Anil Kumar Saha: An accomplished classical vocalist and teacher | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, September 08, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, September 08, 2009

Anil Kumar Saha: An accomplished classical vocalist and teacher


Anil Kumar Saha

Anil Kumar Saha, a lecturer at Shanto-Mariam University, is a leading figure in the contemporary classical vocal music. Born in Sujanagar, Pabna, Saha was taught sargam by Mahbubur Rahman at Mukul Fauj Music School, Sirajganj (1978-80).
Later, between 1981 and '99 he trained in India under Ustad A Daud Khan. “A communion of souls between a guru and a disciple is required to learn classical music effectively,” says Saha.
Along with learning from Khan, he earned Sangeet Bivakar (B Muse) and Sangeet Ratna (M Muse) degrees from Bangiya Sangeet Parishad, Kolkata, approved by Rabindra Bharati University and Indira Kala Sangeet Bishwabidyalay. In his M Muse examination, Saha secured a first class first in all India and received a gold medal.
Apart from teaching at Shanto-Mariam University, Saha also teaches classical music at Bulbul Academy of Fine Arts (BAFA), Hindol Sangeet Academy, Anandam Sangeetayan, Sur Saptak Sangeet Academy and Naboraag Sangeet Academy. He has trained renowned artistes like Sabina Yasmeen, Samina Chowdhury and Ferdous Ara. Incidentally, the Grandmaster Niaz Morshed also trained under him.
Saha has been enlisted at both BTV and Bangladesh Betar (radio) as a classical vocalist of special grade since 1990.
According to Saha, “Programmes on classical music produced by BTV, Bangladesh Betar and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) are abysmally low. BTV telecasts four classic music programmes every month, but these are aired at noon and each of the three featured artistes get only six-seven minutes to perform. At Bangladesh Betar, artistes are allotted only 14 minutes a month as per his/her grade. Even their honorarium is miserably less. BSA organises an annual conference on classical music before the budget session, to which artistes rarely get invited. Among the private TV channels, Desh TV, Rtv and Banglavision air several programmes on classical music.”
Saha, appointed as an examiner at National University, has so far published two books on music titled “Sangeet Prabeshak” and “Sur Nirjhar” (published by Anupam and Momo Prokashoni respectively). He is one of the members of Syllabus Designing Committee on Music approved by National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB). “The government is yet to implement this syllabus at the high school level,” he says.
Saha has been recognised as the best classical singer by “Citycell Channel i Music Award” twice (in 2004 and 2007). “There are many talented classical artistes in Bangladesh but they choose to keep a low profile. Citycell-Channel i should give them due recognition,” he says.
Three of Saha's CDs and cassettes on classical music named “Shrutee,” “Joaree” and “Illusion” have been released so far. “Often music studios think commercially, rather than emphasising on quality. They choose to focus on fast paced music and pay little or no attention to classical music. I give credit to Shurer Mela and World Music, as they produced several albums on classical music (vocal and instrumental). I specially thank Shafiur Rahman and Usha Rahman of Shuddha Sangeet Proshar Goshthi for organising three programmes annually on classical music for the last 34 years,” he says.
Institutions and organisations that have honoured Saha are Sangeet Gram (India), Baithaki Sangeet Ashor, Srijon, Nandan Shangskritik Sangathan, Sree Kamol Sangeet Bidyalay, Uchchhash Lalitokala Academy, Natyashabha and Katha Lalitokala Academy.
Saha believes that becoming an accomplished classical artiste is worth the toil of 15-20 years. “My aim is to continue classical music passionately till my last breath.”

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