I’m in the midst of preparations for our final Ananda Concert Series program, entitled Ananda Classics. We’ll be performing on Saturday night, May 17th, at 7:30 PM at the Crystal Hermitage, surrounded by the beauty of the gardens.

This will be the first time in nearly twenty years that Swami’s String Quartet will be performed in its entirety, comprised of four movements based on songs of Shakespeare. I’ll be joined by Ramesha and Krishnabai (violins), and Ben Skillman (cello). Swami has often spoke of how he wrote his String Quartet, giving the melody to each of the instruments in turn, providing each with an opportunity to shine.

Also on the program will be Amrita, for flute and keyboard, The Divine Romance, Swami’s Piano Sonata performed by Mukti Deranja, and I, Omar, featuring Bhagavati on flute, backed by the lush string section.

The final piece will be Life Is the Quest for Joy, featuring 3 violins, 3 cellos, and our dear friend, Steve D’Amico on string bass, from the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. This is one of Swami’s greatest masterpieces, which always takes the audience into a very deep awareness of the Divine. In fact, it is this piece that best teaches me how I should live my life, as it naturally expands my consciousness and opens my heart. I merely have to think of the melodies for my energy to rise in my spine.

We are all overwhelmingly grateful for the opportunity to attune ourselves with the Divine Inspiration that has flowed so beautifully through Swamiji, and in this, his birthday weekend, wish to offer this opportunity for our audience to tangibly feel his presence.