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Mix of senior and young artistes raise the bar on final day of Sawai

North American channel to promote Sawai in HD format; Sonu Nigam to be presenter of first-ever web capsule.

Classical singer Ustad Mubarak Ali Khan performs at the 62nd Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav on Sunday. ( Source: Express photo by Sandeep Daundkar) Classical singer Ustad Mubarak Ali Khan performs at the 62nd Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav on Sunday. ( Source: Express photo by Sandeep Daundkar)

By: Alifiya Khan

The concluding day of the 62nd Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav saw a mix of young and senior artistes raise the bar of the biggest carnival of Indian classical music to a new level. Taking the stage first was 23-year-old violinist Ambi Subramanium who was given a standing ovation by the discerning audience after he finished his first solo performance.

Son of acclaimed violinist Padmabhushan L Subramanium, Ambi, who was the youngest artiste at the festival, played not just for the Pune audience but also for his father who sat quietly in the audience.

Amalgamating the style of carnatic music with Hindustani classical, he chose to begin with Tyagaraja kriti Shripathe in Raga Nagaswaravali following it up with a composition in Raga Dharmavati which corresponds to Raga Madhuvanti in Hindustani classical music in the ragam-tanam-pallavi form of carnatic music with the tempo rising considerably towards the end. However, it was his fast-paced melodious jugalbandi with Mridangam player V V Raman Murthy and Guinness World Record holder Morsing player G Satyasai that prompted the audience to give him a standing ovation.

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The second performance of the evening was by vocalist Meeta Pandit, the granddaughter and disciple of Padmabhushan Pandit Krishnarao Shankar. Meeta, who was the cultural ambassador for the 2004 SAARC music festival in Islamabad, performed Raga Puriya Dhanashree, a raga sung during dusk, following it up with the soulful Dil Le Jaande Ve, a tappa in raag Kafi set in taal Punjabi. Accompanied by Pt. Suyog Kundalkar on the harmonium and Bharat Kamat on the tabla, she ended her performance with a thumri.

Ustad Mubarak Ali Khan was accompanied by his student Amjad Ali Khan on the tanpura besides Salim Akhtar on tabla and Pt. Suyog Kundalkar on harmonium. The son of famed Sarangi player Padmashree Ustad Shakoor Khan, he mesmerised the audience with his deeply sonorous and nimble voice as he sang Jaako Man Allah in Raga Multani. Aided by his vivid imagination, the recipient of Suromani Puraskar and A-Grade artiste of All India Radio, later had audiences in his grip as he sang the dhrut teen taal composition Eri aali re with free abandon and later ended his performance with a bandish in Raag Desh Paiyaan Padun Tore Shyam.

One of the most awaited performances of the evening was by Padmashri Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar accompanied by Padmashri Suresh Talkwalkar on the tabla and Dr Arvind Thatte on harmonium. Starting off with a vilambit zumbra taal in Raga Hamir, he teleported the audience to a different world as he moved seamlessly into the second composition in dhrut ektaal and later ended with a tarana.


The last and one of the most special performances of the day was by classical vocalist and seniormost living artiste of the Kirana gharana, 84-year-old Padmabhushan awardee Dr Prabha Atre. Accompanied by Madhav Modak on the tabla, Pt Suyog Kundalkar on harmonium and other artistes, it was Raga Charukeshi that he chose for the closing performance.

In a first, mahotsav to reach audience worldwide

Express News Service

For the first time, performances of Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav will reach the audience all across the globe through a 15-hour web capsule that will be promoted by a popular North Americal channel.

The web capsule will reach the audience through and will be available throughout February. Playback singer Sonu Nigam will be the presenter of the webcast of the biggest carnival of the Indian classical music.


Shrinivas Joshi, Executive President of Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal that organises the festival, said it is a landmark step in the endeavour to preserve and take the Indian classical music to a large and new audience.

City-based media house Indian Magic Eye is looking after the production of the festival in collaboration US-based company Music on Fire. “As part of this initiative, a special web capsule of 15 hours of performances to be held at the 62nd Sawai mahotsav will be available in HD format for music lovers all over the world by paying $50,” said Joshi.

Besides watching the complete webcast, one can also select a particular day’s performances for viewing or a combination of days apart from viewing a complete performance of a particular artiste at a cost beginning from $10.

Also taking into consideration, the curiosity about the Indian classical music in countries like North America, USA, Canada and UK, various digital promotions have been planned in these countries. “Besides the popular entertainment channel from North America, Colors channel has also agreed to broadcast six promotional episodes of the webcast,” added Joshi.

Registrations for availing the webcast will begin on January 15.

First published on: 06-01-2015 at 05:24:11 am
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