Artiste of the Month - October 2018
Pandit Manilal Nag is the exemplar of the fifth generation of the Nag family of instrumentalists of the Vishnupur Gharana of Bengal, which is generally accepted to be around 300 years old. When he was 5, his father Pandit Gokul Nag initiated him into the art of sitar playing. While in his teens, he passed the Senior Diploma Examination in music from Rabindra Bharati University with first class honours.
He has had the unique opportunity of being close to such musical giants as Ustad Allauddin Khan, Pandit Kanthe Maharaj, Pandit Omkarnath Thakur, Pandit Vinayak Rao Patwardhan, Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan, Ustad Ahmed Jan Thirakwa and many others. His debut performance was at the age of 14 at the All India Music Conference, where he was accompanied by Pandit Samta Prasad. Since then he has performed at music conferences all over India as well as at International Music Festivals and concerts held at UK, USA, Canada, Italy, France, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, Japan, Fiji and Nepal. A top grade artiste of All India Radio and Doordarshan, he has played several times for the National Programme of Music and Akashvani Sangeet Sammelan.
He has also released several cassettes and CDs from different music companies. A member of the Central Audition Board of the All India Radio, he is also an examiner of the University Grants commission, apart from being on the Expert Committee of the Departments of Music of several State and Central Universities. He has trained innumerable disciples who have made a name for themselves. In 2001 he received the ITC Award as well as the prestigious Sangeet Natak Academy award given by the President of India. In 2005, Pracheen Kala Kendra, Chandigarh, honoured him with the Kosher award in recognition of his contribution to music. Pandit Nag was on the faculty of ITC SRA from August 2005 to September 2010.