The public registration for the Bengal Classical Music Festival 2017 opens today on the official festival website and though physical registration for those without access to internet.
The sixth edition of Bengal Foundation's mega event, which is deemed the world's biggest festival of classical music, is moving to Dhanmondi's Abahani Grounds and is set to take place from December 26-30. Despite the cancellation and subsequent last-minute rescheduling, the lineup of the festival remains as strong as the past editions, with stalwarts of Indian Classical music taking part this year along with some new elements of performance. The full day-to-day schedule of the festival was also revealed on the festival's website and social media prior to the opening of registration.
Like previous years, the festival is free of cost but registration is mandatory. Online registration may be done on the web site www.bengalclassicalmusicfest.com for a limited time, while off-site registration will also be possible at the Gyantapas Abdur Razzak Bidyapeeth at Dhanmondi Road 7/A. There will be no registration facilities on-site during the festival. Registration will remain open only for a limited time, as the capacity of the festival is also finite.
The programme will begin at 7pm everyday and continue till dawn, as usual.
The festival will open this year with a unique performance – a combination of Indian Classical and Western Classical music (which is being introduced for the first time to the festival). Virtuoso violinist Dr. L Subramaniam and the 58-member Astana Philharmonic Orchestra will raise the curtains of this year's event with a joint performance. The other performers of the night are Rajrupa Chowdhury (sarod), Vidushi Pamda Talwalkar (khyal vocals), Firoz Khan (sitar), Supriya Das (khyal vocals), Rakesh Chaurasia (flue) and Purbayan Chatterjee (sitar).
The second day's performances will begin with another new addition to the festival – a dance company. The Aditi Mangaldas Dance Company will present Kathak to set off December 27's performances, followed by a group tabla recital by students of Bengal Parampara Sangeetalay, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma (santoor), Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar (khyal vocals), Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan (sitar), Avijit Kundu (dhrupad vocals), Pandit Ronu Majumdar (flute) and Pandit Debojyoti Bose (sarod).
The third day will begin with a group sarod presentation by students of Bengal Parampara Sangeetalay, followed by Vidyan Vikku Vinayakram and Selvaganesh Vinayakram (ghatam and kanjeera), a group performance by students of Govt. Music College (khyal vocals), Abir Hossain (sarod), Gazi Abdul Hakim (flute), Pandit Uday Bhawalkar (dhrupad vocals) and Vidushi Kala Ramnath (violin). The night's final performer will be Pandit Ajoy Chakravarty (khyal vocals).
The fourth night's performance will begin with five Bangladeshi young dancers – Sweety Das, Amit Chowdhury, Snata Shahrin, Sudeshna Shyamaprabha, Mehraj Haque Tushar and Zuairiyah Mouli presenting “Nritya Chirantan”, performing a collage of Manipuri, Bharatnatyam and Kathak. The following artistes on the day's bill are: students of Bengal Parampara Sangeetalay (sarod), Ustad Rashid Khan (khyal vocals), Pandit Tejendra Narayan Majumdar (sarod) and Dr. Mysore Manjunath (violin), Pandit Jasraj (khyal vocals), Saskia Rao de-Haas (cello) and Pandit Budhaditya Mukherjee (sitar).
The final day's programmes (December 30) will be opened by Vidushi Sujata Mohapatra (Odissi), Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt (Mohan veena), Brajeswar Mukherjee (khyal vocals), Pandit Kushal Das and Kalyanjit Das (sitar), Pandit Kaivalyakumar (khyal vocals) -- and as has become the tradition in the past few years, the festival will close with a flute performance by Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia.
Although organisers say the schedule is subject to change without prior notice, judging by Bengal Foudnation's repute, that's a stark rarity.