Stringing for a cause
The two-day long UMAK Festival concluded with the melodious sounds of ghungroos, sitar and tabla on Tuesday. This festival ‘for a cause’ is named after one of the greatest sitar maestros of India, Ustad Mushtaq Ali Khan who is also known as the ‘musician’s musician’ and was organised to celebrate his 103rd birth anniversary.
The UMAK Centre for Culture which organised this event to aid the ailing of cancer patients in India showcased two grand evenings filled with music and dance. The musicians and dancers included many internationally renowned maestros of India like the Padma Bhushan awardee Pandit Debu Chaudhury, Pandit Prateek Chaudhuri, Ustad Akram Khan and Ustad Rafiuddin Sabri.
The concluding day of the event saw an interesting mix of an animated audience with youngsters and elders sitting together being mesmerised by the performance of the famous sitar player Pandit Prateek Chauhuri. The event which happened at the India habitat Centre also showcased a Santoor Jugalbandi Concert by the internationally renowned santoor maestro Pandit Bhajan Sopori (Padma Shri Awardee) and his son Abhay Sopori.
The event also celebrated the 79th birth anniversary of Pandit Debu Chaudhury who is the winner of the prestigious Padmabhushan award. He has written various books on music and has composed eight new ragas and various musical compositions. He is also regarded as one of the leading proponents of Senia Style (or Gharana).
After being felicitated during the event, Pandit Debu Chaudhuri said, ‘It always feels good to be loved by so many people. Music has always been with me and will always be.’The Centre organises the UMAK festival every year and is recognized by the government of India as one of the leading cultural organizations of the country which has been involved in preserving and promoting the rich national heritage and culture of India.