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Bishwe Bangali - Melody Worldwide

Sunil Chetri, Chandrima Bhattacharya, Srijit Mukherjee,Probal Mullick,Rudranil Ghosh, Anupam Roy
From Left: Sunil Chetri, Chandrima Bhattacharya, Srijit Mukherjee,Probal Mullick,Rudranil Ghosh and Anupam Roy

Anupam Roy
Anupam Roy being felicitated

Somnath on the Ghatam
Somnath on the Ghatam

Kolkata, January 29, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio/ Penning Creations): “Our duty is to encourage every one in his struggle to live up to his own highest idea, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the Truth.” –Swami Vivekanda

21st of January 2012, on the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, Kolkata witnessed an evening dedicated towards encouraging and honoring the young talents of Bengal. The program organized by “Bishwe Bangalee… Melody Worlwide” was an attempt towards recognizing those youth icons who are presently doing excellent work in various fields.

“Bishwe Bangalee… Melody Worlwide” is an initiative to show the international audience what Bengal is capable of, through various cultural events. Since its inception in 2010, the organization has done commendable work. A number of international events are to be organized on this platform in the days to come.

The evening of 21st January began with recitation of poems of the renowned modern and yester year poets which reflected the youthful spirit of India. Sutapa Bandopadhyay did a commendable job in reciting the poems like “Kochit Kirone Dipto” and “Jhulan” by Rabindranath Tagore, “Amar Naam Bharatbarsho”, “Ami Subhash” by Amitava Dasgupta, “Amalkanti”, “Buban” by Achintya Kumar Dasgupta, amongst many others. These poems explained the purpose of the evening in a way that even a thousand words could not have. 

The language that communicates beyond the boundaries of nation is the language of art and entertainment. The new age entertainers of Bengal have presented their work in the Global arena and were highly acclaimed by critics all over the world.

Director Srijit Mukherjee who created a connect with hearts of the young crowds through his films “Autograph” and “Baishey Srabon” and pulled a certain class of audience back to the theatres also graced the occasion with his presence.

Talking about the other eminent figures present in the evening:

Baishe Bangali

Actor Rudranil Ghosh who started of as a comedian and has established himself as a pro for all genres of acting in today’s date. He has proved his worth as an actor in films like “Bedroom”, “Chaplin” and many others.

DJ Sophie Sugar rocks Kolkata

DJ Sophie Sugar

DJ Sophie Sugar
Sophie Sugar

Party lovers at Kolkata Nightclub
Party lovers at Kolkata Nightclub "Shisha Reincarnated"

Kolkata, June 22 (IBNS) The city lounge lizards got a reason to cheer at the end of a frenzied week of theirs as popular night club Shisha Reincarnated hosted a performance by international DJ Sophie Sugar, this Friday.

The music lovers of Kolkata thronged the venue and let the city once again live up to its standing that this place never stops partying.

Sandip Soparrkar Walks the Ramp with Son Arjun in India Kids Fashion Week 2012

Mumbai, Maharashtra, January 19, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio / India PRwire) When it comes to shopping for kids, only the best will do! Just for kids, the newest kids fashion brand launched it's happy and bright spring summer collection 2012. On the show was an array of smart casuals, footwear and accessories for children aged 0 to 14.

Sandip Soparrkar with son Arjun
Sandip Soparrkar with son Arjun

Designer Shweka Sabarwal
Designer Shweka Sabarwal

Sandip looked dapper in a yellow embroidered kurta. It was the first time for him on the ramp with his six year old son Arjun, and he seemed mighty happy about it. What was endearing was to see the very well-turned out Jesse Randhawa turn up to cheer her family.

Grammy Award-winning pianist Yefim Bronfman Performs at Strathmore

Yefim BronfmanWashington, D.C.­, Jan 26, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio) The brilliant, Grammy Award-winning pianist Yefim Bronfman returns to perform a program of works by Brahms, Liszt and Prokofiev at The Music Center at Strathmore on March 2. Bronfman’s technique and exceptional lyrical gifts have won consistent critical acclaim and enthusiastic audiences worldwide for his solo recitals, orchestral engagements and broad catalog of recordings.

