The 23rd Salt Lake Music Festival Annual Hindustani Classical Conference, Bidhannagar, Kolkata - WBRi Exclusive Event Review

From 26th to 28th December, 2009 Saltlake Cultural Association presented in association with Axis Bank and collaboration with Eastern Zonal Cultural Association, Kolkata; their Annual Hindustani Classical Conference as 23rd Saltlake Music Festival in fond memories of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and Pandit Santosh Krishna Biswas at Purbashree Hall, EZCC, Saltlake, Kolkata.

The program showcased some of the top North Indian Hindustani Classical Vocal and Instrumental maestros in India.


You can watch the following excerpts at the times indicated in the video as below:

  • 00:00:05 - Announcement by MC Subhomoy Mukherjee (Subhomoy is also a Kolkata correspondent of WBRi)
  • 00:02:25 - Duet / Jugalbandi: Pandit Partha Chatterji (Sitar) with Pandit Partha Sarathy (Sarod)
  • 00:11:20 - Duet / Jugalbandi: Reena Chakraborty Srivastava (Sitar) with Rajib Chakraborty (Sarod)
  • 00:18:00 - Pandit Swapan Choudhury (Tabla) and Master Sukalyan Maitra (disciple of Pt. Choudhury)

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Program Review

The festival was inaugurated by eminent singer, Pandit Vijai Kichlu by lighting the Festival Diya. Then the festival committee felicitated Pandit Vijai Kichlu and eminent Sitarist, Pandit Buddhadeb Dasgupto.

After that Saltlake Cultural association presented their annual awards as highest honour Sangeet Ratna Award to Tabla Maestro Pandit Swapan Chawdhury, Singer Bidushi  Suvra Guha, Tabla Maestro Pandit Sameer Chatterjee and singers Pandits Umakant-Ramakant Gundecha and Nritya Ratna Award to Kathak Legend Pandit Maharaj Santosh Kumar Chatterjee. They also presented Jadubhatta Award to singer Ruchira Panda and Sitarist Reena Chakraborty Srivastava.

The 2nd half of the 1st evening started with Kathak by Pandit Maharaj Santosh Kumar Chatterjee who is the disciple of Pandit Ram Narayan Misra, Legend Sitara Devi, Pandit Vijai Shankar and one and only Pandit Birju Maharaj. Started with Guru Bandana, his 45 minutes presentation mesmerized the audience. He was accompanied by Pandit Gopal Misra on Tabla.

The 2nd performance was singing by Bidushi Suvra Guha who is the disciple of Shri Satish Bhawmik, Pandit Sunil Bose ( Agra Gharana ), Pandit K.G. Sinde, Pandit D T Joshi. She is one amongst the best singers of Benaras’s Poorab Ang. Suvra started her presentation with Raga Shri and she performed very well for around one hour. Her disciples Sanjukta Biswas and Sabina Mumtaz Islam provided her voice support whereas Tabla Maestro Sameer Chatterjee and Harmonium expert Rajendra Prasad Banerjee accompanied her also.

The 3rd presentation was sitar by young artist Partha Sarathi Chatterjee with another young talent Subhojyoti Guha on Tabla. Partha, as the only Ganda Bandh disciple of his Guru, Pandit Indranil Bhattacharya of the Senia-Maihar Gharana , excelled the skills of his Gharana for 40 minutes.

Samaresh Chaudhury - North Indian Classical Hindustani VocalistThe last presentation of the 1st day was singing by Eminent Pandit Samaresh Chaudhury who is disciple of his father Sangeetacharya Pandit Amaresh Chandra Chaudhury and living legend Pandit Ravi Shankar. Pandit Chaudhury started with Raga Malkaush and made the audience spell bound with his unique style of excellent presentation. Soumen Sarkar was accompanied him on Tabla.

Saltlake Cultural association regularly provide platform to new talents – on 2nd they they presented new prodigies, Debanjan Bhattacharyya on Sarod, Debojit Chakraborty on Sitar and Vocalist Kasturi Bandopadhyay.

Debanjan, a young talented sitarist from Senia Maihar Gharana, is the disciple of Ustad Dhyanesh Khan, Ustad Asish Khan and Smt. Amina Perera, all are sons and daughter of Legendary Ustad Ali Akbar Khan Sahib. Debanjan tuned his 40 minute long performance very efficiently accompanied by Amit Chatterjee, popularly known as Bablu, on tabla.

