Artist line up for 64th Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav Announced

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Pune, November 16: The artist line up for the upcoming 64th Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav was announced by Shrinivas Joshi, Executive President of the Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal during a Press Conference held in the city today. This prestigious and the one of its kind festival of Indian Classical Music will have new logo from this year, which has been designed by noted calligraphy artist Achyut Palav. The new logo was also unveiled on the occasion.

The 64th Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav will have performances of more than 20 renowned artists that will have veterans as well as promising youngsters. It will take place at the new English School Raman Baug Grounds between December 7th and 11th. The Timing of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th day of the festival would be 4:00pm to 10:00pm. The timing of the fourth day (Saturday, December 10th) may get extended up-to 12 midnight subject to approval from the concerned Governmental Authorities.

This year Union Bank, P. N. Gadgil & Sons, Shree Dhutpapeshwar Ltd. and Nanded City are the title sponsors of this mega music fest. Whereas, SEED Infotech Ltd., Bharati Vidyapeeth and Vastushodh Projects are the main sponsors. In addition, Amit Enterprises Housing Limited would be live digital streaming partner, Bank of India would be the exhibition partner, Sixth Element is the Outdoor Media Partner of the carnival. Indian Magic Eye is the branding and communications partner of the event.

Bharati Barhate, Executive Director, seed Infotech Ltd, Nitin Kulkarni, Director, Vastushodh Projects, Sujata Deshpande from Bank of India, Amita Kulkarni and Sachin Narhari from Union Bank of India were also present on this occasion.

The inaugural day of the festival shall be dedicated to Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan to mark his 100th Birth Anniversary. A great exponent of Shehnai, Ustad Bismillah Khan was known for his contribution to elevating the Shehnai in classical music.

Commemorating this occasion, the first performance of the day 1 (December 07) of the 64th Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav will start with Shehnai recital by the maestro Father and Son Duo S. Ballesh and Krishna Ballesh, the disciples of Shehnai virtuoso late Ustad Bismillah Khan. This will be followed by Gauri Pathare, a vocalist from Gwalior and Jaipur Gharana, who got the lessons of music from Pt. Jitendra Abhisheki and Smt Padma Talwalkar.

Ustad Irshad khan, the son of Ustad Imrat Khan and nephew of Ustad Vilayat Khan will then play Surbahar. He is amongst the finest Sitar players in the world and the leading Surbahar players of this generation. Surbahar is a plucked string instrument used in Hindustani Classical Music of North India. It is closely related to Sitar. The first day will end with the performance of Pt Ganapati Bhat, a renowned vocalist from Kirana Gharana.

The day 2 (December 08) will witness the recital of vocalists Ritesh and Rajnish Mishra, who are among the foremost inheritors of the renowned Banaras vocal Gharana. The ‘Mishra Bandhu’ are sons of the legendary Pt. Rajan Mishra.

Subsequently, the flute sisters, Debopriya and Suchismita known to be the world’s most unique pair of flautist sisters will perform for the very first time in this festival. One of the prominent vocalist of Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana, Manjiri Asnare-Kelkar will charm the music lovers with her vocal performance thereafter. Second day will end with the performance of veteran vocalist of Mewati Gharana, Sangeet Martand Pt. Jasraj.

The day 3 (December 09) of the Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav will start with the performance of Brajeswar Mukherjee, a well-known Hindustani Classical Vocal singer of Patiyala Gharana and a disciple of the eminent vocalist Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty. Subsequently, one of the brilliant violinists of Indian classical music, Dr. Mysore Manjunath & Mysore Nagaraj will perform. The duo are sons and disciples of violinist Prof. Mahadevappa.

Senior disciple of Guru Sikkil Ramaswamy Pillai, Bharatanatyam & Vilasini Natyam Dancer Purvadhanashree will enthrall the viewers with her Tanjavur style of Bharatanatyam footsteps which she has learned from her mother Kamalini Dutt. The third day of the Mahotsav will end with the vocal performance by Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar, an acclaimed Hindustani Classical vocalist who has been trained in Jaipur, Agra and Gwalior Gharanas.

Day 4 of the festival (December 10) will have performance of vocalist Dhanashree Ghaisas, a young Khayal singer from Pune. A disciple of Smt. Ashwini Bhide-Deshpande, Dhanashree has been honored with the Sawai Gandharva Scholarship before.

Legendary classical vocalist Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi’s son, Vocalist Shrinivas Joshi will then enthrall the audience thereafter. Later, the young brothers and grand disciples of Pt. Ravi Shankar, Lakshay Mohan Gupta and Aayush Mohan Gupta will present a joint performance on Sitar and Sarod. Later, an exponent of the Dhrupad genre, Pt. Uday Bhawalkar will present his unique style which is deeply embedded in Raag Rasa and Bhaav. The fourth day will end with the melodious Violin performance duet by maestro Dr. L. Subramaniam and his son and disciple Ambi Subramaniam.

The last day (December 11) of this year’s ‘Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav’ will witness first ever performance by Japanese Santoor player, Takahiro Arai who is disciple of Senior Santoor player Pt. Shivkumar Sharma. Subsequently, Vocalist Kaivalyakumar from Kirana Gharana will mesmerize the audience with his performance.

This will be followed by a joint performance by renowned Sarod player, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan along with his sons and disciples Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash. As per the tradition of Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav, the festival will end with a performance of Dr. Prabha Atre, a veteran from the Kirana Gharana.   

The artists who will be performing for the very first time during Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav include S. Ballesh & Krishna Ballesh, Ritesh & Rajnish Mishra, Debopriya & Suchismita , Brajeswar Mukherjee, Mysore Manjunath & Mysore Nagaraj, Purvadhanashree, Lakshay Mohan Gupta & Aayush Mohan Gupta, Dhanashree Ghaisas and Takahiro Arai.
Season ticket for Chair will cost Rs.3000/-. Considering the effects of demonetization in the market, the committee has decided to reduce the season ticket of Indian seating from Rs.350/- to Rs.300/- for the very first time in the last 13 years. The daily ticket for Indian seating category would be Rs.100/-. All other important information about the ticketing shall be announced soon.
Responding to the issues of demonetization, the representatives of the Union Bank of India and Bank of India who are also one of the Sponsors this year have promised to extend their support to ease the problems pertaining to ticket purchase.