An amazing 5 day festival of classical music concluded this evening at the Kamani Auditorium, Delhi. This Delhi Indian Classical Music festival was organised by the Punjabi Academy and the Sahitya Kala Parishad which is the cultural wing of the Govt. of Delhi. The event saw the oncoming of the greatest musical stewards of the nation including Padma Vibhushan Sangeet Martand Pt. Jasraj on its concluding day and many other musicians like Ustad Rashid Khan (Vocal), Ustad Shahid Parvez (Sitar), Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan (Vocal) etc. This was the 5th year of the festival and the impact it is making on the mid of its audience and on the people of Delhi is unprecedented. The festival started on Saturday, 4th Sept and was spread over a period of 5 days.
Day 1- 4th Sept 2014
Recital by Gundecha Brothers-
Pt. Umakant and Pt. Ramakant Gundecha are one of India’s leading exponents in the field of Indian Classical Music and especially in the Dhrupad form of singing. These two were born in Ujjain and were trained by Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar and later by Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar, the famous Dagar brothers. They were accompanied on Pakhawaj by Akhilesh Gundecha
These two gave an hour’s performance singing a Dhrupad in Raga Patdeep followed by a short Dhrupad in Raga Darbari. The Alap in Raga Patdeep before the Dhrupad had such an impact that the audience was awestruck.
Recital by Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar-
Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar is one of the torch bearers of the Gwalior Gharana. Initiated into music by his father Pt. N.D Kashalkar he later learnt from Pt. Gajanbua Joshi and Pt. Ram Marathe. It is always a treat to watch him live and his taans are out of this world. On a very special request of a listener he sang the Raga Tilak Kamod. He was accompanied on Harmonium by Pt. Vinay Mishra and on Tabla by Pt. Suresh Talwalkar.
He sang Raga Jogkauns followed by Raga Tilak Kamod and then by Raga Bhairavi.
Day 2- 5th Sept 2014
Recital by Pt. Ajay Pohankar-
Pt. Ajay Pohankar was born in 1947 and was brought into music by the legendary singer Ustad Amir Khan. His mother was also an Indian Classical Vocalist of the Kirana Gharana. He was a child prodigy and at the age of 11 he was called in the stage to sing by none other than Bharat Ratna Pt. Bhimsen Joshi Ji at the Sawai Gandharva Music Festival in Pune. He has completed his Masters in English and in Music. He began his concert with Raga Yaman which lasted for about an hour. He was accompanied on Tabla by Pt. Vinod Lele and on Sarangi by Pt. Bharat Bhushan Goswami.
He recited Raga Yaman, Raga Bhairavi and a Thumri in Raga Mishra Kirwani composed by her mother.
Recital by Ustad Rashid Khan-
Ustad Rashid Khan belongs to the Rampur-Sahswan Gharana and is a leading classical vocalist of this generation. “There is now at least one person in sight who is an assurance for the future of Indian Classical Vocal Music Bharat” these were the words of Pt. Bhimsen Joshi Ji for Ustad Rashid Khan. He has been awarded the Padma Shri by the Govt. of India. He is the great grandson of the legendary musician Ustad Enayat Hussain Khan; he was trained by his uncle Ustad Nissar Hussain Khan. He initially sang only 3 Ragas and wanted to end his concert but the public requested him to sing more, so on public request he sang a Tarana in Raga Des to conclude his concert. He was accompanied on Harmonium by Pt. Vinay Mishra and on Tabla by Pt. Shubhankar Bannerjee.
He performed Raga Gorakh Kalyan, Raga Jog, Thumri- Yaad Piya ki aaye and concluded with a Tarana in Raga Des.
Day 3- 6th Sept 2014
Recital by Shri Bhuvanesh Komkali
Grandson of the legendary singer Pt. Kumar Gandharva Ji and son of Pt. Mukul Shivputra, Bhuvanesh Komkali since start was initiated into music by his elders. He was passed on the great compositions of his grandfather which are recited in his concerts. He is currently learning music from his grandmother Smt. Vasundhara Komkali and from Pt. Madhup Mudgal. He was accompanied on Tabla by Shri Shambhunath Bhattacharya and on Harmonium by Pt. Vinay Mishra.
He recited Raga Bihag, Raga Kaafi and ended with his grandfather’s famous bhajan Jamuna Kinare more gaao. All his recitals were Kumar Ji’s compositions.