Said the New York Times of Bronfman’s “fine musical instincts” in a performance with the New York Philharmonic, “Bronfman played every passage with clarity and honesty. During the vehement episodes [he performed] with steely power and uncanny ease. Yet in the slow movement he showed another side, playing with exceptional elegance and milky pianissimos.” Said the Chicago Sun Times of Bronfman’s performance of Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto, “As soloist, the ever-phenomenal Yefim Bronfman showed how this often banged-about score can be played with both technical and musical finesse.”

Yefim Bronfman

Bronfman’s 2010-2011 North American season highlights included performances of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto with the orchestras of Houston, Cincinnati and St. Louis, and Brahms’s Second Text Box: Who: Yefim Bronfman Where: The Music Center at Strathmore When: Friday, March 2 at 8p.m. Program: Brahms Sonata in F minor, Op. 5 Liszt Selections from Transcendental Études, S.139 Prokofiev Sonata No. 8 in B-flat Major Tickets: $23-65, available at or (202) 785-WPAS (9727). Piano Concerto with the orchestras of Atlanta, New York and Los Angeles, among others. He performed with Europe’s most celebrated orchestras, including the Concertgebouw, the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, the Israel Philharmonic and Berlin Staatskapelle. In the fall, Bronfman and long-time friend and collaborator Pinchas Zukerman toured the U.S., with concerts in Chicago, Kansas City, Boston and at Carnegie Hall.

British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor performs in Washington DC

Benjamin GrosvenorWashington, D.C., Jan 26, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio) Internationally recognized for his electrifying performances and penetrating interpretations, and compared by Gramophone to the young Evgeny Kissin, 18-year-old British pianist Benjamin Grosvenor makes his Kennedy Center debut at the Terrace Theater on March 3.

Grosvenor is “one in a million – several million,” said The Independent.

Grosvenor is among the world’s most sought-after young pianists. He took center stage playing Liszt’s Second Piano Concerto on the BBC’s first night of the Proms last summer, the youngest soloist in the history of that eminent concert series and proof of both his credentials and popularity with British audiences. Said a review in The Guardian, “revelling in [the concerto’s] brilliance and conveying its blend of showmanship and poetry with easy assurance…He then went on to dazzle with an encore: one of Brahms's Hungarian dances arranged by Georges Cziffra, delivered with breathtaking panache.” Said The Observer of Grosvenor’s first disc on the Decca label, also released last summer, “This shows his ability to twin youthful exuberance with impeccable technique and magisterial musical intelligence. Grosvenor’s balance of oratory and ornament, gesture and poetry – evident, too, in Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit– are moving as well as impressive. He’s a phenomenon: modest, poised and natural, as well as brimming with talent.” Said Gramophone, “To call such playing that of a master-pianist will invite accusations of exaggeration and hyperbole – but what else can I say?” “It’s is hard to know which is the more startling in a pianist still in his mid-teens: the all-encompassing mastery of technique, or the flair and maturity of imagination. He really is a rare talent,” said International Piano Magazine.

ARPAN - Invoking the Monk through Music


Jan 21, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio/ Penning Creations): How often do we imagine invoking God with music? What is the appropriate mode to pay tribute to our Gurus? How often do we get to see side guitars being used to perform Hindustani classics? What finally transpired at G.D Birla Sabhaghar on a Friday evening still lurks within the breathless silence of those that had thronged there.

Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival Inaugurated with Tribute to Tagore

Tagore Dance

Kolkata, November 12, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio/ Penning Creations): On January 11 Kolkata witnessed the launch of the book, The Last Harvest- The paintings of Rabindranath Tagore. It was a tribute to the greatest persona of Indian art and literature by Apeejay Kolkata Literary festival. Rabindranath Tagore is an integral part of the lives of the literary minded Indian. But through this event we were introduced to Tagore the painter.

Paintings of Rabindranath Tagore - WBRi
Tagore - The Painter

This book which is a compilation of paintings made by Rabindranath Tagore was edited by R. Siva Kumar, who is a renowned art historian and curator. Over 200 paintings of Tagore have been compiled in this book published by Mapin Publishing. This book launch gave the Apeejay Kolkata Literary festival a perfect commencement on the 150th birth anniversary of Tagore.

