The Bengal Foundation started hosting the world’s largest classical music festival from 2012. The festival showcased the performances of world renowned Indian classical maestros such as Ustad Zakir Hossain, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma to name a few. The primary objective was to expose the local audience, especially the younger generations, to the purest form of traditional music and its beauty.
Bengal Parampara Sangeetalay has been founded on a modern interpretation of the Guru-Shishya parampara mode of learning. The Parampara series of workshops initiated in 2002, helped form an effective basis for the school. The Sangeetalay targets gifted Bangladeshi young people to learn from the masters. All pupils, who are competitively offered a place at the school, are provided with a full scholarship and individual support. The program’s main strength is the development of the special bond between the guru and the shishya. The bond initiates complete dedication, sincerity, submission and commitment to hard work on the part of the pupil.
The ambition is that each pupil, under such eminent guidance, will refine their skill set and achieve the ability to represent our country to an international audience and become world class musicians.
Music is an integral representation of our culture and the Parampara is one of the means by which Bengal is taking the practice of music in Bangladesh to new heights.
There can be no better means of ensuring a bond between people than through cultural exchange. The aesthetic sensibility and creative urge, which find expression in the arts are surely the ingredients that foster ties between nations and societies, and cut across political, social and economic barriers.
The abundance of talent in our country is an index of the rich tradition of music in Bengal. It is important that each of us try and perpetuate this cultural legacy of ours in every conceivable way. The Bengal Parampara Sangeetalay is a step in that direction.
It is my dream that in the future a new generation of world class Bangladeshi musicians will perform alongside classical music legends of the region. They will represent Bangladesh in the world arena with pride.
Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar
In all the years I have been coming to Bangladesh, I have realized that the people here love and appreciate classical music. Bangladesh has given us some very talented artists, however, this tradition of classical music has been on the decline over the past few years. When the chairman of Bengal Foundation, Mr Abul Khair proposed to establish a gurukul (school) to overcome this, I instantly agreed to come and instruct the students for a few days every month. The students here learn with a lot of love and dedication and I believe they will become accomplished artists in a few years. My prayers and blessings are with them.
‘Bangladesh has given us Baba Alauddin, Bahadur Hossain Khan, Ali Akbar Khan and Ustad Vilayet Khan, to name a few. Their contributions have made way for much greater attainments in art and music. Bengal Parampara Sangeetalay, in turn, has created the opportunity to once again revive classical music to its former glory.’ –Pandit Ajay Chakrabarty
‘I have always heard that Bangladeshi people love the sound of a flute, so much so that their day remains incomplete without it. This knowledge gives me pleasure and I look forward to come and join the students, and play the flute.’ – Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia
‘To preserve the traditional art is a challenge for every country, not only for India or Bangladesh. It is very important to have our own identity and preserve our own classical music. Therefore, this gurukul will be very beneficial for Bangladesh. I am very happy that Bengal Foundation is serving this cause of preserving and popularizing Indian Classical Music.’ – Ustad Amjad Ali Khan
The Bengal Parampara Sangeetalay started its classes under the auspicious guidance of India’s world-renowned gurus, in November 2014.
Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar (Kheyal)
Pandit Suresh Talwalkar (Tabla)
Pandit Kushal Das (Sitar)
Pandit Tejendra Narayan Majumdar (Sarod)
Pandit Uday Bhawalkar (Dhrupad)
Mrs. Sanjivani Kashalkar
After a rigorous audition process, a handful of promising students were selected to further advance their musicianship. Presently, the Sangeetalay offers training in the following disciplines: Kheyal, Dhrupad, Tabla, Sarod and Sitar.
Members of the Advisory Body
Ust Shahadat Hossain Khan, Dhaka
Professor Shameema Parveen, Principal, Govt Music College, Dhaka
Artist Firoz Khan, Dhaka
Artist Yousuf Mohammad Khan, Dhaka
Razwan Ali, Asst Professor, Music Dept, Jagannath University, Dhaka
Dr. Asit Roy, Professor, Dept of Music, University of Rajshahi
Swarup Hossain, Asst Professor, Music Dept, Jagannath University
Priyanka Gope, Asst Professor, Department of Music, University of Dhaka