Recital by Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan
Padma Bhushan Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan at the age of 106 is still singing and entertaining his audience. He was born in 1908 to Ustad Chhote Yusuf Khan. He was trained under his father’s elder brother Ustad Bade Yusuf Khan and then under Ustad Chand Khan. He is known for presenting the Raga by keeping its purity intact. He is also known as the Bandish Samrat for his unique bandishes. He was accompanied by Bilal Khan on Tabla, by Sarawar Khan on Sarangi and by Zakir Khan on the Harmonium.
He presented Raga Khamaaj.
Day 4- 7th Sept 2014
Recital by Anupriya Deotale
Blending the elements of Gayaki and Tantrakari Kumari Anupriya Deotale has her own style of playing the Violin. She combines the magic of Sarangi and Sarod in her music. Disciple of Pt. Ram Narayan, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and Pt. Mukesh Sharma, she has performed in over 40 countries throughout the world. She has been awarded the Ustad Salamat Ali and Nazakat Ali by the Govt. of Pakistan and is only one to receive it. She has founded the Amir Khusro Centre for music for promotion of classical music amongst the youth. She was accompanied on Tabla by Shri Murad Khan.
She played Raga Bhimpalasi.
Recital by Shri Prem Kumar and P. Vetri Boopathy
This father-son duo is known for playing the Carnatic Music instrument Mridangam throughout the world. Shri Prem Kumar Ji started playing at the age of 8 and learnt from his uncle Shri Singaram Pillai and further from Ramnathapuram S. Muruga Boopathy. He is recognised as a top grade artist of AIR (All India Radio) where he has served as a staff artist for over 3 decades. His son Shri P. Vetri Boopathy learnt from his father and is playing the instruments from the age of 5.
The both played the Carnatic Addi Tala which is set to 8 beats.
Recital by Ustad Shahid Parvez
This musician belongs to the famous Etawah Gharana of the Sitar. Born to the sitar and surbahar maestro Ustad Wahid Khan he has been a child prodigy. He gives utmost priority to the purity of Raaga and weaves the most intricate rhythms in his music. The unique blend of Gayaki and Tantrakari Ang can be seen in his music. He is awarded with the Kumar Gandharva Samman and also the Padma Shri by the Govt. of India. He was accompanied on Tabla by Ustad Rafiuddin Sabri. His Raga Des lasted for an hour and 20 minutes, which had such an impact that people were stuck to their seats and wanted to hear more from him.
He played Raga Des followed by Raga Bhairavi.
Day 5- 8th Sept 2014
Recital by Pt. Narendra Nath Dhar
He is one of the finest exponents of the Senia Gharana of Sarod and is known for is innovativeness with the instrument. He received his training from Shri Nemai Chand Dhar who himself excels in Sarod. Afterwards he learnt from Shri Samendra Nath Sikdar and the from Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. He was accompanied on Tabla by Shri Durjay Bhaumik
He played Raga Puriya Dhanashree and Raga Mishra Piloo
Recital by Pt. Jasraj
Padma Vibhushan Sangeet Martand Pt. Jasraj is one of the most respected classical musicians of this generation. Born in 1930 to Pt. Motiram this musician learnt from his elder brother Pt. Maniram. He is influenced with the singing styles of Ustad Amir Khan and the legendary Ghazal Singer Begum Akhtar. Initially he use to accompany vocalists on Tabla but later on came in to vocal music himself. His compositions and singing are so deep that usually people are seen crying out of love in his concerts. Blessed with a wonderful voice, he masters four and a half octaves while singing. He belongs to the Mewati Gharana and sings spiritual songs and Bhajans in his concerts specially songs for Krishna. Having the perfect diction of Sur, perfect command over Tala and Laya the depth of music evokes emotions in the listeners. He established the unique concept of Jasrangi wherein a male and a female vocalist sing different Ragas on different scales together on a stage. He was accompanied by Shri Mukund Petkar on Harmonium, by Pt. Rattan Mohan Sharma on supporting vocals and Tanpura, by Shri Shridhar Parthasathy on Mridangam, by Shri Shashank Subramaniam on Flute and by Pt. Ram Kumar Mishra Ji on Tabla.
He presented Raga Shankara, Raga Bahar, Raga Adana and concluded with Raga Shahana. The Jugalbandi between Ram Kumar Ji on Tabla and Shridhar Ji on the Mridangam left and everlasting impact.
After his performance people didn’t want him to leave but to sing continuously. People had such emotions for him that many started crying on listening to his wonderful music.
It was truly a wonderful experience attending this festival and I wish this festival happens bi-annually so that the people of Delhi get involved more and more in classical music.
Watch out for photos and some videos from the concert below.
PS: I also have some videos which I would like to upload but they are quite heavy in size. I’ll find an alternative way of sharing those and will definitely share them with you all.