David Whetstone


Lesson Fees
from $60.00 / 60 Minutes


David Whetstone, sitarist and composer, is one of the most active sitarists in the United States.  He has collaborated and toured extensively with poets Robert Bly and Coleman Barks/Rumi for decades as a sitarist, appearing with them in numerous recordings and films.  In 1992 David co-founded Minneapolis’ Ragamala Music and Dance Theater, and created the entire repertoire for this group until his resignation in 1997, with original text and music with both Indian instrumentation, as well as Western operatic scores, for critically acclaimed full evening programs such as Ragamala, The Puppet Master,  Canticle of Mary, and Ashoka, Beloved of the Gods.  In 1996 David opened for Ali Akbar Khan with at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.  In March of 1999 the Rochester Symphony and Chorus premiered excerpts from his opera in progress, White Nights (Dostoevsky), broadcast live on Minnesota Public Radio.  In the past few years, I have performed on programs with authors Lama Surya Das, Mirabai Starr, and Phillip Goldberg;  and have accompanied poets Jane Hirshfield and Li-Young Lee.    An American Institute of Indian Studies fellow in 1988, David studied music privately with Philip Meyers, solo hornist of the New York Philharmonic, for five years.  David has studied sitar and India vocal music with Hafeez Ahmed Khansahib, Professor Brian Silver, Ustad Shahid Parvez,  Shujaat Khansahib, Pandit Ramakant Gundecha, and Ghulam Hussain Khansahib. 

David is a shagird, or sacred thread disciple, of Ustad Vilayat Khansahib, having began studies with him in 1978.  David lives in Minneapolis, and teaches sitar for Carleton and Macalester Colleges. 


I have been teaching for forty years, and have had very good teachers and influences.  I give careful attention to body position and tuning.   None of my students have carpal tunnel or tendinitis, which is rampant among serious students of classical instruments.    My method is a combination of the old traditional methods and my own innovations which I feel are helpful to adult beginners with a busy schedule.

I believe in the vocational aspect of sitar.   It is artistic, creative, mediative, spiritual and athletic all at once.   A wonderful thing to have in your life!  

Would you like to have a 15 minute trial lesson?  

Loading cart contents...
Load contents