Bengal ITC SRA Classical Music Fest ends on a high note | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 16, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 16, 2012

Bengal ITC SRA Classical Music Fest ends on a high note

Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar

Bengal ITC SRA Classical Music Festival ended on a high note on February 13 with classical vocal music performances by accomplished artistes including Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar from Kolkata ITC Sangeet Research Academy (SRA).
The two-day festival, featuring both classical vocal and instrumental music, began at the main auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum on February 12. In a bid to nurture and popularise the heritage of classical music in Bangladesh, Bengal Foundation with ITC SRA organised the festival.
Renowned Bangladeshi singers -- Mohiuzzaman Chowdhury, Fahim Hossain Chowdhury, Bulbul Islam, Shama Rahman, Laisa Ahmed Lisa and Nandita Yasmin set off the concluding day's programme by rendering Tagore songs.
Waseem Ahmed Khan started the evening by performing vocal music set on raga "Puria". Tabla artiste Sanjay Adhikari accompanied him on “vilambit ektaal” and “madhyalaya teentaal”. Sarangi artiste Sarwar Hussain was on the heights of melody with the bandish, "Mya tor kar aayi piya saang raang rolia" of the raga. Waseem presented brisk taan during the khayal performance. The artiste followed this up with a sweet bandish based on raga Desh.
An ITC SRA scholar from 1999, Waseem Ahmed Khan, the grandson of Ustad Basheer Khan Sahib, comes from the great lineage of traditional musicians of Agra gharana. He took his initial taalim from his maternal grandfather Ustad Ata Hussain Khan at the age of six. Thereafter he learned from his father Ustad Naseem Ahmed Khan.
Vocalist Sucheta Ganguly was next to take the stage. The talented artiste presented a romantic raga "Behag" at the festival. Her “vilambit khayal” performance was on “rupak taal” while “drut khayal” was on “teentaal”. She also performed a thumri on "Pahari". The rhythm of tabla by Sanjay Adhikari was outstanding during the performance.
Sucheta Ganguly was initiated into the world of Hindustani music by her father, Bhajan Krishna Ganguly, at the age of seven. Subsequently she also learnt music from Sujit Ganguly of Bishnupur gharana. A disciple of ITC SRA guru, Vidushi Girija Devi, from whom she learns thumri and dadra, Sucheta joined ITC SRA under the tutelage of Guru Pandit Arun Bhaduri in 2000.
The highlight of the evening was vocal music performance by Pandit Ulhas N Kashalkar. Born in Nagpur on January 14, 1955, Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar is a noted Hindustani classical vocalist who has received training in the Gwalior, Jaipur and Agra gharanas, and is considered to be a legitimate representative of all three music schools. His father, N.D. Kashalkar, a musician in his own right, initiated him into vocal music. He also received training from great maestros like Pandit Ram Marathe and Pandit Gajananbua Joshi. His gifted ability to blend the styles of three gharanas coupled with a subtle aesthetic sense, made him a celebrated vocalist of India. Pandit Kashalkar is the recipient of several awards including Padma Shri (2010), Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (2008). He has been a guru at ITC-SRA for nearly 20 years.
Welcoming Spring, the season of seasons, Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar started with a “vilambit khayal” set on Raga "Basant Bahar". Renowned tabla artiste Sanjay Adhikari accompanied the performance on “vilambit” and “madhyalaya teen taal”. Sarwar Hussain was euphoric while producing flawless melody on his sarangi.
Rendition of raga "sindhara" belonging to "kafi" thaat, was his second performance.
The tabla artiste accompanied the maestro on "teentaal". Pandit Kashalkar wrapped up his performance with a "hori" set on a morning raga "Bhairavi". Sanjay accompanied the maestro in “Rupak taal”.
Eminent artiste Pandit Jyoti Guho on harmonium, Sameehan Kashalkar and Bangladeshi artiste Bizon Chandra Mistry on tanpura also accompanied the eminent artiste.

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