Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra presented the 74th edition of Shriram Shankarlal Music Festival from March 10th to 12th, 2023 at 6.30 pm at Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra Lawns, Copernicus Marg, New Delhi.
Conceptualised and created by Smt Shobha Deepak Singh (Director & Vice Chairperson – Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra), Shriram Shankarlal Music Festival is one of the oldest in the country that celebrates Indian Classical Music by presenting extraordinary performances by legends and blooming talent in the realm.
The lineup for this year was extremely impressive and included Rakesh Chaurasia (Flute), Kaushiki Chakraborty (Hindustani Classical Vocal), Shahid Parvez Khan (Sitar), Bombay Jayashri (Carnatic Vocal), Biswajit Roy Chowdhury (Sarod) and Ustad Rashid Khan (Hindustani Classical Vocal).
Through Shriram Shankarlal Music Festival, the Kendra has made a mark for itself in the arena of performing arts and has been nurturing its basic ideology of binding rich Indian traditions onto the wings of current generation as it paces through the clouds of materialism. “The very philosophy is the soul of Shriram Shankarlal Music Festival,” says Padmashri Mrs. Shobha Deepak Singh. She adds, “My fascination for India and its cultural diversity never ends. Having devoted my entire life to performing arts I feel responsible to percolate our riches to the internet generation and make them aware of their roots. Current times are uncertain and music does have the power to bind people together. At The Kendra, we have catered to patrons and amateurs alike making the newbie’s appreciate India more for its cultural heritage.”
On Friday, March 11th, 2023 : Rakesh Chaurasia filled the Lawns with tranquility and calm with soothing notes of raag puriya kalyan, raag saraswati and pahadi dhun. He remarked, “Shriram Shankarlal is one of the oldest and one of Delhi’s greatest Classical Music festivals. I am thankful to Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra for keeping our heritage classical music alive through this.” and Vidushi Kaushiki Chakroborty‘s hori thumri reverberated the premise with melodies welcoming spring and charged it up with raag durga hailing the powerful Goddess. Ecstatic to make a comeback in Delhi as she completes 25 years of her musical career, Kaushiki said, “I am excited to be performing in Delhi after so long. It is ironic that I performed my first concert in Delhi and life has come full circle as I am here back again to celebrate 25 years of my musical journey here at Shriram Shankarlal Music Festival.“
On Saturday, March 10th, 2023 : Smt. Bombay Jayashri said, “It’s my happiness and privilege to participate in the 74th edition of the Shriram Shankarlal Music Festival. I look forward to meeting the wonderful Delhi audiences.” and Shri Rakesh Chaurasia said, “Honoured to perform for Shriram Shankarlal Music Festival, as it is one of Delhi’s greatest classical music festivals. Thank you for keeping our heritage classical music alive.” and Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan ji said, “My relationship with Shriram Shankarlal Music Festival goes back to the time when I was merely a small boy of maybe 9 or 10 years of age. That was the time when I’d attend the festival to listen to Shri Ravi Shankar, Vilayat Khan Sahab etc and think if I would get an opportunity to perform at this platform! As luck would have it, I have had the opportunity to present numerous times at the festival and even this year I am at the service of my audiences. I am hopeful and look forward to an auditorium packed with music aficionados to encourage artists like me.“
On Sunday, March 12th, 2023 : Maestro Biswajit Roy Chowdhury who with his Sarod brought alive the melodious notations of maru bihag, alaap jhor jhaala, bandish in vilambi, madhya and dhrut laya. He filled the Lawns with so much tranquility. The other performance was by Hindustani Classical Vocalist Ustad Rashid Khan and he presented raag bihag, tarana along with ‘baju band khul khul jaye‘ and ‘yaad piya ki aaye.’
Rakesh Chaurasia: Rakesh Chaurasia is an innovative modern bansuri exponent. His style follows in the footsteps of his illustrious guru and uncle Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, but he has found his own territory too – recent collaborations have included jazz, flamenco, and Bollywood. He credits Hariprasad’s open-minded philosophy with encouraging him to explore new sounds, and still finds limitless inspiration in his uncle’s teaching.
Kaushiki Chakraborty: Kaushiki is a child prodigy who began reproducing music patterns at the age of two. She performed her first solo act at the age of 16.Kaushiki began her training under her mother Smt. Chandana Chakraborty. Subsequently, she had the privilege of becoming the “Ganda Bandh” disciple of legendary Guru Pandit Jnan Prakash Ghosh, before becoming a disciple of her father, vocal maestro Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty, under whom she continues to learn. Later, she was also fortunate to get taalim in Carnatic Classical Music from Padmavibhushan Pandit Balmurali Krishna. Her taalim under her gurus, especially her father, has ensured that she has equal command over the various vocal forms that fall under the umbrella of Hindustani music. Her prowess as a khayal singer is well known, but she is adept at singing other ‘light classical’ genres like thumri, dadra, kajri, chaiti, bhajan etc
Shahid Parvez Khan: Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan descends from six generations of sitarists. He is one of the leading exponents of the Etawah Gharana and was trained by his father and guru, Ustad Aziz Khan . First trained in the classical vocal music that forms the foundation of the “gayakiang”, the young Shahid Parvez was recognized as a child prodigy and started performing in public by the time he was only eight years of age. He is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including the Government of India’s ‘Padma Shri’ and the ‘Sangeet Natak Academy Award.’
Bombay Jayashri: Born into a family of musicians with rich lineage and steeped in pedigree music, Bombay Jayashri Ramnath represents the fourth generation of music practitioners in her family. She has been groomed under the guidance of legend Shri Lalgudi G Jayaraman and Smt T R Balamani and bears the torch of the Lalgudi tradition. However she is known for her distinct style of music.
With a career extending over three decades, her finely honed voice exudes a hypnotism that is hard to resist, making her one of the most sought after Indian musicians today.
Biswajit Roy Chowdhury: One of today’s brilliant and serious exponents of Hindustani Classical Music, Biswajit Roy Chowdhury stands out not only for his singular commitment to music, but also for his conscious combination of all that is the best in the Indian musical tradition. Initially groomed in music by his father, he learnt Sarod from PanditIndranil Bhattacharya in Kolkata and subsequently from Ustad Amjad Ali Khan in Delhi. He thus received training in both the major schools of Sarod-playing – Maihar and Gwalior. He received advance training in music from legendary vocalist Pandit Mallikarjun Mansoor and also learnt briefly from Vidushi Sumati Mutatkar and Pandit Balasahab Poochwale.
Ustad Rashid Khan: “There is now at least one person in sight who is an assurance for the future of Indian vocal music”, said Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, voicing a few years ago, the concern of connoisseurs of Hindustani vocal music about whether its tradition of excellence would continue. It indeed has, with Ustad Rashid Khan, the young maestro, one of the leading torch-bearers.