Classical Fest: First-time performers shine

The third night of the Bengal Classical Music Festival in the capital’s Army Stadium began yesterday fittingly with a seven-year-old girl taking the stage in a chorus performance, as audiences continued to throng the classical music bonanza.

Ishrat Fuljhuri Khan, the youngest performer in the festival’s history, performed a group sarod recital by students of the Bengal Parampara Sangeetalay, presenting a composition in Raga Kafi. Their teacher, noted sarodia Pandit Tejendra Narayan Majumdar, confidently promised at the end of the performance to produce at least one or two national-level sarod artistes from this crop of students in the next five years.


Grammy-nominated flautist Shashank Subramaniam then gave his maiden performance at the festival. The prodigious musician specialising in Carnatic (South Indian) played Raga Purvi Kalyani in a demonstrative, technical yet soulful manner. He also performed a famous Kannada song “Krishna Nee Begane Baaro” and a folk dhun.

Dr Prabha Atre, another shining star in the world of classical music, then made her debut at the stage of the world’s biggest festival of classical music. The 84-year-old artiste performed an evocative Khayal in Raga Shyam Kalyan.

First time-performers seemed to be a recurring theme of the night, with the next performers of the night including two more accomplished performers set to make their debut. Dhaka audience braced themselves to marvel at Pandit Anindo Chatterjee’s tabla and Pandit Sanjoy Bandopadhyay’s sitar recitals for the first time. The other two performers were both vocalists — dhrupad artiste Pandit Uday Bhawalkar and the iconic Ustad Rashid Khan.

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