New Delhi, November 3, 2015: Begum Parween Sultana’s melodious voice spellbound the audience while Pt.Bhajan Sopori mesmerized the listeners with his genius play of Santoor as one of the biggest classical music festivals in the country opened with a bang in the national capital on Monday.
The Festival of Classical Indian Music has been organized by the Department of Art, Culture & Languages, Govt.of Delhi and Sahitya Kala Parishad and will continue from 2nd to 5th November at the Kamani Auditorium. It was inaugurated by Shri Manish Sisodia, Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister, Delhi. The Chief Guest at the festival was Shri Kapil Mishra – Minister of Water Law & Justice Tourism Art Culture & Languages.
The festival will see participation of some of the legends of Indian classical music including Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pt. Jasraj, and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan among others.
On the opening day of the festival, the euphonious voice of Begum Parween Sultana had a hypnotizing effect on the audience. The Hindustani Classical singer of the Patiala Gharana vowed the audience with her rendition of the ragas. At the same time, Pt Bhajan Sopori’s rendition on Santoor mesmerized the listeners.
Parween Sultana is renowned for her majestic voice and was awarded the Padmashree for the same in 1976. She was also honored by the Sangeet Natak Academy Award in the year 1999 and by the prestigious Padma Bhushan Award in 2014. Through the years, she has also lent her vocals to several Bollywood film songs including in movies like Do Boond Pani, Pakeezah, Gadar, Kudrat, among others.
Pandit Bhajan Sopori, on the other hand, has done unparalleled work in taking the beautiful music of Santoor to different corners of the world. The maestro has taught music at Washington University and was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 1993 and the Padma Shri in 2004.
“The origins of Indian classical music can be found in the Vedas, the oldest scriptures in the Hindu tradition dating back to 1500 BCE. However, over the centuries, our music has incorporated inputs from multiple sources and has enriched itself with confluence of different traditions that met in the Indian subcontinent. Our instruments have held their own even in times of digital and techno driven musical instruments. Indian classical music is a true representative of our rich identity,” says Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia.
“In recent years there has been an animated debate on whether our classical music is losing out to the modern pop culture. However, when I see young music enthusiasts eager to learn our classical traditions and keen to master their hands in it, I feel confident of a bright future for our indigenous music. We need more such festivals to encourage young talent on the scene,” says Ustad Amjad Ali Khan.
The second evening of the festival will host performances from Pt. Rajan-Sajan Mishra duo and Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia. Pandit Rajan and Sajan Mishra are accomplished singers of the ‘khyal’ style of Indian classical music while Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia needs no introduction as one of India’s most renowned flutist.
The third evening will begin with a Sitar & Sarod (Duet) recital by Lakshay Mohan & Ayush Mohan Gupta; this will be followed by Sitar recital by Ustad Saeed Zafar Khan; and vocal recital by renowned classical music vocalist Pt. Jasraj. The festival will end on November 5with a vocal recital by Ashwini Bhide Deshpande and sarod recital by Ustad Amjad Ali Khan.