Bengal Classical Music Fest going great guns

With pulling a sizable audience every day, the ongoing fifth Bengal Classical Music Festival at the city’s Army Stadium is going on in full swing.

A large number of classical music buffs from across the world flocked in droves to the carnival last night, the third night of the event.

Hundreds of raga-loving people lost out to the whirlpool of melodies of classical music as the exponents presented some haunting performances.

Eminent flautist Shashank Subramanyam held the audience spellbound while Sanjoy Bandopadhyay played sitar at the event.

The doyens of classical music Rashid Khan and Dr Prabha Atre captivated the music aficionados by rendering khayal at the extravaganza.

Uday Bhawalkar mesmerized audience through his dhrupad presentation while Anindo Chatterjee electrified the listeners with the sound of his tabla.

Besides, the students of Bengal Parampara Sangeetalay enchanted the listeners with the sublime tunes of their sarod.

Shashank Subramanyam is a noted flautist from India. He trained under the guidance of his father Subramanyam, R K Srikantan, Palghat K V Narayanaswami, and Pandit Jasraj. He has toured extensively in India and abroad; and collaborated with numerous distinguished artists including John McLaughlin, Paco De Lucia, Zakir Hussain, Sultan Khan, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Ajoy Chakrabarty and many others.

Subramanyam is a recipient of the Kalaimamani from the Government of Tamil Nadu; Kuzhal Arasar from Kellogg School of Management, Chicago; a Grammy Nomination with guitarist John McLaughlin in 2009; Proclamation to the City Award by Cities of Tulsa and Memphis, USA; Empanelled Artist of the ICCR under Outstanding and Senior category since 1995; and Rotary Awards of Excellence in 1995 and 1997.

Sanjoy Bandopadhyay is a distinguished sitar artist from India. Apart from a successful career as a performer, he is also known as a guru and an academician.

Bandopadhyay primarily trained under Pandit Radhika Mohan Maitra and Pandit Bimalendu Mukherjee, but also received training from his father Pandit Peejush Prasanna Bandopadhyay, Pandit Manas Chakraborty, and Dr. M R Gautam.

His performances are marked by exemplary spontaneity in musical expressions and he has performed at many prestigious events in India and abroad, including a show at the Plenary Session of UNESCO.

Bandopadhyay served as ‘Artist in Residence’ at the University of Chicago and University of Colorado.

He is currently the Chair Professor (Ustad Allauddin Khan Chair) at the Department of Instrumental Music, Director of S M Tagore Centre of Documentation & Research of Languishing & Obsolescent Musical Instruments, Coordinator of the UGC SAP-DRS Research Project of the Department of Instrumental Music at Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata.

The prodigies of classical music Munmun Ahmed, Nilesh Ranadive, Jayateerth Mevundi, Yogesh Samsi and Subhankar Banerjee, Ranjani, Gayatri, Tejendra Narayan Majumdar, and Ajoy Chakrabarty will perform tonight, the fourth night of the event.

Earlier, Finance Minister Abul Mal Abdul Muhit, MP, inaugurated the festival at a gala opening ceremony as chief guest on Thursday.

The festival, which has globally been recognised as the greatest of its kind, is scheduled to remain open from 07.00pm to 05.00am until November 28.

The music buffs will also have the privilege of witnessing the performances of Shiv Kumar Sharma, Kumar Mardur, Kushal Das, Arati Ankalikar, and Hari Prasad Chaurasia. A total 165 musicians from Bangladesh and some 82 from India will be participating at the festival this year.

Organised by Bengal Foundation, presented by Square and supported by BRAC Bank Ltd, the five-day festival is dedicated to Syed Shamsul Haq.