As a part of Lalit Kala Akademi's 60th anniversary celebrations a musical evening was organised at Kamani Auditorium, New Delhi. The evening had a mesmerising performance by Santoor Maestro and music composer Abhay Rustum Sopori.
Minister of Culture and Tourism Shripad Naik inaugurated the celebrations. The festivities commenced with an exhibition of works of art selected from the collection of the Akademi that show how artists have been viewing India in their own perspective.
The inaugural function was followed by a musical concert by santoor maestro and music composer Abhay Rustum Sopori.
Abhay commenced his performance with Raga Rageshree, with brief Aalap and Jod followed by a Gat in Ektaal, Bandish Pholwan Ke Mala and Sufiana Tarana Ta Nom Ta Dare Dim Dim in Teentaal and Gat in Atidrut Teentaal presenting some of the nuances of the Sopori Baaj, the style created by the music great, the legendary Pt. Bhajan Sopori which incorporates the essential technical nuances of both the Gayaki (vocal) and Tantrakari (instrumental) Angs (aspects) such as Meend, Gamak, Glides, Taan, Bol, Chhand and Laya patterns, he was accompanied by Ustad Akram Khan on Tabla.
The solo performance was followed by a composition Devotional Bliss which sends the message of the Shaivaite and Sufi thought which is – ‘Submission to the Ultimate in love’. The composition presents joyful spirit of Kashmiri culture.
The composition starts with Nasar – which is the opening recitation for a Sufiana Muquam followed by a Lal Wakh, the recitation of Laleshwari, the great Sufi Saint Poetess of Kashmir.
Sopori concluded his performance with a final composition Irfaan – the Ecstasy. The composition takes on a journey of India through the notes of Santoor with some of the percussions of India. The composition is based on a classical raga which is equally popular in the North and South Indian Classical music.
The variegated mood of the Raga played through the notes of the Santoor in unison with some of the classical, traditional and ethnic drums, percussions and the enchanting syllables and tones used thousands of years back in India in a much modern yet traditional pattern presents the cultural ethos of India.
The composition finally reaches a crescendo, a metaphor of the divine dance, with scintillating rhythmic and melodic variations.
The music ensemble featured about 25 artistes; Durjay Bhaumik (Tabla), Rishi Upadhyay (Pakhawaj), Himanshu Bhandari (Percussions), Parveen Sethi (Duff, Darabuka, Deru & Percussions), Vetri Bhupati (Mridangam), Varun Rajasekharan (Gattam), Manish Kumar (Khol and Percussions), Mani Prasad (Nakara), Sundaram (Nagada), Malay Dey (Drums), Abid Hussain (Sarangi), Haminder Soni (Viola and Keyboard), Narendra Rathi (Cello), Akshay Dwivedi (Double Base), Amar Sangam (Guitar & Tenor), Srikant Agasty (Sur Santoor), Poushali Dutta (Tanpura), Nitin Sharma, Aashik Kumar, Vijay Kumar, Rakesh, Leena, Priyanka, Oshin Bhatia and Harsimran Kaur (all vocal).
The evening concluded with performance by Mahua Mukherjee and her troupe, they performed Gaudiya Nritya, a classical dance from Bengal as a part of the celebrations.
During the concert, Ravindra Singh (Secy. Ministry of Culture, Govt of India), Krishen Khanna, KK Chakravarty (Chairman, Lalit Kala Akademi), Suresh Goel with wife, Pt. Bhajan Sopori (Santoor Legend), Proffesor Aparna Sopori, Pratibha Prahlad along with other dignitaries were also present at the event which was a grand success.