'TENI DA' Returns (Bengali Theatre)


Good News for all the fans of Teni da and Narayan Gangopadhyay. Oikyo Natyo Goshti is bringing back the charm of Teni da to the people of Calcutta. 

A Mesmerizing Musical Journey With Nilanjan Nandy At The Rabindra-Okakura Bhavan

Nilanjan Nandy

Kolkata, January 11, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio/ Penning Creations):  Few things in life can rival the charms of a musical evening in winter. Indeed, the very prospect of listening to good songs, rendered beautifully by talented artists in a nice, cozy auditorium warms the cockles of the heart of any music-lover. It came as no surprise, hence, that, from the day it was announced that the renowned and immensely talented singer-cum-composer Nilanjan Nandy (popularly known in the musical circles as ‘Aroopratan’) would be performing in a musical show at the Rabindra-Okakura Bhavan in Salt Lake, there was a distinct feel of buzz and anticipation among all those who planned to attend the event.

Given the credentials of Nilanjan Nandy, one expected a few hours of sheer musical brilliance. And boy, the evening (of the 10th of January) sure did rise up to the occasion!

Madhuban Chakrabarty, Nilanjan NandyThe musical extravaganza started off with noted cardiologist, Dr. Parthasarathy Bhattacharya setting the mood for the evening with soulful ghazals and bhajans. As the audience started to trickle in, the stage was set for Madhuban Chakrabarty, the well-known anchor at a popular 24-hour Bengali news channel, to showcase her musical talents. The lady mesmerized the audience with four ‘adhunik’ Bengali songs. Her choice of songs, ranging from the melodious ‘Jibono Gaan Gaahey Ke Je’ and the catchy ‘Priyotomo Ki Likhi Tomay’, to the lilting ‘Jodi Akash Hoto Aankhi’ and ‘Eto Boro Akash Takey’, was indeed praiseworthy, particularly since none of these numbers were particularly easy to perform onstage. With her family in audience, Madhuban, however, did full justice to the songs she had selected. After her performance, Madhuban was presented with a souvenir by Niharika, the youngest member of the Surobahaar group.

Ellora NandyNext up on stage was Ellora Nandy, the better half of Nilanjan Nandy. The latter recounted their common love for ghazals and how they looked up to the late Jagjit Singh, one of the maestros of this genre of music. The couple started off with a duet (‘Kaun Kehta Hai Ke’), which literally enthralled the audience. Aroopratan also kept on explaining the significance of the lyrics (penned by Sahir Ludhianvi) at different portions of the song, ensuring that, all those present in the audience could fully experience the magical beauty of the number. Thanks to him, we now know the part of a ghazal where the name of the ‘shayar’ is mentioned.

Ellora Nandy captivated the audience next with her beautiful rendition of ‘Tujhse Naraaz Nahin’, that cult classic from the 1982 movie, ‘Masoom’. Indeed, the beautiful lyrics of the song (written by Gulzar) seemed to come alive with the tremendous voice quality of the artist on show. Of course, the music, provided by the inimitable R. D. Burman, is an all-time favourite among music-lovers.

Niharika & Nilanjan NandyThey say that music runs across generations in a family. One of the best examples of the validity of this old adage is the family of Nilanjan Nandy. While the latter has been carrying on the mantle of musical excellence passed on by his father, the celebrated musician Batuk Nandy, Aroopratan’s daughter, Niharika Nandy (nicknamed ‘Piu’) seems all set to move ahead with the baton. This young and highly promising artist was the next performer on stage. Aroopratan, after a brief introduction of her daughter, requested the audience not to be too critical of the young lady’s performance. As it turned out, there was absolutely no need for such apprehension on the part of Aroopratan, for his daughter managed to deliver a performance that was, qualitatively, at par with all the other numbers that were sung during this musical evening.

