played with utmost perfection.” – Bonnya Banerjee, The Statesman, Calcutta