Marking the inauguration of the South Asian Music Institute in Dhaka, the first ever South Asian Music Festival 2014, was held on February 28 at the main auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum. Nepal was the theme country of the festival this year. South Asian Music Institute has been set up at the initiative of artistes and participants who attended the first South Asian Mass Musician Conference 2013 held in Dhaka.
The Prime Minister's International Affairs advisor Dr. Gowher Rizvi, gracing the occasion as chief guest, inaugurated the festival and launched the institute. The Ambassador of Nepal in Bangladesh, Hari Kumar Shrestha attended the programme as special guest.
“For me, today, it has been a great evening; an evening to remember. Today we launched South Asian Music Institute which I hope, in the years to come, will make Bangladesh what we have always been hoping for. Music has been a part of our life; our existence. Music inspires us to trace our culture, our language, our liberation, our freedom and it is music that is helping us to build our nation,” said Gowher Rizvi.
Litterateur-lyricist Azizur Rahman Aziz, vice president of Sammilito Sangskritik Jote, Golam Kuddus and former Member of Parliament Advocate Fazilatunnesa Bappi were present as guests of honour at the event. Dr. Anu Mahmud presented the keynote paper titled “South Asian Music: The Characteristics of Bengali Music” at the festival.
Noted Ganosangeet artiste Fakir Alamgir was specially honoured at the programme for receiving Bangla Academy Fellowship. Among others, Fakir Alamgir and president of Bangladesh-India Sampriti Parishad Advocate MA Bari spoke alongside the guests. The convener of South Asian Music Festival 2014 national committee Sharif Ashrafuzzaman presided over the programme.
Following the discussion, various cultural organisations together with solo artistes from Bangladesh and other South Asian countries performed at the festival.
Artistes of Bangladesh Ganosangeet Samannay Parishad performed the inaugural sangeet “Hridoy Bishal Urchhey Oi” and festival sangeet “Roktolaal” at the festival. Artistes of Swapneel Shilpigoshthi, Chittagong presented a vibrant welcome dance set on a patriotic song “Protidin Tomaye Dekhi Surjo Raag-e”. Next they performed a folk dance set on a popular song “Malka Banur Desh-e Re”. The performance highlighted on stopping child marriage.
Later, noted singers Fakir Alamgir, Subir Nandi, Bulbul Mahlanbish, Lily Islam and others performed solo songs while guest artistes -- Suvendu Maiti and Tapashi Roy Chowdhury [of Kolkata, India] and Sucharita Bhoumik of Agartala, Tripura, India presented solos. Artistes of several Bangladeshi music troupes – Wrishij, Udichi, Kranti, Bonhishikha, Swabhumi, Anandan, Satyen Sen Shilpi Goshthi and Uttarayan – performed choral songs at the festival.
A number of Bangladeshi artistes sang the national anthem while several Nepalese students studying in Bangladesh rendered their national anthem at the event.