An amazing 3 day festival of Hindustani classical dance and music concluded on the 11th of January at Shankar Lal Hall, Modern Public School, Barakhamba. This festival was organised by Uma Sharma Ji who is an acclaimed Kathak dancer. The event saw the oncoming of the greatest musical stewards of the nation including the living legend Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia and many other musicians like Ustad Shujaat Hussain Khan (Sitar), Ustad Aashish Khan (Sarod), etc. This was the 17th year of the Swami Haridas-Tansen Nritya Mahotsav and the impact it is making on the mid of its audience and on the people of Delhi is unprecedented. The festival started on Friday, 9th January and was spread over a period of 3 days.
Day 1- 9th Jan 2015
Recital by Ustad Tanveer Ahmed Khan and Imran Khan-
Born to the great singer of the Delhi Gharana Ustad Naseer Ahmed Khan these brothers are professionally trained in the Khyal singing style. They also sing other styles of music like, thumri, ghazals, dadra, tappa, tarana and bhajans. Currently they are learning from the leading exponent of the Delhi gharana Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan.
These two gave an hour’s performance singing a Khyal in Raga Pooriya Dhanashree followed by a short Thumri.
Recital by Ustad Shujaat Hussain Khan-
Born to the legendary sitar player Ustad Vilayat Khan, Ustad Shujaat Khan belongs to a very important sitar gharana known as the Imdadkhani Gharana. The unique blend of Gayaki and Tantrakari Ang can be seen in this gharana’s music. He has performed across the world and recorded many albums. He also has a Grammy nomination in his name.
He played Raga Shyaam Kalyaan followed by excerpts from Amir Khusrow.
Recital by Pt. Chhanulal Mishra-
An acclaimed singer from the Banaras gharana, Padma Bhushan Pandit Chhanulal Mishra is one of the finest exponents of Hindustani classical musicians of today. He sings bhajans, Khyal, chaiti, hori, thumri and dadra. He was accompanied on the harmonium by Pt. Vinay Mishra and on Tabla by Pt. Ram Kumar Mishra.
He sang Raga Hemvati, followed by various bhajans, chaiti, hori and a Thumri.
Day 2- 10th Jan 2015
Recital by Pt. Gokulotsavji Maharaj-
Inspired by the singing style of the great Ustad Amir Khan, Pandit Gokulotsavji Maharaj is one of the finest Hindustani classical singers of India. He has composed over 20 Ragas himself. Being a believer of Lord Krishna, his compositions and bandishes are dedicated to Lord Krishna. He was accompanied by Pt. Vinay Mishra on the harmonium.
He recited Raga Adbhud Ranjini, which is composed by him.
Recital by Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia-
Born in Allahabad in 1938, he is a living legend and a great musician. He started playing flute against the will of his father who was a wrestler. He started learning from Pandit Rajaram and later on became a student of the legendary surbahar player Annapurna Devi. He collaborated with Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma and composed music for bollywood movies like Silsila, Chandni, Darr, etc. he was accompanied by Pt. Ram Kumar Mishra on the Tabla
He played Raga Yaman and a composition in Pahadi.
Recital by Ustad Aashish Khan-
Grandson of the legendary musician Baba Allaudin Khan and son if Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Ustad Aashish khan since start was initiated into music by his elders. He was passed on the great compositions and Ragas of his grandfather which are recited in his concerts. He is currently a music teacher in his father’s academy in California. He dedicates all his compositions to his grandfather, father and Pt. Ravi Shankar Ji. He was accompanied on the table by Pt. Pooran Maharaj. Pt. Pooran Maharaj is born to the great table player Pt. Kishan Maharaj.
He played Raga Darbari, followed by Raga Zilla Kaafi and concluded with Raga Bhairavi.
Day 3- 11th Jan 2015
Kathak by Uma Sharma-
Being the organiser of the festival, she performed for a very short while but displayed various different flavours in Kathak such as the Bhakti Ras, Shringar Ras and the sacred old dance of Vrindavan.
Recital by Vidushi Shubha Mudgal-
Born in Allahabad in 1959, she is one of the leading female musicians in India. She started her formal training from Pt. Vinay Chandra Mudgalya who was the founder of the Gandharv Mahavidyala. Later she learnt form Pt. Vasant Thakar, Pt. Jitendra Abhisheki, Vidushi Naina Devi and finally from Pt. Kumar Gandharva. She has excelled in each and every music style in India, be it classical, pop, Bollywood, folk, etc.
She recited Raga Shyaam Kalyaan followed by a Thumri in Raga Khamaaj
Recital by Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt
Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt is a Grammy Awards winning Hindustani Classical artist. He was the prime disciple of Bharat Ratna Pt. Ravi Shankar. He has improvised the Hawaiian slide guitar and has added a few strings of Sitar and Sarod to it and has named it after himself as the Mohan Veena. He plays this instrument in all his concerts. He was accompanied by Pt. Ram Kumar Mishra on the Tabla.
He played the Raga Maru-Bihag
The festival ended with a surprise act with all the three artists coming together and performing on the same stage together. They performed on 3 different compositions including a thumri, ghazal and a bhajan.
The final act of the festival was our national song “Vande Matram” and our national anthem “Jana Gana Mana” played by Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt on his Mohan Veena.
This festival received a great response from the people of Delhi and attracted a lot of youngsters towards our traditional classical music. It was really a wonderful experience attending this festival.