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Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty

ITC SRA Wednesday Recital


One of the most popular vocalists of India today, Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty joined ITC Sangeet Research Academy in 1978 as its first scholar. He later became one of the youngest Gurus of this academy, an honour that he cherishes. He stands today, internationally acclaimed, as an extraordinary artiste who holds sway over the various forms of Hindustani Classical Music, equally at home with other genres of Indian vocal music. Ajoy Chakrabarty was initiated into music by his father Shri Ajit Chakrabarty. He was later trained by the likes of Kanaidas Bairagi, Pandit Jnan Prakash Ghosh and Ustad Munawar Ali Khan. He has brought imagination and sensitivity to the lyrics of his music, coupled with an uncanny sense of rhythm. On the academic front, his brilliance combined with his exceptional talent also earned him gold medals for his B.A Honours and M.A examinations of Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata. His prodigious list of awards includes the Padma Shri Award in 2011, the Kumar Gandharva Award in 1993 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi award for 1999-2000, among a whole host of others. He is the first classical vocalist of India to have received the President’s Award for the best male playback singer in 1990 and he was the first Indian classical vocalist who was invited to perform by the Government of Pakistan. Innumerable cassettes and CDs published across the world endear his music to even those listeners who do not understand the language of the lyrics. He is also the author of several books. Ajoy Chakrabarty has been proving with a good measure of success that Indian classical music, if understood and practiced properly, can contribute to international amity and understanding. Through his many albums and CDs and his extensive concert tours, he has attempted to build bridges between India and the West. Committed to sharing his research and immense knowledge with future generations, his numerous students have been doing extremely well, foremost among them being his daughter, Kaushiki.

Pandit Kumar Bose

The ITC Sangeet Sammelan

Pandit Kumar Bose is one of the best known Indian percussionists today. Born into a family of musicians, he was initiated into the art of tabla by his father Pandit Biswanath Bose, an eminent disciple of Pandit Kanthe Maharaj. After his father's demise, Kumar has been under the tutelage of Pandit Kishen Maharaj, the living legend of the Benaras gharana. With numerous achievements under his belt, Kumar is adept both as a soloist as well as an accompanist, and has performed with most of the great artistes of today. Besides Indian classical music, Kumar Bose has also made successful forays into world music and has even performed in symphony orchestras conducted by the likes of Zubin Mehta and Yehudi Menuhin.

By popular demand, we bring to you a re-run of Pandit Kumar Bose

Ustad Rashid Khan

The ITC Sangeet Sammelan - Silver Jubilee Celebrations

The grand three-day ITC Sangeet Sammelan held in November 2003 at Kolkata, celebrated 25 years of the ITC Sangeet Research Academy. In keeping with the sense of accomplishment that this Silver Jubilee Sammelan signified, a whole galaxy of stars were invited to perform at this creatively charged setting. The second day of this concert, witnessed the magical Rashid Khan casting a musical spell on his audience, reinforcing the keen sense of excitement and anticipation.

The immensely gifted Rashid Khan is one of the leading torch bearers of Hindustani classical vocal music. The sheer magic of his voice is known to jolt first time listeners into musical awareness! Though the young Rashid initially showed little or no interest in music, his tutelage under his illustrious grand uncle, Ustad Nissar Hussain Khan, changed the course of his life and made Rashid what he is today.

After his Ganda Bandhan ceremony when he was six years old, the pursuit of music and musical training became the way of his life. Ustad Nissar Hussain Khan, one the greatest maestros of the Rampur Sahaswan Gharana, intuitively perceived the latent potential of his grandson. The maestro decided to nurture Rashid’s musical sensitivity by imparting musical education to him in the traditional Guru Shishya Parampara– first in his home and thereafter at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy, where he stayed for 21 years.

Rashid went on to become a Top Grade artiste for All India Radio and won accolades for all the aspects of his musical performance – voice, phrasing, virtuosity and sensitivity. Though a loyal and proud member of the Rampur Sahaswan Gharana, Rashid has always been prepared to learn and incorporate the best from other gharanas into his renditions. Many feel that it is this receptive attitude to music which lends a personal touch to his renditions of various ragas with just the right kind of improvisation. Above all, Rashid has, in abundant measure, that rare quality called Taseer – the indescribable ability to create a genuine impact on listeners.

Lovers and connoisseurs of music who had thronged the ITC-SRA lawns in great numbers, predictably surrendered to Rashid's irresistible spell.

By popular demand, we bring to you the re-run of Rashid's performance of raga 'Bihag', with which he started off his performance. Supporting him on the tabla was Ananda Gopal Bandyopadhyay while Jyoti Goho accompanied him on the harmonium.

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