Hans Utter

Musician, Producer, Author

A masterful and versatile musician at the core, Dr Hans Utter’s achievements go much beyond that. He is an ethnomusicologist, a music producer, a composer, an author, and a professor. Apart from being one of the most seasoned sitarists in present times, he is also an accomplished guitarist and oud player transcending genres from Western and Indian Classical Music to jazz to the captivating modal music of Central Asia and the Middle East.
His exceptional skills on the sitar have earned him the title of “Sitar Man” by the Columbus Monthly Magazine.

About Me

An exemplary musician, Dr. Hans Utter is considered one of the finest sitarists in America. His music is deeply ingrained in Indian Classical Music, having received the tutelage of one of the best sitarists in India in this generation- Ustad Shujaat Khan of Imdad Khan gharana. Hans’ musical background encompasses a range of genres including jazz, Western Classical, electro-acoustic, rock, blues and more.
Yet, to solely confine our discourse to his music would be akin to leaving behind a few important chapters within the annals of his life’s narrative. Hans holds a doctorate in ethnomusicology from the Ohio State University and is an author, a professor, a music composer, and producer. His publications include the book Trance, Ritual and Rhythm: The Cult of Mahasu Deota (New Delhi: B. R. Rhythms, 2010) as well as several scholarly articles and book chapters.  

Education & Employment

Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from Ohio State University(2011) and Diploma in Sitar from Benaras Hindu University (1995) and has worked as a research advisor, visiting professor, etc.

Books & Publications

He has authored a book and other numerous peer reviewed articles and book chapters and has had presentations in multiple conferences across the globe.

Music Composer & Producer

He is the owner and producer of Rigpa Records,USA and has composed several tracks from Melodic Intersect’s Global Vision album, as well as raga-based pieces for orchestra


The Examiner

“Hans Utter, a master sitar player, gave his usual great performance.”

Ustad Ballu Khan

“Hans is a wonderful musician. His music speaks from the heart-I wish him all the best on his musical journey.”

The Telegraph, Calcutta, India.

“Hans Utter is a name to reckon with in Indian classical music… brings to light the various aspects of Indian classical music … one of the most talented names in the industry.”

Rick Borgia, Spanda

“Hans is an amazing being. His knowledge and talent are boundless.Hans is a world-class guitar player, and has immersed himself in the disciplines, languages and traditions of Persian and Indian classical music.”

Live Performances

Hans’ mesmerizing live performances have enthralled audiences across the globe, predominantly in the realm of classical music gatherings, where he astounds his audiences with his proficiency on both the sitar and guitar.

Upcoming Performance

September, 2023

Raag & Taal: The Rhythm and Melody in Indian Classical Music and Dance

Peggy McConnel Arts Center, Ohio

Past Performance

July 2022

Eureka Music Festival

Eureka, Montana.

October 2021

Aletheia: Performing Arts Traditions of Near East & South Asia

Peggy McConnel Arts Centre, Ohio.

October 2015

Raag & Taal: The Rhythm & Melody in Indian Classical Music & Dance

Peggy McConnel Arts Centre, Ohio.

June 2012

Dhrupad & Khyal: Hindustani Vocal Music

The Ohio State University.

June 2012

Raga & Tala: Music and Court Culture in Mughal era India

The Ohio State University.

June 2012

Introduction to Central Asian Music, Dance & Poetry

The Ohio State University

August 2011

Exploring Raag & Taal: The Rhythm and Melody in Indian Classical Music and Dance

St. John’s Township Hall, Worthington, Ohio.

May 2012

Garland of Melody: Ragamala Paintings and the Visualization of Music

The School of Music, Ohio University.

March 2009

From Central Asia to South Asia: The Historical & Cultural Development of Tajik Music

India International Centre, New Delhi.

January 2009

Western Harmony and the Indian Raga: Compositional Strategies

Ludhiana, India.

April 2007

The poetry of Ja’alludin Rumi: Redefining Islam in the 21st Century

Aga Khan College, Tajikistan.

November 2006

Performance and Identity in the Jaunsari Puja Drumming

The Ohio State University.

October 2006

Zamama: The Poetics of Indo-Persian Music

The Ohio State University.

August 2006

The Poetry of Omar Khayyam at Radio Tajikistan

Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

April 2006

Traditional Dotar Music of Central Asia at Tajik National Television


April 2004

Music and Intercultural Dialogue: Arabic, Turkish and Northern Indian Music

Temple Beth I’ Shalom, Cleveland, Ohio.