Music is deeply embedded in the psyche of Bangalees; we have an opulent heritage of folk music, thanks to the innate prowess of creating numerous timeless songs by the mystic bards including Fakir Lalon Shai, Bijoy Sarkar, Shah Abdul Karim and Radharaman Dutta. The lifelong devotion to the subcontinental classical music by legendary Bangalee maestros like Baba Ustad Allauddin Khan, Ustad Vilayat Khan, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Pandit Nikhil Banerjee and others prove that we have a distinctive legacy of classical music as well. In instrumental music, the Bangalees have a glorious history of using around 600 musical instruments. Kanailal Shil (1895 – 1974), a Bangladeshi dotara player, songwriter, composer, and collector of folk songs, and his son the renowned dotara player Abinash Chandra Shill made great contributions to the songs of the soul in this part of the world.
We are blessed to see last year off with the recital of legendary flute maestro Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia at the five-night long world's biggest Bengal Classical Music Festival 2017, and hail the New Year 2018 with a ten-day (January 1-10) National Instrumental Music Festival, organised by Bangladeshi Shilpakala Academy (BSA).
Noted Bangladeshi solo sarod, sitar, santoor, flute, violin, tabla, Hawaiian guitar, accordion and sarangi artistes along with instrumentalists from different districts of Bangladesh, and regular artistes of BSA and several orchestras are performing at the festival.
Nandanmancha of BSA can be another venue for organising music festivals such as this. The festival, held for the first time in Bangladesh, is a timely initiative. Now it needs to be popularised with proper arrangements including precise sound, increasing audience capacity and selecting accomplished music artistes, instrumentalists and dancers.
A glittering display of fireworks and releasing paper lanterns marked the opening ceremony of the festival on January 1. An orchestra, led by renowned flautist Md. Moniruzzaman, set off the event playing folk melodies including the likes of Fakir Lalon Shai. Enamul Kabir played Hawaiian guitar, BMF Orchestra team performed and district level artistes from Chittagong, Rangpur and Narayanganj offered a classical jugalbandi performance on flute and violin with tabla accompaniment.
Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor inaugurated the festival as chief guest while BSA DG Liaquat Ali Lucky presided over the programme. Renowned Hawaiian guitarist Enamul Kabir attended the event as special guest and Kamol Khalid, the festival coordinator and a teacher of Govt. Music College delivered the welcome address.
The festival starts every day at 4pm and continues till 9pm.