His teaching at York concentrates on Indian and Javanese music, but recently Thai music has been added to the curriculum, and the department owns a set of Thai Pi-Phat instruments which he acquired in 1989. (Click here for more details on ethnomusicology at York.) He has also taught courses on Wagner, Debussy, Improvisation and Aural Analysis, and he directed four of the department's Practical Projects, presenting works as diverse as Javanese shadow plays, Benjamin Britten's early operetta Paul Bunyan, and H.K. Gruber's Frankenstein!!.
He has written, broadcast and lectured around Britain, and also the
United States, France, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, India, and Indonesia,
on Indian and Javanese music, providing entries for the Encarta Encylopedias
and numerous insert notes for compact disc recordings of Indian music issued
by the Nimbus and Navras companies. He has been invited to address conferences
in India and also to interview several leading musicians, including Vilayat
Khan, Ram Narayan, Hariprasad Chaurasia and Shivkumar Sharma at the Nehru
Centre in London, and his interviews with Ravi Shankar and other famous
musicians have been published in the Gramophone magazine. In 1994
he participated, as composer and workshop leader, in the Rhythms of Harmony
Festival in Indonesia, which brought together the British percussionist,
Evelyn Glennie, and the gamelan musicians of S.T.S.I.Surakarta.
Recent research has also focussed on Thai music, and he has produced the only detailed study in English of the distinguished Thai composer, the late Prasidh Silapabanleng.
He has composed several works, mostly for gamelan, among which may be mentioned Mas in 1 minor, for Baroque flute and gamelan, first performed by Edwina Smith and Gamelan Sekar Petak at the Cheltenham International Festival of Music in 1986, Pibrokan, for marimba and gamelan, first performed by Evelyn Glennie and the gamelan musicians of S.T.S.I. Surakarta at the Jakarta Convention Centre in 1994, Eastern Gas, for gamelan and percussion, first performed by Evelyn Glennie and Gamelan Sekar Petak at the York Barbican in 1999, and L'allée des clochards, for piano and gamelan, first performed by Nicky Losseff and Gamelan Sekar Petak at the Cheltenham International Festival of Music in 2000.
Neil Sorrell is a recipient of the 1999 Hafiz Ali Khan Award, an international
award presented by the Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan Memorial Trust, Gwalior, India,
in recognition of contributions to Indian classical music.
receiving the Hafiz Ali Khan award from the Vice President of India, with the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh
looking on. Gwalior, 31 January 2000.
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