Sawai Gandharva 2018:  Venue this year has ample room for audience to hear maestros’ classic notes
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Sawai Gandharva 2018: Venue this year has ample room for audience to hear maestros’ classic notes

Begum Parveen Sultana along with others performed during the first day of the 66th Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav

pune Updated: Dec 13, 2018 15:04 IST
Prachi Bari
Prachi Bari
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,66th Sawai mahotsav,audience
Begum Parveen Sultana singing at the66th Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav at the Maharashtriya Mandal’s grounds, Mukundnagar on Wednesday.(Sanket Wankhade/HT PHOTO)

The feeling of space is evident this year at the 66th Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav, which is taking place in a new venue at the Maharashtriya Mandal’s grounds, Mukundnagar.

Music lovers, especially those from outside the city, were seen coming as early as 11.30 am to the venue to take their respective seats. Chandrashekhar Patil, a businessman from Sangli travelled with his family of four to reach the new venue in time and get the best seats near the front of the stage.

Pandit Basant Kabara plays Sarod during the first day of the 66th Sawai mahotsav at Maharashtriya mandal’s ground on Wednesday. (Sanket Wankhade/HT PHOTO)

“This is my second year to Sawai and I travel with my daughter Samruddhi (13) and son Saarth (10) who are both learning music instruments,” said Patil. While her daughter is learning guitar, son loves tabla and their love for music brings the family to spend five days at Sawai.

Patil was elated to see the new spacious venue and the view from the open areas was pleasing to the eye with the LED screens relaying singer Begum Parveen Sultan as she began the last session of the day.

Music lovers, especially those from outside the city, were all praise for the new spacious venue, maharashtriya mandal’s grounds, hosting the 66th Sawai mahotsav which began on December 12. (Sanket Wankhade/HT PHOTO)

The day began with an engaging performance by Kalyan Apar, shehnai player who had the audience mesmerised, especially with the rendition of the famous bhajan ‘Maze Maher Pandhari’ which is written by Sant Eknath and sung by Pandit Bhimsen Joshi. Mauli Takalkar accompanied him on Taal.

The mood set in for the evening with vocalist Ravindra Parchure presenting different bandish compositions in Raag Shri and then the audience waited with bated breath for Pandit Basant Kabra to begin his sarod performance for the first time in Sawai. He dedicated his performance to his guru and great sitar player Annapurna Devi.

Another regular to Sawai for the past 20 years, Neha Dixit, a resident of Dhayari, found the venue most convenient. “This year, it is bigger space and even the seating arrangement is spacious and seems like it will accommodate every music lover which is its USP to come here to enjoy the live renditions of the maestros from across the world.”

Kalyan Apar plays shehnai during the first day of the 66th Sawai mahotsav at Maharashtriya mandal’s ground on Wednesday. (Sanket Wankhade/HT PHOTO)

Theme calendar

A theme calendar of this year’s Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav — Swar Sadhak 2019 — was released by vocalists Shriniwas Joshi, Shaunak Abhisheki, Pandit Raghunandan Panshikar, Anand Bhate and Uday Bhawalkar. The calendar features photos of different vocalists by renowned photographer Satish Paknikar. Bharatratna Pt. Bhimsen Joshi- The Voice Of The People, the book written by Nagraj Rao Hawaldar, was also released on the first day of the event.

First Published: Dec 13, 2018 15:02 IST