A five-day long Indian classical music festival came to a close last week in the Indian capital New Delhi. The fest saw performances by world-renowned Indian classical musicians and was flocked by the music connoisseurs.
The Kamani auditorium, in the Indian capital New Delhi, hosted a five-day long music festival. The sixth edition of the Delhi Classical Music Festival, from October 18- 22, was attended by connoisseurs of Indian classical music. Organised by the Sahitya Kala Parishad, the cultural wing of the Government of NCT of Delhi for music, dance and drama, the festival saw performances by legendary Indian musicians.
The first day of the event saw the presence of Dr Mahesh Sharma, the Minister of Art and Culture, Government of Delhi, and New Delhi’s former chief minister, Sheila Dixit, who started the festival.
The auditorium was packed on all five days by music lovers, media and fans of artists such as Pt. Jasraj, Ustad Nishat Khan, Dr N Rajam, Smt. Kalapani Komkali, Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Jawaad & Mazhar Ali Khan, Pt. Ronu Majumdar among many more.
The event began with a performance by universally acknowledged sitar maestro Ustad Nishat Khan, who swayed the audiences by a fast and flawless rendition.
“It’s a pleasure to be here,” Khan said, while tuning his sitar and setting its strings right.
In the middle of playing the tunes of Raag Yaman, Khan remarked, “We have to find time and patience to listen to classical music; otherwise the development of the story in the music won’t be the same anymore.”
Melodies of Indian classical music usually tell stories and anecdotes recited through musical elements and compositions.
Khan, who hails from a family of musicians, has uniquely invigorating and contemporary styles of playing the sitar. He has mastered North-Indian classical form of playing which he experiments with music forms as diverse as Gregorian, Western Classical, Jazz and Flamenco.
Khan imprinted a cheerful enthusiasm in the audiences by fusing classical notes with a playful, revelling and contemporary playing which was coupled with the beats of the tabla, a percussion instrument, which was being played by Ustad Rashid Mustafa.
Pandit Jasraj, an extraordinary vocalist, recipient of Padma Vibhushan, second highest civilian award in India and a receiver of many international accolades, took the stage in the second half of the first day of the event.
Panditji is known for singing Sanskrit versus in Indian classical music. He is the inventor of ‘jasrangi’, a sensuous fusion of the Yin and the Yang, the male and the female principles, composer of over 300 bandishes or compositions, and a connoisseur of Haveli sangeet, a devotional music genre.
The following days of the event saw audiences in equal numbers attending the fest.
Jawaad & Mazhar Ali Khan, singers of classical and light classical vocals who performed on the third day of the event, said to Media India Group about their singing form, “What we sing requires us to practice to be able to sing openly and with a lot of energy. This type of singing from the Kasur Patiala Gharana, Punjab, is different from all others for this particular reason.”
Jawaad & Mazhar Ali Khan gave an energy-packed performance in the first half of the event on the third day which was followed by a flute recital by Pt. Ronu Majumdar, an ace flautist and performer.
Majumdar, who often performs in the capital, too gave a spectacular show taking requests from his fans and playing ‘thumak chalat Ram Chandra’, one of his most-cherished recitals.