William Rees Hofmann (PhD Music, SOAS) is a current Senior Performing Arts Fellow with the American Institute of Indian Studies, as well as a multi-instrumentalist specialising in both the Indian Sarod and the Afghan Rubab. Representing the musical lineages of the Maihar Gharana as well as that of Ustad Nabi Gol of Kabul, he has been studying sarod for the past twelve years under the tutelage of Satyam Rai in Gujarat, India, and has been a student of the eminent rubab player and ethnomusicologist John Baily since 2013. Hofmann earned a BA in Hindustani Vocal Music from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in Gujarat, and also holds an MMus degree from SOAS in Sarod and Rubab Performance. William has performed internationally both solo and with various ensembles, including at the Gwalior Tansen Samaroh, the Jaipur Literature Festival, Panorama Punjab, Muzaffar Ali’s Jahān-e-Khusrau, and the Edinburgh Fringe, among others, as well as run workshops on the classical music of Kabul. His doctoral research centred around the history of music and performance practices between the Sufi environments and the Sultanate courts of early modern South Asia, with a special focus on Sufi poetry and song in early Hindi. For his research, he has been the recipient of the Kamran Djam Fellowship (2016), the British Institute of Persian Studies Research Grant (2017), the SOAS Ouseley Memorial Award (2017), and the A.H. Morton Scholarship for Doctoral Research in Classical Persian Studies (2019). His current fellowship project aims to turn his doctoral research on early Sufi song text collections into a performance and lecture/demonstration along with an Indo-Persian musical ensemble.


PhD Music, SOAS

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    William Rees Hofmann

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