Shimla fest brings galaxy of musicians together
The 5th edition of five-day Shimla classical music festival was held from September 26 - October 1, at the Gaiety Theatre, Shimla. The festival was inaugurated by Himachal Pradesh CM Jairam Thakur, in the presence of Padma Bhushan Sangeet Natak Akademi fellow Dr N Rajam, who also presented a 'Three Generations Concert'. Rajam was accompanied on the violin by her daughter Dr Sangeeta Shankar, and granddaughters Ragini and Nandini Shankar.
Starting with Vaishnav Jan To, the trio went onto playing a beautiful Raga Desh. Vidushi Manjusha Patil, a vocalist from Pune, was the main artist of the second day. She enthralled her audience with Raga Shri, Bhupali – a bhajan composed by late Raja Sir Daljit Singh. Her performance ended with Bhairavi. Manjusha was accompanied by Tanmay Deochake on harmonium and Prashant Pandav on tabla.
The main artist on the third day was Maihar gharana's Kolkata based Pt Tejendra Narayan Mazumdar. He rendered a dhrupad style 'aalap' and 'jor' followed by dhammar taal 'gat' in Raga Jaijaiwanti. He was accompanied by Fateh Singh Gangwani on pakhawaj and Satyajit Talwalkar on tabla.
The third day also saw a spectacular performance by Hari Dutt Bharadwaj, a disciple of Pt Ronu Mazumdar, accompanied by Himachali Diwakar Sharma on table.Next artist was Pt Ajay Pohankar who sang thumris in the honour of Shimla resident Naina Devi. He was accompanied by Pt Mithilesh Jha on tabla and Dr Vinay Mishra on harmonium.
What makes this festival distinctive is the fact that only one senior artist performed in the evening, thus giving the audience a chance to enjoy recitals without time constraints.
The concluding day of the festival started with the vocal recital by Hemraj Chandel, based in Joginder Nagar, Himachal Pradesh. The final concert of the festival was a 'jugalbandi' of Carnatic flutist Vidwan Shashank Subramanium with Maihar Gharana sitar exponent Purbayan Chatterji. Accompanying them on mridangam was celebrated artist Parupalli Phalgun, and on tabla was Satyajit Talwalkar. The artists made magical music, starting with Raga Hansadhwani, and going on to Raga Kirwani, before ending with Mishra Pahari. The ecstatic crowd gave a spontaneous standing ovation.