Shriram Shankarlal fest in Delhi ends on a musical high
The musical extravaganza that kicked off on Friday at Shri Ram Bharatiya Kal Kendra celebrates Indian classical music and returned to the stage after a gap of three years post pandemic
Following a three-day rendezvous featuring acclaimed artists from across the country, the 74th edition of the Shriram Shankarlal Music festival ended on a high note on Sunday with a performance by Sarod player Biswajit Roy Chowdhury and vocalist Rashid Khan.
The musical extravaganza that kicked off on Friday at Shriram Bharatiya Kal Kendra celebrates Indian classical music and returned to the stage after a gap of three years post pandemic. The 73rd edition of the festival concluded days before the national lockdown to stem the spread of Covid19 was imposed in 2020.
Noted artists such as Biswajit Roy Chowdhury, Bombay Jayshree, Ustad Shahid Parvej Khan, Rakesh Chaurasia and Ustad Rashid Khan performed during the three-day festival.
Conceptualised and created by Shobha Deepak Singh, Shriram Shankarlal Music Festival is one of the oldest festivals in the country that celebrates Indian classical music. Over the years, both legendary artists and rising talents have performed at the festival.
“My fascination for India and its cultural diversity never ends. Having devoted my entire life to performing arts I feel responsible to percolate our riches to the internet generation and make them aware of their roots. Current times are uncertain and music does have the power to bind people together. At the kendra, we have catered to patrons and amateurs alike making the newbies appreciate India more for its cultural heritage,” said Shobha Deepak Singh, director and vice chairperson, Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra.
The first day of the festival saw a harmonious performance by flautist Rakesh Chaurasia and a soulful Hindustani Classical presentation by vocalist Kaushiki Chakraborty.
On Saturday, festival attendees were enthralled by the performances of two globally acclaimed artists. Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan’s Sitar performance received thundering applause from the audience. One of the leading exponents of the Etawah Gharana, Khan was trained by his father and guru, Ustad Aziz Khan. The young Shahid Parvez was recognized as a child prodigy and started performing in public by the time he was only seven years of age.
Khan was ecstatic to see people turn out for the performance in large numbers, with many making a beeline to get pictures clicked with him after the show. “Seeing so many youngsters today was heartwarming. The future of classical music is bright and continues to inspire people across ages. We must continue to introduce children and younger people to music,” said Khan, who hooked the audience with his rendition of Raga Madhuvanti and Raga Pilu.
Khan’s performance was followed by that of Oscar-nominated Carnatic vocalist Bombay Jayashri. The audience listened in rapt attention as she performed various compositions ranging from a dhwani inspired by a shlok from Adi Shankara and her guru Lalgudi Jayaraman’s creations. “This composition is about liberation and how music can inspire liberation. If one has the power to appreciate music, it can lead to liberation,” Jayashri told audience members during the performance.
The festival saw the participation of people from all walks of life particularly youngsters which Jayashir said was an encouraging sign of their inclination towards the preservation of music. “It was fantastic performing tonight. It’s a great thing to see youngsters enjoying themselves and appreciating our art,” said Jayashri. She said that while children in the South were routinely introduced to music at an early age, it would be good to encourage a similar culture in other parts of the country.
The final day of the festival included a performance by Sarod player Biswajit Roy Chowdhury and Hindustani classical vocalist Ustad Rashid Khan. Chowdhury played raga Maru Bihar and Khan played raha Shankara and Saraswati. Chowdhury ‘s Sarod notations and Khan’s renditions of popular songs left the audience mesmerised.