ITC's Sanjiv Puri presents Sangeet Samman '17 to classical music exponent Pt Venkatesh Kumar
Kolkata: Sanjiv Puri, CEO, ITC Limited was present at the inaugural function and presented the ITC Sangeet Samman for 2017 to Pandit Venkatesh Kumar, an intense musical force in Hindustani Classical Music.
At the opening programme, Omkar Dadarkar, Sucheta Ganguly and Aparajita Lahiri Bramhachary paid tributes to Vidushi Girija Devi, Guru of the Academy since its inception and doyenne of the Benares Gharana.
With an impressive line-up of artistes, the festival had young musicians performing alongside the stalwarts of Hindustani Classical Music, offering music lovers an enchanting experience. Some of the stellar performers this year were Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty (Vocal), Ustad Shahid Parvez (Sitar), Ustad Rashid Khan (Vocal), Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar (Vocal), Pandit Venkatesh Kumar (Vocal), Pandit Uday Bhawalkar, Vidushi Kaushiki Chakraborty (Vocal), Vidushi Kala Ramnath (Violin), Smt Sucheta Ganguly (Vocal), Sh Ayan Sengupta (Sitar) and Sh Paramananda Roy (Flute) among others.
In the last four decades, ITC SRA has grown in impact and significance, turning out to be an embodiment of sustained corporate commitment to a national heritage. The first trustees of the Academy, set up as a public charitable trust, included stalwarts such as Yehudi Menuhin, Ravi Shankar and Satyajit Ray.
To begin with, ITC SRA focused only on vocal music. The Gurus came from all over the country, with significant representation from all the existing Gharanas of Hindustani Classical Music. A Kanan, Malabika Kanan, Nissar Hussain Khan, Hirabai Barodekar, Ishtiaq Hussain Khan, Nivruttibua Sarnaik, Girija Devi and Latafat Hussain Khan were the first group of great musicians to have made ITC SRA their home. A magnificent 14-odd bigha property in Tollygunge, once owned by the heirs of Tipu Sultan, provided the perfect ambience for the one-of-a-kind Gurukul.