A good number of Indian classical music stalwarts will enthrall the discerning audience during the four-day sixth edition of the Bengal Classical Music Festival that gets underway here on Tuesday.
Dubbed as the “biggest classical music festival in the world”, the gala at the Abahani Grounds in Dhanmondi will see the likes of Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty, Ustad Rashid Khan, Pandit Jasraj (all vocalists), Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt (Mohan Veena) and Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia (flute) perform.
Originally slated for November, the meet – dedicated to eminent educationist, researched and scholar Professor Emeritus Anisuzzaman – was called off on October 22 by organisers Bengal Foundation due to non-confirmation of the first venue, Army Stadium.
The following month, the organisers informed that they had received the Abahani Field in Dhanmondi as an alternate venue, and were working towards holding the festival at the end of December.
This year’s festival will open with a never-before seen performance at the festival’s stage: a combination of Eastern and Western Classical music: violin virtuoso Dr. L Subramaniam will perform together with Kazakhstan’s 58-member Astana Symphony Philharmonic Orchestra.
Other artistes coming for the first time to the festival include Mewati gharana legend Pandit Jasraj, Grammy-winning musician Bhatt, Vidushi Kala Ramnath (violin), South Asia’s first Grammy winner Vidwan Vikku Vinayakram (ghatam), Pandit Budhhaditya Mukherjee (sitar), Pandit Debojyoti Bose (sitar), Pandit Kaivalya Kumar Gurav (khyal), Dr. Mysore Manjunath (violin) Dutch-born Saskia Rao-de Haas (cello) and for the first time, a dance company titled Aditi Mangaldas Dance Company.
Apart from them, Sujata Mohapatra (Odissi dance), Vidushi Padma Talwalkar (khyal), Pandit Tejendra Narayan Majumdar (sarod), Pandit Ronu Mazumdar (flute), Pandit Kushal Das (sitar), Rakesh Chaurasia (flute), Purbayan Chatterjee (sitar), Rajrupa Chowdhury (sarod) and Abir Hossain (sarod) will also be returning to the grand stage.
Noted accompanists, including Pandit Abhijit Banerjee, Pandit Shubhankar Banerjee and Pandit Yogesh Samsi on tabla, and Sabir Khan on sarangi, will join the stalwarts.
The Bangladeshi performers at the festival will include five promising young dancers – Sweety Das, Amit Chowdhury, Snata Shahrin, Sudeshna Swayamprabha and Mehraz Haque Tushar, students of the government music college, students of Bengal Parampara Sangeetalay (in group recitals of tabla, sitar and sarod), Supriya Das (khyal), Abhijit Kundu (dhrupad) and noted Bangladeshi classical music exponents Firoz Khan (sitar) and Gazi Abdul Hakim (flute).