William Rees Hofmann

Key information

BA (MSU Baroda), MMus (SOAS)
Thesis title
Singing Sufis in Text: Indo-Persian Music and Sufi Poetics ca. 1250-1600
Internal Supervisors
Professor Richard Widdess


William Rees Hofmann is a current Doctoral Researcher and Kamran Djam Fellowship scholar at SOAS, as well as a multi-instrumentalist specialising in both the Indian Sarod and the Afghan Rubab. Representing the musical lineages of the Maihar Gharana as well as that of Ustad Nabi Gol of Kabul, he has been studying sarod for the past thirteen years under the tutelage of Satyam Rai in Gujarat, India, and has been a student of the eminent rubab player and ethnomusicologist John Baily since 2013. Hofmann earned a BA in Hindustani Vocal Music from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in Gujarat, India, and also holds an MMus degree from SOAS in Sarod and Rubab Performance. William has performed internationally both solo and with Jāmi Ensemble, including at the Jaipur Literature Festival, Patiala Punjab, Muzaffar Ali's Jahān-e-Khusrau, and the Edinburgh Fringe, among others, as well as run workshops on the classical music of Kabul. For his PhD research, he has been the recipient of the British Institute of Persian Studies Research Grant (2017), the SOAS Ouseley Memorial Award (2017), and the A.H. Morton Scholarship for Doctoral Research in Classical Persian Studies (2019). He has also recently been granted a Senior Performing Arts Fellowship (2020) from the American Institute of Indian Studies to turn his doctoral research on early Sufi song text collections into a performance and lecture/demonstration along with Jāmi Ensemble.

Research interests

  • Historical Ethnomusicology
  • Persian Studies
  • South Asian Studies
  • Classical Sufi Poetry
  • Early Hindi
  • Performance

Contact William Rees