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Choral Arts Society Founder Norman Scribner to Receive Humanitarian Award at His Final MLK Tribute Concert

Norman Scribner, Conductor

WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec 13, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) The Choral Arts Society of Washington and the Washington Performing Arts Society (WPAS) M

en, Women, and Children of the Gospel Choirs will again join together to present the 24th annual “Living the Dream…Singing the Dream” choral tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall on January 22, 2012, at 7 p.m. This rich musical collaboration will commemorate the legacy of the great civil rights leader through music conducted by Norman Scribner and Stanley J. Thurston. The program includes a diverse selection of works, including classical music, gospel hymns and moving spirituals.


Jonathan Biss performs Beethoven, Janáček and Chopin at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue

Jonathan Biss

Washington, D.C., Dec 16, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Read Jonathan Biss’s bio on jonathanbiss.com and you’re bowled over by his wry and self-depreciative sense of humor. Read reviews of his performances and you’ll find him described as one of “the most exciting young artists of a new generation carrying the grand tradition of classical music into the 21st century ablaze with passion, rigorous musicianship and inspired interpretive flair” (Houston Chronicle). Biss first performed for WPAS in a 2001 recital with Isaac Stern, then debuted on the Hayes Piano Series the following year. He performs on WPAS's Encore Series at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue on February 4.


Award-winning cellist Sol Gabetta performs Schumann, Shostakovich, Mendelssohn and Servais with pianist Alessio Bax

Sol Gabetta

Washington, D.C., Dec 15, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) The charismatic young Argentina-born cellist Sol Gabetta, who soloed with the National Symphony Orchestra in Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto in 2008, has forged an impressive career. Said The Strad in a review of her recording of the Elgar Cello Concerto, “Sol Gabetta shines at every turn. Her technical command is absolute…the legacy of Rostropovich seems firmly in place. More importantly, her nuance on shaping phrases is tasteful and expressive.” Said Allgemeine Zeitung, “Sol Gabetta…can sing with four strings, tell lively stories, crow dramatically, shine with playful technicality and turn a cello line into her own question-and-answer game in just a few measures.” Gabetta’s recently released CD, "Il progetto Vivaldi 2" hit the top of the German classical charts. Gabetta makes her WPAS debut performing works by Schumann, Shostakovich, Mendelssohn and Servais at the Terrace Theater on February 11.



Pankaj Udhas Live in Concert : An enchanting Mehfil of Ghazals and Shayari Warming up Kolkata

Pankaj Udhas Live in Kolkata

Pankaj Udhas Live in Kolkata

Kolkata, December 8, 2011(Washington Bangla Radio/ Penning Creations):  Indian Ghazal stalwart Pankaj Udhas graced Kolkata’s Science City Auditorium with a live concert on Saturday December 3.

The concert was organized by Radio 104 Fever Unplugged to launch their new 24 hour request channel – “Bolo Ki Shunbe” (First of its kind in India!). The show, hosted by RJ Shekhar, had an almost packed auditorium, filled with admirers of Pankaj Udhas.



Ostkreuz, The City: Becoming and Decaying - Photo Exhibition in Calcutta Celebrates India - Germany Relations

Ostkreuz, The City: Becoming and Decaying Photo Exhibition in Kolkata

Ostkreuz, The City: Becoming and Decaying Photo Exhibition in Kolkata

Kolkata, December 5, 2011(Washington Bangla Radio/ Penning Creations):  They speak volumes without words. Their silent stories take you to a world unseen. They are photographs.

An exhibition of photographs, “Ostkreuz, The City: Becoming and Decaying” was inaugurated at the Indian Culture for Cultural Relations (ICCR) by acclaimed actor-director, Mr. Suman Mukhopadhyay . Also present at the inaugural were Ms. Bharati Ray, Chairperson of ICCR and Dr. Martin Waelde, Director of Goethe Institut, Max Mueller Bhavan, Kolkata.

Ostkreuz, The City: Becoming and Decaying Photo Exhibition in Kolkata

Ostkreuz, The City: Becoming and Decaying Photo Exhibition in Kolkata

A photo exhibition that will go on till December 13, 2011, is a gesture to celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations between India and Germany and is a part of the fifteen months program series named “Germany + India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities” . This exhibition hosts photographs taken by 18 ace photographers from Ostkreuz, one of the world’s leading photographic agencies that was born in the year 1990 in Berlin.



Three Life Time Achievement Awards presented in the 4th Global Film Festival

Sandeep Marwah with Sanjay Kapoor & Singheetham S.Rao
Sandeep Marwah with Sanjay Kapoor & Singheetham S.Rao

New Delhi, Delhi, November 30, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / India PRwire) The three-day fourth Global Film Festival Noida, 2011 will be remembered for all times to come for the three life time awards presented to the celebrated South Indian filmmaker Singheetham S.Rao, all time great director and producer late Surinder Kapoor and the melodious lyricist Santosh Anand.



Ruhaniyat International Folk Music Festival Serving Food for the Soul in Calcutta

Sufi Saint Baba Bulleh Shah

Image via Wikipedia

Kolkata, December 6, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio/ Penning Creations) Taking the famous and mystic Sufi music across India, the music fest, ‘Ruhaniyat’ laid out its buffet for the soul at Kolkata’s Tollygunge Club on Saturday, December 3.

