This weekend sees some brilliant performances by Indian classical music stalwarts. A life in Melody celebrates the music of Ustad Vilayat Khan, one of the greatest sitar maestros. Khan was one of the first Indian musicians who performed in England after Independence and enjoyed a decent following internationally.
The three-day festival that started on Friday with performances by Khan’s son Shujaat and flautist Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia will go on till Sunday. Grammy nominated sitar player Shujaat Khan says, “It’s heartening to see so much of affection for a person years after his death. This festival is about classical music in a traditional way, like it used to be in the past.”
Day two will see performances by Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma (santoor) and Rajan and Sajan Mishra (vocals), while day three has Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt (Mohan veena) and Sultan Khan (sarangi).
Singing legend Asha Bhosle, who was the guest of honour, says “It’s difficult to replace someone like Khan sahab. Woh bahut meetha bajaate thei. (The sound of his sitar was sweet and almost like hearing someone sing).”
Day three will also have an audio-visual presentation on the Imdadkhani gharana that the Ustad hailed from by one of his students, Arvind Parekh, at 5.30 pm. For classical aficionados the venue will also have books on the glorious traditions of the gharana on sale. Proceeds for the same will be utilised for the benefit of ailing classical musicians.