With a growing number of attendees every year, Bengal Classical Music Festival (BCMF) has already emerged as one of the biggest classical musical festivals in the world, in terms of attendance. Introducing more maestros in the field, including famed tabla player Zakir Hussain, the five-day extravaganza is all set to launch today at the Army Stadium in the capital at 7pm.
Putting up almost 10-hours of performances everyday, and featuring more than hundreds of classical music artists from home and India, the show will present daily vocal, instrumental and dance performances on the whole.
This year, festival’s epochal introduction, along with the frequent performers, includes flautist Jayaprada Ramamurthy, Carnatic vocalist M Balamurali Krishna, khayal singer Shubha Mudgal, Shruti Sadolikar, dhrupad singer Wasifuddin Dagar, violinist N Rajam and Kuchipudi dancers Raja and Radha Reddy.
Organised by Bengal Foundation, the festival is presented by Square Group and supported by BRAC Bank Ltd, while Robi Axiata Ltd is the telecom partner.
Opening performances at the Bengal Classical Music Festival 2015
A renowned Indian classical Carnatic flautist and daughter of the acclaimed vocalist Prema Ramamurthy, she learnt the basics and honed her skills simply by listening to music. She is a recipient of the Ugadi Puraskar.
Rahul Sharma, son of legend Shivkumar Sharma, began his vocal and santoor training under the guidance of his father. He has released several albums and has collaborated with international musicians such as Richard Clayderman and Kersi Lord. Sharma also composed music for a number of Bollywood films. However, his original interests still lie with Indian classical, fusion and experimental music.
Daughter of the world-renowned vocalist Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty, Kaushiki Chakrabarty was initiated into vocal music by her mother, Chandana Chakrabarty. Her outstanding performances have fetched her many awards including Jadu Bhatta Award, the BBC Award, Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar, GIMA and Mirchi Music Award.
A noted North-Indian solo sitar and surbahar artist was born in a family of musicians in Kolkata. With a profound knowledge of music and raga improvisation, Das is now considered to be one of the foremost torch-bearers of the tradition of Indian classical instrumental music. He is a recipient of the Sangeet Visharad from Pracheen Kala Kendra of Chandigarh and Sur-Mani award from Sur-Singar-Samsad of Mumbai.
Bombay Jayashri represents the fourth generation of music practitioners in her family. Strengthening her talent with rigorous grooming under the music legend, Lalgudi G Jayaraman and T R Balamani, she is one of the most sought after Carnatic musicians today.
Amongst numerous titles and awards, her song Pi’s Lullaby featured in the film, Life of Pi, was nominated for the Best Original Song at the Oscars.
Rest of the performers from tonight’s line-up are: Pallavi Dance Centre, Bengal Parampara Tabla Performers, Ajay Joglekar, Indian Classical Music Department of Rajshahi University, Alamgir Parvez and Satyajit Talwalkar.