Amie Maciszewski is a sitarist who has devoted her adult life to studying, performing, teaching, and promoting North Indian classical music. Amie’s performances in North America, India, Europe, and Japan over two decades have received critical acclaim, as have her teaching and research. She directs the noted Austin, Texas-based Sangeet Millennium Ensemble.
Passionate about women’s rights and creativity, she has published several articles in journals and books and produced four films documenting her research with courtesan musicians in India. The films, two of them award-winning, have screened at festivals and conferences in North America, India, and Europe.
Amie’s training in North Indian music includes both formal academic training in India and the U.S. and ongoing traditional study with two leading gurus: Grammy-nominated sarode Maestro Aashish Khan and Hindustani vocal diva Padmabhushan Girija Devi. She received her basic training from the late sitarist Prof. Suresh Misra. Although her performance focus is on sitar playing, she is also an accomplished vocalist, gives Hindustani vocal instruction, and includes singing in some of her presentations.
A Ph.D. in ethnomusicology (University of Texas at Austin), Amie has served as visiting professor and teaching artist on the faculties of the Universities of Colorado, Alberta, Pittsburgh, and Texas. In 2006 she was Director of the Indian Music Ensemble, University of Alberta; in 2001-02, Assistant Director. At the renowned Viswa-Bharati University in Santiniketan, India, she earned the B.Mus. degree in Hindustani instrumental music with highest honors, for which she was awarded a scholarship that helped support her completion of the M. Mus. degree in sitar performance.
She has been awarded numerous grants for her work as a performer, teaching artist, ensemble director, scholar, and documentary filmmaker. She is a selected artist on the Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) Touring Roster, Mid-America Arts Alliance (MAAA), and India World Cultural Forum (IWCF); and a Cultural Contractor with the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division.
She began her professional music career in her native New Mexico (USA), where she served as a New Mexico Arts Division Artist-in-Residence from 1986 to 1991, after her return from her initial stint in India.
She has been hailed “mesmerizing” in Austin’s world music scene and “enchanting” in India.
Her soundtrack appears on Cenozoic Studios’ popular “Naan Wayne & Masala,” 2003 S X SW Festival Trailers as well as the Nobelity Project’s critically acclaimed documentary film “One Peace at a Time” (2009). Her online and DVD tutorials on the fundamentals of sitar, Hindustani voice, and raga are internationally lauded.
She has four CDs to her credit: “Guru Pranam” (2010) and “Light and Legacy” (2007), both featuring her classical sitar with tabla accompaniment; as well as “Sangeet Safar” (2010) and “Shimmering” (2007 – selected as a Texas Top Ten in the Austin Chronicle Music Critics’ Poll 2007 year end listings), in which she leads her Sangeet Millennium Ensemble’s genre-bending world fusion project. The ensemble was again selected among the Top Ten in the World Music category by the 2010 Austin Chronicle Readers’ Poll. She appears in the 2008 CD “Lighting the Way” featuring her vocal guru, Padmabhushan Girija Devi.
Amie resides primarily in Austin, TX, where she teaches sitar and Hindustani vocal lessons to students of all ages and performs frequently in the region. She travels to India nearly every year. There, she studies with her gurus, continues her advocacy research with socially marginalized musicians, and serves as a Visiting Musician-Researcher at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy in Kolkata.
“. . . Amelia is one of my most hard working, sincere, and dedicated students. She realizes how deep and spiritual our music is and always tries to convey that in her performance and teaching. She is a very accomplished performer on sitar and a fine teacher and ensemble director of both instrumental and vocal music. . . . “ – Sarode Maestro Aashish Khan
“Amelia is a very sincere and dedicated disciple of mine whose deep interest in Hindustani music has led to notable understanding, accomplishment and professionalism as a vocal instructor and sitar performer. . . . “ – Padmabhushan Dr. Girija Devi