Bengal classical music fest starts off with a bang


With pulling a sizable audience in on its very first day, the fifth edition of the Bengal Classical Music Festival was launched at the Army Stadium in the capital yesterday evening.

A large number of raga-loving people from across the world flocked in droves to the festival at its opening night.

Sharmila Banerjee’s troupe Nrityanandan held the audience spellbound by rendering stunning Manipuri, Bharatnatyam, Odissi and Kathak dances to Tagore songs, composed and directed by her, at the opening ceremony.

With magical melody of violin, Dr L Subramaniam mesmerised the gig-goers while V Girija Devi delighted them by rendering stimulating khayal at the event.

The duo classical maestros- Pravin Godkhindi and Ratish Tagde- swayed the music buffs by playing flute and violin respectively at the carnival.

With the sublime sound of his sarod, Aashish Khan captivated the listeners of classical music on the occasion. V Ashwini Bhide Deshpande and Sanjeev Abhyankar enthralled the music aficionados by presenting a Jasrangi duet at the carnival yesterday night. Prior to the performances, Finance Minister Abul Mal Abdul Muhit, MP, inaugurated the festival at a gala opening ceremony as chief guest.

Cultural Minister Asaduzzaman Noor, MP, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, high commissioner of India to Dhaka, Anjan Chowdhury, managing director of Square Toiletries and Selim R F Hossain, managing director of BRAC Bank Ltd attended the ceremony as special guests.

Abul Khair, chairman of Bengal Foundation delivered opening speech at the event.

Sharmila Banerjee is a renowned dancer and choreographer from Bangladesh. She earned her Bachelor of Music in Dance from Visva-Bharati University, and completed her Post-Graduate degree in Manipuri Dance at the Manipuri Nartanalaya, Kolkata, under the guidance of Bipin Singh and Kalavati Devi.

Dr L Subramaniam is an internationally acclaimed violinist from India. He began his training under the guidance of his father Prof V Lakshminarayana.

Girija Devi is an iconic Indian classical vocalist of the Seniya and Banaras Gharana. She began her training under the guidance of vocalist and sarangi artist, Sarju Prasad Misra, in khayal and tappa before continuing her training under Chand Misra in a variety of disciplines.

Pravin Godkhindi is a flautist from India. He began his training under the guidance of his father Pandit Venkatesh Godkhindi, a renowned flautist and vocalist, and continues to train under Mridangam maestro, Vidwan Anoor Ananth Krishna Sharma.

Ratish Tagde is a violinist from India. He began his training under the guidance of his father S V Tagde. Tagde first started learning the tabla initially but moved on to play the violin instead.

Aashish Khan is a distinguished sarode artist from India. He comes from a family of notable musicians in the realm of Indian classical music; he is the grandson of Ustad Allauddin Khan (was born in Shibpur, Brahmanbaria, Bangladesh), son of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, and nephew of Annapurna Devi.

Ashwini Bhide is a distinguished vocalist from India. She represents the Jaipur-Atrauli Khayal Gayaki tradition and began her training under the guidance of the late Pandit Narayanrao Datar. Bhide continued her practice under her mother and guru, Manik Bhide, and the late Pandit Ratnakar Pai.

Sanjeev Abhyankar is a noted vocalist from India, a torchbearer of the Mewati Gharana. He trained under the guidance of his mother Shobha Abhyankar, Pandit Pimpalkhare of the Gwalior Gharana and Padma Vibhushan Pandit Jasraj of the Mewati Gharana.

The prodigies of classical music V. Madhavi Mudgal, Priyanka Gope, Rahul Sharma, Mohammed Shoeb, Ulhas Kashalkar, Ronu Majumdar and U Rajesh will perform tonight, the second night of the event.

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 fifth Bengal Classical Music Festival will feature the illustrious Shashank Subramanyam, Dr. Prabha Atre, Anindo Chatterjee, Uday Bhawalkar, Sanjoy Bandopadhyay, and Rashid Khan.

The music buffs will also have the privilege of witnessing the performances of Munmun Ahmed, Nilesh Ranadive, Jayateerth Mevundi, Yogesh Samsi, Subhankar Banerjee, Ranjani, Gayatri, Tejendra Narayan Majumdar, Ajoy Chakrabarty, Shiv Kumar Sharma, Kumar Mardur, Kushal Das, Arati Ankalikar, and Hari Prasad Chaurasia.

The most seasoned performer at the festival is the 87-year-old Vidushi Girija Devi and the youngest is Ishrat Phuljhuri Khan is just seven-year-old.
Some 165 musicians from Bangladesh will be participating at the festival this year.

Besides, Bengal Parampara Sangeetalay students will participate on different days of the festival, playing the sitar, sarod and tabla. Organised by Bengal Foundation, presented by Square and supported by BRAC Bank Ltd, the five-day festival is dedicated to Syed Shamsul Haq.


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