Started in 2001 by the directors of Banyan Tree Events, Mahesh Babu and Nandini Mahesh, the ‘Ruhaniyat’ festival is completing a decade of showcasing some of the finest folk musical talents from different parts of India and even the world. Taken from an Urdu word meaning ‘soulfulness’, the ‘Ruhaniyat’ at Kolkata featured four Indian artists and one each from Africa and Turkey.

The ambience at the Tollygunge Club was set up with flamed torches in a dimly lit open space where the stage was set for the evening’s performance, to add to the air of mystique complementing the genre of the music on display. The evening however, was kicked off by a technological glitch marring the opening performance of a Shah Latif composition (Munji Jinj Ladi).



IIDR & Society For Democratic Rights Observe World Human Right Day with "Suchetana" Seminar

Wild West Bengal

Image by mangostani via Flickr

Calcutta, Dec 7, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) To mark the occasion of World Human Rights Day on Dec 10, a Seminar named “ Suchetana” on Human Rights and its implementations will be organized jointly by Institute of Integrated Development and Research (IIDR) and Society For Democratic Rights.

The objective is to increase awareness of Rights Activists from different districts, NGO leaders, Social Workers and the Youth who will participate in the Seminar about issues covering Human Rights.

The Key Speakers are ...



Kolkata Gears Up for Nandikar National Theatre Festival at Academy of Fine Arts - Schedule Published

28th Nandikar National Theater Festival 2011 KolkataCalcutta, Dec 16, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) The 28th Nandikar National Theater Festival 2011 will be held from 16th through 25th December 2011 at Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata. The festival will feature 19 live drama performances by Indian, Bangladeshi and Israeli drama troupes.

The 10-day celebration of theater will include a dramatic-musical collage "Our Dear Rabindranath" and performances by groups from the Indian states of Assam, Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Maharashtra. Also of special interest will be productions of National School of Drama Repertory Company and National School of Drama TIE Company, Delhi, and of course, productions of the resurgent and vibrant group theater companies of Kolkata, West Bengal.

There will be a Children’s chapter with performances by children. Last but not the least, the event will also feature exhibitions on Rabindranath Tagore and Swami Vivekananda.



Bollywood Star Couple Kajol & Ajay Devgn to Attend Charity Dinner to "Educate a Widow’s Child in India"

English: Cherie and Euan Blair with Nigel Lamb...

Image via Wikipedia

Cherie Blair, Britain’s former first lady, to inaugurate The Loomba Foundation’s Annual Charity Dinner in Delhi to help ‘Educate a Widow’s Child in India’. Confirmed attendees include Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and Bollywood star couple Kajol & Ajay Devgn, among several other dignitaries.

New Delhi, Dec 6, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) The Loomba Foundation today announced that it will be hosting its Annual Charity Dinner to support its ongoing ‘Educate a Widows Child in India’ programme, on Saturday, December 10, at the Taj Mahal Hotel in New Delhi. Cherie Blair, Britain’s former first lady, and President of The Loomba Foundation, will be in India to inaugurate the charity event.

Smt. Sheila Dikshit, Honorable Chief Minister of the Government of NCT of Delhi, has consented to be the Chief Guest for the evening. Bollywood star couple, Kajol and Ajay Devgn, who are the international brand ambassadors for The Loomba Foundation, will participate in the event to express their solidarity to the cause of raising funds to educate the children of poor widows in India.



"Red Flower" - A Tribute to Tagore by Shubhendra Rao and Saskia Rao de Haas Presented by Rotary Club of Calcutta Inner City

Shubhendra Rao and Saskia Rao de HaasCalcutta, India, Nov 28, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / Penning Creations) A cascade of melody was set flowing at the G.D Birla Sabhaghar, Kolkata on November 28, 2011. Organized by the Rotary Club of Calcutta Inner City, “Antwardhani - the Inner Voice” was a tribute to the genius of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore that had called for a stellar performance by the husband-wife duo of Shubhendra Rao and Saskia Rao de Haas. A protégé of the famous sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar, Shubhendra is an acclaimed sitarist who is also known as a “thinking musician” constantly making path-breaking efforts to stretch the limits. It is perhaps this experimental spirit that led him into a successful collaboration with this long-term companion and wife, Saskia de Haas, master cellist and the pioneer of the Indian Cello. Having performed at Kolkata’s famous Dover Lane Music Conference, the duo were not new to the city but it was the first time they had performed on Tagore’s compositions.

Shubhendra Rao and Saskia Rao de Haas

It was an event with a cause. The fund raised though this event would go into developing infrastructure and education in villages in districts like South 24 Parganas and Hooghly, said the organizers. Present at the event were Rotary Club President Mr. Kallol Basu, Secretary Mr. Ashok Dutta and many eminent Rotarians. The Guests of Honor for the evening were Mr. Uttam Ganguly, the District Governor Elect (DGE) and Mr. Rajani Mukherjee, the District Governor Nominee (DGN).

