Mohamed Assani is a celebrated sitar player known for being a proactive ambassador for his rich musical tradition. Throughout his extensive career, he has brought the sitar to new audiences through innovative collaborations that have stretched the boundaries of his instrument. He has performed Hindustani classical music as well as his own original music across the globe — with orchestras, hip hop artists, world music ensembles, jazz artists, Indian & Pakistani classical artists — and as a soloist. Mohamed has been invited to present his music to royalty and heads of state, including the Governor General of Canada, Royal Family of Dubai and HRH Prince Karim Aga Khan.
His most recent project has been co-composing a concerto for sitar and orchestra alongside composer John Oliver. This was premiered by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in November 2017. The piece was hailed as a “spectacular success” and “a triumph” by Musicworks Magazine.
Mohamed’s musical journey began at Dartington College of Arts in England, where he did a degree in Western Classical and World music. He then went on to learn sitar in the traditional way and is a senior disciple of Ustad Ashraf Sharif Khan of the Poonch Gharana.
In addition to his composition and performance work, Mohamed is a passionate and sought-out educator with a Post-Graduate Certificate in Music Education. He has designed and taught world music courses at the University of Huddersfield in England, including teaching teachers how to effectively take world music into the classroom. During his extensive career, Mohamed has taught at the Royal Academy of Music and the BRIT School of Performing Arts in London, England. He currently teaches Indian Music at the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra School of Music and tours extensively in BC schools as part of the ArtStarts Artist in Schools program. He has inspired students of all ages in their musical journeys.
Mohamed is a leader in his field – forging new paths for his music to develop and grow, while remaining committed to the rich depths and roots from which his tradition has emerged. He is based in Vancouver, Canada.