Michael Stirling, Disciple of Pandit Pran Nath and student of Maestro Terry Riley.  Instructor of Hindustani Vocal Music (Raga Singing).

Michael Stirling

Instructor of Hindustani Voice (Raga Singing)

Evans Music Building 129 (Fall Semester 2020 is all online)

Michael Stirling is a singer of North Indian Classical Vocal Music of the venerable Kirana Gharana. He is a disciple of the late master of Classical Indian Raga Singing, Pandit Pran Nath (1918 – 1996) and a student of Nathji’s senior disciple, the legendary composer/performer, Maestro Terry Riley.

Michael has received additional instruction and continued inspiration in the art of Raga Singing from Ustad Mashkoor Ali Khan (Kolkuta), Ustad Hafizullah Khan (Delhi), Sri Karunamayee (Delhi), Sufi Pir Shabda Kahn (USA) and most recently with Sri Prem Sheela (Delhi).

Michael’s raga singing offerings of classes, workshops or performances are accompanied by Tambura, the majestic and indispensable drone necessary for Indian Classical Music and Tabla, the set of two, highly refined and tuned hand drums.

Over the years, Michael has performed as a vocalist/tambura accompanist with many gifted artists including vocalists Ustad Mashkoor Ali Khan (Kolkuta); Sufi Pir Shabda Kahn (CA): Sri Karunamayee (Delhi); Ruchira Panda (Kolkuta); Uday Bawalkar (Dhrupad, Pune); Mahesh Kale (Pune); Samarth Nagakar (Kolkuta); Prabhu Raj Dhakal (Kathmandu). And instrumentalists: Sarangi Virtuoso Ustad Hafizullah Khan (Delhi) and tabla artist, Pandit Ramdas Palsule (Pune). Michael has also performed with the extraordinary Sufi Qawalli Ensemble, Fanna Fi Allah (Bali) and with the beloved kirtan artists, Shantala, the Music of Benjy and Heather Wertheimer.

Career Highlights:
In November 2018 Michael assisted his teacher Terry Riley in a series of classes, workshops and concerts that took place in Northern California, honoring their Guruji Pandit Pran Nath’s 100 th birthday. Happy 100 th Guruji!

As part of the Portland Jazz Festival in 2017, Michael was honored to join an ensemble formed especially for Universal Consciousness, a tribute to the music of John and Alice Coltrane. The ensemble was led by Ravi Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders (sax) and included Reggie Workman (bass), Andrew Cyrille (drums), Geri Allen (piano), Brandee Younger (harp) and Michael Stirling, tambura. What an honor.

In August of 2019 Michael assembled a 12 piece ensemble to perform a concert of Indian Classical Vocal Music and a suite of compositions by John Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders, “A Love Supreme/The Creator Has a Master Plan”. The performance celebrated Michael’s 10 th year teaching
and performing at the Beloved Festival of Sacred Art & Music.

Michael was honored in 2015 to be invited to sing on the platform at the Shri Janmasthan Bhoomi, the birthplace of Lord Krishna in Mathura, India. A rare opportunity.

Performance Venues:
Michael accompanied his teachers at the Dharga of Hazarat Inayat Khan (New Delhi), Diggi Palace (Jaipur, India), the Rothko Chapel (Houston, TX) and elsewhere. He has offered his voice at Nritya Mandala Mahavihara (OR), Shri Janmasthan Bhoomi (the birthplace of Lord Krishna in Mathura, India), Beloved Festival of Sacred Art & Music (for 10 years), Dzogchen Community Temple (Berkeley), Ananda Ashram (CA); Yale Union (OR) the Portland Composers & Improvisers Festival, the Creative Music Guild and elsewhere.

In 2014 Mississippi Records released, Deva Loka, a limited edition, hand screen printed LP of Michael’s singing of Classical Indian Music and featuring Michael Stirling, vocal; Benjy Wertheimer, tabla; Lucy Stirling and Peia Luzzi, tamburas. Available on Bandcamp.

In 2015 the German Label, Root Strata released an LP of a unique collaboration between Michael (singing raga) and Matt Carlson (analog electronics) and Doug Theriault (digital electronics). Audiophile quality.

Michael is on the music faculty at Lewis & Clark College, offering Individual Instruction in Raga Singing/Hindustani Vocal Music and Directs the Indian Music Ensemble.

Michael offers private instruction and small group classes in the community.

Facebook: Michael Stirling: Portland Raga


Terry Riley & Michael at Shri Moonshine Ranch, Jade Palace.

Pharaoh Sanders and Michael Stirling at the Portland Jazz Festival's Universal Consciousness Conc...

Performance at Beloved Festival 2019.

Nritya Manda Maha VIhara (Nepali Temple in Portland, Oregon).  With Joss Jaffe, tabla; Benjy Wert...
Guruji's 100th Birthday Event!!


Indian Classical Music