Debojit was the 2nd performer of the 2nd day. He is disciple of Pandit Manilal Nag of Visnupur Gharana and Pandit Santosh Banerjee of the Rampur Senia Gharana. This A grade artist of All India Radio and Doordarshan was excellent that evening with perfect blending of Tabla by Shri Dibyarka Chatterjee, another young talent presented by Saltlake Cultural Association. Dibyarka is the son of Legendary Tabla Maestro, Pandit Samir Chatterjee of Farukkabad Gharana.

The 3rd presentation was Light classical by singer Sreemati Kasturi Bandopadhyay accompanied by her brother Shri Prangopal Bandopadhyay on Tabla and Shri Pradip Palit on Harmonium. Kasturi, a disciple of Vidushi Suvra Guha, Pandit K. G. Sinde, Pandit Arun Bhaduri, Vidushi Purnima Chaudhury and Legend Girija Devi, excelled her skills at that winter evening. Tabla Maestro of Benaras Gharana, Pandit Anandagopal Bandopadhyay is the father of Kasturi and Prangopal.

The second day continued with Jugalbandi of Pandit Partha Chatterjee on Sitar and Pandit Partho Sarothy on Sarod. Partha Chatterjee is the disciple of his father Prabir Kumar Chatterjee along with Legend Nikhil Banerjee and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan Sahib. Partho Sarothy is the disciple of Pandit Sudhamoy Chowdhury, a disciple of Pandit Radhikamohan Moitro, Ustad Dhyanesh Khan and none other than Pandit Ravi Shankar.
Their perfect hour long jagalbandi was applauded by every audience. Asish Paul accompanied them on Tabla.

The second day ended with Dhrupad Vocal artists Pandits Umakant-Ramakant Gundecha. Pandit Akhilesh Gundecha was on tabla. Dhrupad is one of the toughest form to sing. But these disciple duo of Dagar Brothers flooded the audience in tune of Dhrupad.

The last day started with Sarangi performance by grandsons of Sarangi legend, Pandit Narayan Das Mishra and sons of Sarangi Maestro Pandit Santosh Kumar Mishra. Those young duo surprised the audience with their innovative style on the traditional instrument. Ujjwal Bharati was on tabla with them.

Rajib Chakraborty (Sarod), Reena Chakraborty Srivasta (Sitar)The evening continued with Sitar – Sarod Jugalbandi by siblings Reena Chakraborty Shrivastava and Rajib Chakraborty. As usual they were very good with perfect understanding between themselves. They took their lesson from their father Pandit Rabi Chakraborty, who is an able disciple of legend Ustad Ali Akbar Khan Sahib. Kousic Sen accompanied them on tabla.

Ruchira Panda - North Indian Classical Hindustani VocalThe 3rd presentation was vocal by Kotali Gharana’s young talent Ruchira Panda. Ruchira is under tutelage of her Guru, Pandit Manas Chakraborty for around 25 years. She started with raga Nand. Accompanied by Pandit Samara Saha on Tabla, Anirban Chakraborty on Harmonium and Ankan Banerjee, Suvidip Paul and Uddipan Banik on Tanpura, Ruchira gave a powerful performance that evening.

Pt Swapan Chaudhuri & Sukalyan Maitra - North Indian Hindustani Classical Instrumental TablaThe closing program of the festival was Tabla Lahara by phenomenon Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, disciple of Lucknow Gharana’s Pandit Santosh Krishna Biswas. Pandit Ramesh Mishra along with his son, Rohan Mishra were on Sarangi to accompany Pandit Chaudhuri. But Swapan Chaudhuri stunned the audience by presenting his youngest disciple, 11 years old Sukalyan Moitra along with him – he is the discovery of 23rd Saltlake Music Festival.

Subhomoy Mukherjee - MC | Washington Bangla Radio correspondentWBRi Washington Bangla Radio's Shri Subhomay Mukherjee and Akashvani FM’s Smt. Sonali Chatterjee anchored the three day long program with excellence. They made the programme very attractive by their understanding between themselves and knowledge of Indian Classical Music as well as Performers.

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