Keeping it classical

Panchashatotsavam, a week-long Hindustani classical music festival, will feature some of the most renowned names from the field. Organised for the golden jubilee celebrations of The Fine Arts Society, the festival starts today and will be on till December 29. The artistes in the line-up are santoor player Pandit Satish Vyas and popular vocalists Pandit Ajay Pohankar, Ahswini Bhide Deshpande, Sanjeev Abhyankar, Danshree Pandit Rai and Devaki Pandit.

The festival will commence with a performance by vocalist Sanjeev Abhyankar. “I want the concert to be completely spontaneous. So I will be deciding on the compositions at the last moment. During my performance, I get inspiration from within and that’s what gets transported to the audience,” says Abhyankar.

The second day of the festival will feature Pandit Vyas, who will present a solo performance. “Since I am the only artiste performing on that day, I’ll present one evening raga (sunset melody) and one late night raga. The compositions will be traditional,” says Pandit Vyas. 

Young sitar player Chirag Katti, will also be performing his experimental fusion patterns. Known for his competence in sitrazz — a fusion instrument of sitar and guitar — Katti has garnered a lot of popularity of late. The festival will conclude with vocals by Pandit Pohankar. Talking about the evolution of the Indian classical music in India, Pandit Vyas says, “The genre has undergone tremendous change, for good. Classical music has taken the shape of an industry and hence all the norms have changed.” But vocalist Devaki Pandit feels that the younger generation needs more exposure to such music. “I believe that the condition of Indian classical music could improve. There’s a need to build greater awareness and develop interest amongst the younger generation to build a wider audience,” says Pandit.


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