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08 Dec 2023, 14:49 HRS IST
  • PTI
  • Sawai Gandharva music festival begins in Pune

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22:3 HRS IST

Pune, Dec 7 (PTI) The 64th Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav, an annual extravaganza for connoisseurs of classical music, kicked off on a melodious note here today.

The festival, held since 1953, was initiated by Hindustani classical legend (late) Bhimsen Joshi as a memorial music conference commemorating the life and work of his guru, Sawai Gandharva alias Rambhau Kundgolkar, the festival's namesake.

Opening the festival, S Ballesh and Krishna Ballesh gave a shehnai performance -- a tradition at the festival which is eagerly awaited by the patrons of classical music.

They played Raag Maru Bihag followed by Raag Jog and a famous Thumri 'Yaad Piya Ki Aaye'.

This was followed by a vocal performance by Gauri Pathare.

She presented Raags Bhimpalas and Shri and a Daadara composition in Raag Maand. Irshad Khan mesmerised the audience with his instrument 'Surbahar' and presented Raag Jor Zhala.

On the occasion, Vatsalabai Joshi Puraskar was bestowed on renowned Dhrupad vocalist duo, the Gundecha brothers.

The award comprising a cash prize of Rs 51,000 and a memento was awarded to Ramakant and Umakant Gundecha at the hands of Shrinivas Joshi, Anand Bhate and Upendra Bhat.

The prestigious five-day musical festival, organised by Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal, is held at New English School, Ramanbaug grounds.

The musical gala will see performances of over 20 artists, including veteran vocalists Pt Jasraj, Prabha Atre, Pt Ulhas Kashalkar, Srinivas Joshi, Indian classical musician Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and several others, the organisers said in a statement.

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