The first evening of the three day event had its focal point as the “Red flower”, a musical dialogue themed upon the conversation that took place between Tagore and Einstein regarding the perception of music by different individuals. It was through a fine weave of two seemingly different paradigms of culture and music that the duo chose to present this innovative concept. Reinterpreting Tagore’s songs, the artistes infused Mozart and Celtic music to impart a different flavor to much-known songs of Tagore like “shokoli phuralo” and “phule phule dhole dhole” from the dance drama, “Kalmrigaya” and the lively and inspirational, “ekla cholo re”, which also happens to be the favorite of both Shubhendra and Saskia among all the compositions of Tagore.

In a short conversation with the duo, they spoke about their creative stimulation, their striking compatibility and their interpretation of the Tagore’s music. Exploring and reinventing the works of Tagore had been a one-of-its-kind experience for the artist duo, however, Shubhendra modestly conceded, “It is only the surface that we have scratched”. Talking of inspiration, Shubhendra and Saskia shared the same view, “everything around us is inspiring…even a child singing is inspirational”, in Saskia’s words. When asked about the future of the Indian Cello and whether this innovation is catching up with the youngsters, Saskia sounded confident about its success as an instrument that would appeal to the next-gen, which she says has matured over the years and has the ears for both, contemporary and traditional, “the young generation has come of age”, beamed a very positive Saskia. Agreeing upon the universality of music, the couple also added that it was this monolingualism of music that has made such a unique synchronization as theirs possible.

Complete report at WBRi.



Pt. Ronu Majumdar & Anubrata Chatterjee Live In India Concert Presented by Bickram Ghosh - Melting Melodies, Touching Souls

Pt. Ronu Majumdar & Anubrata Chaterjee Live in Concert

Pt. Ronu Majumdar

Pt. Ronu Majumdar

Bickram Ghosh

Live in Concert - Live in India

Calcutta, Nov 30, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / Penning Creations) Live In India presented an enchanting musical program titled "Live In Concert" on Nov 26 at ICCR Auditorium in Kolkata. Ace flautist Pt. Ronu Majumdar accompanied by noted Tabla player Anubrata Chatterjee created a heavenly ambiance for the audience that evening.



Joshua Bell performs with Sam Haywood at The Kennedy Center

English: Violinist Joshua Bell following a per...

Image via Wikipedia

Washington, D.C.­, Nov 29, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) A perennial Washington favorite known for his broad and eclectic musical repertoire, Joshua Bell returns to perform for WPAS this season at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall on Sunday, January 23. Said the Washington Post of Bell’s appearance here last season, “Bell and pianist Sam Haywood delivered a trademark performance of athletic virtuosity and yearning, unquiet musicianship.” The New York Times described Bell’s Carnegie Hall recital last season as a “showcase for Mr. Bell’s gleaming tone and virtuosity.”

Despite his youthful appearance and punishing schedule of some 200 performances a year, Bell has now ranked among the world’s great violinists for almost three decades, having made his debut at age 14 with Riccardo Muti and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Bell began his new post as Musical Director of London’s Academy of St Martin in the Fields in September 2011.



COMPANY ǀ E presents NEXT: ISRAEL

Washington, D.C.­, Nov 29, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) The extraordinary vision of four of the world’s finest choreographers will be showcased in a debut performance by Company ǀ E on Saturday, February 25, 2012.  NEXT: ISRAEL features an adaptation of “B/olero,” “Max” and “Mamootot” by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin, originator of the “Gaga” dance movement and director of Batsheva Dance Company. “Killer Pig” by Sharon Eyal, which had its U.S. debut last year at Chicago's Hubbard Street Dance,  as well as “Mechanical Trio” by Yossi Berg and Oded Graf, will also be performed. This will be the first Washington presentation of Naharin’s work since 2004. Berg and Graf’s work was recently showcased at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts.



West Bengal Handicrafts Expo - Another Year Closer to 25th Anniversary: Photo-Feature

24th West Bengali Handicrafts Expo 2011

24th West Bengali Handicrafts Expo 2011

24th West Bengali Handicrafts Expo 2011

24th West Bengali Handicrafts Expo 2011

24th West Bengali Handicrafts Expo 2011

24th West Bengali Handicrafts Expo 2011

24th West Bengali Handicrafts Expo 2011

24th West Bengali Handicrafts Expo 2011

24th West Bengali Handicrafts Expo 2011

24th West Bengali Handicrafts Expo 2011

24th West Bengali Handicrafts Expo 2011

24th West Bengali Handicrafts Expo 2011

24th West Bengali Handicrafts Expo 2011

Calcutta, Nov 29, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio / Penning Creations) The West Bengal Handicrafts Expo, in its 24th year, will be on throughout the month till December 12 at the Milan Mela Prangon across the road from Kolkata’s Science City. Gates are open every day from 2 pm to 8:30 pm and are free-to-enter for all. Organized by the Directorate of Micro & Small Scale Enterprises, this is the largest handicrafts fair in Kolkata. Hundreds of small and large Handicrafts companies and artistes come to exhibit their work for sale at the fair, also called “Hasto Shilpo Mela”.