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Tune into the season of Indian classical music concerts in Mumbai

From ragas at sunrise to gigs by the sea and concerts in a heritage opera house, fans have an exciting fortnight ahead.

mumbai Updated: Jan 05, 2019 21:04 IST
Jayati Bhola
Jayati Bhola
Hindustan Times
Classical music,Indian classical music,Ranjani and Gayatri
Spiritual Mornings will feature performances by Hindustani classical vocalist Kaushiki Chakraborty (above) and Carnatic vocalist duo Ranjani and Gayatri, at Gateway of India.

Come January, the city readies for the season of outdoor concerts, events and festivals. There’s a nip in the air, the flamingos are here and in between plays, New Year resolutions and stand-up, there’s some of the year’s best classical music events.

The 29th annual Hridayesh Festival, a three-day open-air bash, starts on January 11. This year’s line-up features Hindustani vocalists Ustad Rashid Khan, Shaswati Mandal, Pandit Venkatesh Kumar and Mukul Shivputra, and santoor player Rahul Sharma.

  • When: January 11 (6 pm), 12 (5.30 pm) and 13 (6 am and 5.30 pm)
  • Where: Parle Tilak Vidyalaya Grounds, Vile Parle East
  • Ticket prices start at Rs 700; tickets are available online

There are also, ragas by the sea. Spiritual Mornings debuted in 2002 and has featured tabla maestro Zakir Hussain, sarod virtuoso Amjad Ali Khan and singer Shankar Mahadevan.

“Think of it like a peace concert…devoid of any religion but that of music,” says Shashi Vyas, founder-director of Pancham Nishad, which organises this event as well as Pratahswar.

  • When: Sunday, January 6th; 6.30 am
  • Where: Gateway of India
  • Entry is free; to reserve passes contact Pancham Nishad at 70455-97505

The 17th edition of Spiritual Mornings features a 6.30am concert by Carnatic vocalist duo Ranjani and Gayatri and Hindustani classical vocalist Kaushiki Chakraborty at the Gateway of India, overlooking the Arabian Sea.

“It’s going to be a jugalbandi (duet) as Hindustani and Carnatic music come together and that’ll be really beautiful,” says Gayatri.

“In Carnatic music, we don’t have ragas associated with time, so we’ll be picking up the counterpart of Hindustani morning ragas to create magic,” Gayatri says.

“Unke raaste alag hai par manzil ek hain (their routes are different but the destination is the same),” Vyas adds, referring to the fusion.

  • When: Sunday, January 13; 6.30 am
  • Where: Ravindra Natya Mandir, Prabhadevi
  • Entry is free

Pratahswar began in 2006 as an early morning Sunday concert series held monthly in Mumbai from October to May. “We’ve had maestros perform for our landmark events — 50th and 75th — so it is fitting to get Begum Parveen Sultana for our 100th edition,” says Vyas.

Performing morning ragas for an early morning concert was enticing, adds Begum Sultana. “In Maharashtra, people are interested in vocal music and I adore the audience for that,” she says.


  • When: Friday, January 11; 7 pm
  • Where: Royal Opera House, Girgaum
  • Ticket prices start at Rs 300; tickets are available online

When sitar maestro Nishat Khan thinks of Mumbai — a city he has grown up in — he thinks of the shimmering reflection of the moon on the silent sea at Marine Drive. This, he says, is the inspiration behind his solo concert, Moon on The Water, at the Royal Opera House.

Sitar maestro Nishat Khan will perform a solo concert, Moon on the Water, at the Royal Opera House.

“I’ve always been fascinated by the moon; it’s the most beautiful thing in the world. So my compositions will take the audience to a zone where you think of nights, stars and moonlight,” says Khan, who’s performing in Mumbai after almost two years.

For now, he’s delighted that this is his debut performance at the majestic heritage site.

“This city’s audience is knowledgeable about classical music. They’re sensitive yet serious listeners and they know the ragas, making it seem like we’re both on a musical journey,” Khan said.

First Published: Jan 05, 2019 21:02 IST