Niharika started off with the timeless classic duet ‘Beeti Na Beetayi Raina’, from the 1972 hit ‘Parichay’ (music: R. D. Burman; lyrics: Gulzar). R. D. Burman seemed to be one of the favourite music directors of the young singer (hardly a surprise!), as she followed up the duet with a stirring rendition of ‘Raina Beeti Jaay’ (from ‘Amar Prem’ (1971); lyrics by Anand Bakshi). Niharika showed that she had every potential to become the next big star on the musical horizon. The rich values of his father, Aroopratan, were also evident, as he proudly said that the glitterati of reality shows do not attract him and all that he wants is her daughter to grow into a good singer. Niharika is very good already and we certainly hope she will continue to improve by leaps and bounds over the years.

With all the other singers of the night having finished their performances, it was finally time for the ‘man of the moment’, Nilanjan Nandy to take centerstage.

Read the complete event report on WBRi.

Tagore Beyond Irish Melodies - Celtic Songs and Tagore's Compositions Establishes the Irish Connection in Kolkata

Tagore Beyond Irish Melodies - Celtic Songs and Tagore's Compositions

Tagore Beyond Irish Melodies - Celtic Songs and Tagore's Compositions

Kolkata, January 10, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio / Penning Creations) Amidst the cold winter chill of a January evening, a fortunate few were treated to the warmth and compassion represented through Celtic culture and melodies synchronized with our very own Tagore’s.

Tagore beyond Irish Melodies was a soulful attempt to explore the cultural and musical resemblance between Ireland and India. Held in Gyan Manch on January 4, this event tried to establish a musical link between the two countries through the works of Tagore and Yeats.

Tagore Beyond Irish Melodies - Celtic Songs and Tagore's Compositions

Tagore Beyond Irish Melodies - Celtic Songs and Tagore's Compositions

This unforgettable evening started with musical presentations from Anna Tanvir, a trained classical singer and Harpist and daughter of late theatre personality Habib Tanvir.  Anna’s “I will arise”, inspired from Yeats’, ‘Lake Isle of Innisfree’ sets the right mood for the rest of the event. Through this masterpiece, Yeats had wanted to showcase his longing for peace and tranquility. And, this was perfectly captured by Anna’s soulful voice. It was a melodious musical voyage - one which made the audience sail along willfully. 

Tagore Beyond Irish Melodies - Celtic Songs and Tagore's Compositions

Tagore Beyond Irish Melodies - Celtic Songs and Tagore's Compositions

Yann, a versatile French guitarist, further dissipated the so-called territorial as well as linguistic barriers through his performance. When elocutionist Sujoy Chatterjee (an actor in BBC radio series) recited “Purabi” by Rabindranath Tagore, the audience was spellbound.

Tagore Beyond Irish Melodies - Celtic Songs and Tagore's Compositions

Tagore Beyond Irish Melodies - Celtic Songs and Tagore's Compositions

Rishi Banerjee’s Rabindra Sangeet presentations like “Udashini bese, bideshini ke se nai ba tahare jani” and “Amar ei poth cholate anondo” were equally mesmerizing. Rohini’s rendition of Gurudev Tagore’s”Amar sonar bangla, ami tomaye balobashi” was a treat into the flavors of Bangla’s Baul culture.

Swami Vivekananda (12th January 1863 - 04th July 1902)


The World will celebrate the birthday of Swami Vivekananda on January 12, 2012 and the Ramakrishna Math and Mission will begin a four-year-long celebration to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda and carry out various projects in several states to commemorate the occasion. 

The Vienna Philharmonic Plays in Washington DC, Conducted by Lorin Maazel

Lorin Maazel, Conductor, Vienna PhilharmonicWashington, D.C., Jan 10, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) “A concert by this great orchestra is always a privilege,” said the New York Times in a review of a performance by the Vienna Philharmonic last season. Said the Guardian, “A visit from the Vienna Philharmonic is always a big event…The strings make this orchestra unique. The bite and weight of the violas…thrillingly projected.” Washington audiences have the opportunity to experience this great orchestra when the Vienna Philharmonic performs under the baton of Lorin Maazel at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall on February 29, presented by WPAS in conjunction with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Now almost 170 years old, the Vienna Philharmonic has been associated with such great names of the 19th and early 20th-century repertoire as Richard Wagner, who described the orchestra “one of the most outstanding in the world.” Anton Bruckner called it “the most superior musical association.” Johannes Brahms counted himself as a “friend and admirer.” Gustav Mahler claimed to be joined together with the Orchestra through "the bonds of musical art.” Richard Strauss said, "All praise of the Vienna Philharmonic reveals itself as understatement." The musician-administered orchestra has a unique relationship with the Vienna State Opera Orchestra and only a member of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra with three years’ standing can become a member of the Vienna Philharmonic.

