Started two decades ago, the Hridayesh Arts Festival has reinvented itself over the years. Initially conceived as a platform to showcase classical music talent from the kirana gharana, the two-day music gala now is an established stage for renowned artistes from across genres. This year’s edition, commencing tonight, will feature tabla maestro Zakir Hussain, santoor player Shivkumar Sharma and vocalists Rajan-Sajan Mishra and Kaushiki Chakrabarty Desikan among others.
"We believe that classical music should be promoted in a festive manner. We have been receiving excellent response for years and plan to continue with our endeavours, which are inspired by Prabha Atre, who has been our guiding force since the beginning," says Avinash Prabhavalkar, chairman of Hridayesh Arts.
Aiming to bring the festival closer to the common man, Prabhavalkar tells us why they don’t want the annual cultural meet to become a niche affair by charging a hefty ticket price: "Genuine music lovers come from middle-class homes, so we don’t want to keep exorbitant ticket prices. During the first ten years of the festival, the highest ticket price was Rs 100. But now, due to many factors, we’ve had to increase the cost."
This year, the starting price of the tickets is Rs 200. The festival will be held at an open-air venue at Sathaye College, Vile Parle. The second day also features an early morning recital by Rakesh Chaurasia (flute) and Ulhas Kashalkar (vocals). Later this year, organisers also plan to bring back the Gaan Prabha Music Festival after a hiatus of five years. Conceived exclusively for encouraging budding performers in classical music, this festival will be held in May. "We need audience support, who sadly, are not keen to attend concerts by upcoming talent. Even the media needs to highlight these performers because they are our future," says Prabhavalkar.
Note by note
Today: January 14, 5:30: Rajan-Sajan Mishra (vocals) Shivkumar Sharma (santoor) Zakir Hussain (tabla)
Tomorrow: January 15, 6 am: Rakesh Chaurasia (flute) and Ulhas Kashalkar (vocal) 5:30 pm: Kaushiki Chakrabarty Desikan (vocal), Niladri Kumar (sitar) and Rashid Khan ( vocal)
Hridayesh Arts Festival at Sathaye College, Vile Parle (E).Tickets at : Rs 1000, 800, 600, 400 and 200.
Call: 98331 26680, 98692 87887