Sitarist and composer, Professor Pradeep Ratnayake of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura have been chosen as the musician from Sri Lanka to compose for the Australian saxophone and piano duo HD Duo – Dr. Michael Duke and David Howie for their new ambitious cross-cultural project that will focus on composers of the Commonwealth.
These accomplished musicians; Dr. Michael Duke and David Howie performed their music at the Science Auditorium of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura on 10th May 2018. Prof. Pradeep Ratnayake also made a guest appearance on his sitar at this music evening.
This harmonious evening was graced by the presence of Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura; Prof. Sampath Amaratunge. As well as Prof. Hemanthi Ranasinghe; Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, Prof. Surangi Yasawardhene; Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, Prof. D. P. S. Chandrakumara; Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Prof. Sudantha Liyanage; Dean of the Faculty of Applied Sciences, Dr. S. A. A. M Subasinghe; Dean of the Faculty of Engineering participated in the event. Withal Prof. Carlo Fonseka, Prof. J. B. Dissanayake, Prof. Maravilla and a large number of prestigious community, including heads of departments, academic members, and undergraduates participated in this colorful evening.
Prof. Pradeep Ratnayake of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura has performed the sitar in his original compositions in distinguished venues across the world. He has collaborated with internationally recognized artists like pianists Masahiko Satoh, Joe Chindamo, Ben Waltzer, and Freddie Ravel, cellist Ramon Jaffe, guitarist Thibault Cauvin, violinists Miranda Cuckson and Helen Ayers, saxophonist Eric Marienthal etc. composing for them pieces that collaborated with the star. Ratnayake is known for giving the sitar a particularly Sri Lankan sound – through the incorporation of its folk music, use of its traditional drums and including harmonies in playing this basically melodic instrument.