Chief conductors have also included the orchestra’s founder, German composer Otto Nikolai, Karl Anton Eckert, Hans Richter, Felix Weingartner, Wilhelm Furtwängler and Clemens Krauss. With no chief conductor since 1933, the orchestra has nevertheless been most closely associated with  such outstanding conductors as Herbert von Karajan, Karl Böhm, and Leonard Bernstein; Arturo Toscanini, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Sir John Barbirolli, Carlo Maria Giulini, Georg Solti, James Levine, Zubin Mehta,  Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Muti, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Pierre Boulez, Mariss Jansons, Daniel Barenboim and Valery Gergiev.

Noted Singer Songwriter Composer Nilanjan Nandy in Solo Show EKOK in Calcutta

EKOK Solo Show by Nilanjan Nandy aka Aroopratan in Kolkata

Calcutta, Jan 8, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Acclaimed Composer, Singer, Song-writer, Poet and Journalist Nilanjan Nandy, aka Aroopratan, will present an EKOK (solo) show comprising of old Bengali hit songs, Bollywood classics from the 1960s and 70s, non-film Ghazals and also a few numbers for Country and Western folk buffs, including some his own compositions, on January 10, 2012 in Calcutta.

The German Film Orchestra Babelsberg performs A. R. Rahman in Calcutta & Four Other Cities - Classic Incantations Concert Series

English: A.R. Rahman at The Nobel Peace Price ...

Image via Wikipedia

“Classic Incantations”  brings alive the Year of Germany in India with a five-city concert tour:

“The German Film Orchestra Babelsberg performs A. R. Rahman”

Momentous collaboration formed under the aegis of the Year of Germany in India 

Concert tour marks the centenary celebration of Indian Cinema and Studio Babelsberg

Over 100 plus member live orchestral performances mark a new milestone for the five-city concert tour.

Unique collaboration of renowned soloists, choir members from KM Music Conservatory, Chennai to join the German Film Orchestra to perform A. R. Rahman’s film compositionsLapp India to foster closer ties between India & Germany.

Classic Incantations - The German Film Orchestra Babelsberg performs A. R. Rahman, a five-city concert tour, exclusively presented by Lapp India, a leading cable and connectivity solutions company, the musical extravaganza will for the first time, showcase over a hundred orchestral musicians as they perform live in India as part of the collaborative celebration titled “Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities”.

The tour coincides with the celebration of the centenary year of Studio Babelsberg, the world's oldest film studio in Germany, and Indian Cinema that were incepted in 1912. The concert will debut in Mumbai on 20th January 2012 and will subsequently travel to Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore, creating a new highpoint for music lovers across the nation.

A R Rahman

Pt. Viswa Mohan Bhatt Live in Concert at Calcutta International Classical Guitar Festival 2011

Pandit Viswa Mohan Bhatt & Subrata Bhattacharya
Pandit Vishwamohan Bhatt & Subrata Bhattacharya

Pandit Viswa Mohan BhattCalcutta, Jan 4, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio / Penning Creations): From December 29 till January 4, Kolkata will be gifted with memorable concerts by the leading classical guitarists worldwide, as the Calcutta International Guitar Festival 2011 gets started with all the right chords and beats!

Supported by the Siddha and Bikram Ghosh, the concert got its way amidst much fan-fare, lauded by enthusiastic followers and maestros alike.

ICCR auditorium hosted the festival’s first concert in the evening of December 29. Pt. Viswa Mohan Bhatt, the Grammy Award Winning, Mohan Veena player accompanied by Subrata Bhattacharya on the Tabla and Somnath Roy on the Ghatanm captivated the audience in his rhythmic and soulful tunes.

Read all about the event and check out our exclusive photo-feature and slide-show on WBRi.