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ITC Sangeet Sammelan, Kolkata - February 2019

A star-studded artist list comprising the who’s-who of Indian music. An audience that touched 3,000-plus at certain significant points of time. Three days of wonderful music that was both magical and moving. An ambience that soothed and overwhelmed, all at once.

The ITC Sangeet Sammelan on 1st, 2nd and 3rd February 2019 offered all this and more. It was inaugurated by Smt. Anu Puri, the wife of ITC’s Managing Director and CEO, Sanjiv Puri.  The ITC Sangeet Samman for the year was awarded to Pandit Shivkumar Sharma. In a touching acceptance speech, Pandit Sharma spoke about his association with the Academy from the 80s to the present, recounting some wonderful experiences.  

The Sammelan began with a performance by one of the youngest scholars, Sreemoyee Acharyya, whose delightful Yaman set the mood for the soiree. Vidushi Aruna Sairam designed her performance in a way that it included an erudite Ragam Tanam Pallavi as well as a sprightly Thillana. The evening concluded with Pandit Shivkumar Sharma’s masterly Jhinjhoti followed by a dhun in Raga Pahadi.

Day 2 with its promise of night-long offerings, began with Anustup Bhattacharyya performing Maru Behag. Pandit Uday Bhawalkar’s Shudh Kalyan will be remembered by every member of the sizeable audience for a long time to come. His Durga too was memorable. Alumnus of the Academy, Ruchira Kedar, gave a fine account of herself in a performance of Hamir and Sohini. Her rendering of the Thumri ‘Kahanwa mano o Radharani’ was also impressive.
An outstanding and beautifully detailed Malkauns from Ustad Rashid Khan came up next. Recounting his young days in the Academy’s campus, this past Scholar loved by all for his soulful voice concluded his performance with his own composition. A Tabla duet featuring Pandit Kumar Bose and Pandit Anindo Chatterjee proved to be an interesting dialogue between the Farukhabad and Benares gharanas.      
Smt Kaushiki Chakraborty began with a poignant Abhogi after which she sang Raga Hindol Bahar and a Thumri.  Sandwiched between her and the final performer of the night-long soiree, Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar, was an ex-Scholar of the Academy, Ratan Bharati. His terrific Bhatiar at the crack of dawn aroused many emotions. Finally, it was left to Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar to conclude with a virtuoso Komal Rishabh Ashavari followed by Vibhas, both of which were like a master class for students of Raga music.

On the final evening ofthe Sammelan, Vidushi Subhra Guha performed a series of compositions themed on Holi, playing with the many colours of spring. She focused on Bahar, Basant Bahar and Kafi, enlivening the evening with the vibrant spirit of the season. Pandit Partha Chatterjee’s Malgunji, in which he was joined by Scholar Srijanee Banerjee, was wonderful. The Sammelan came to a close with a multi-layered Darbari by Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty. He concluded the performance with a Thumri in Mishra Piloo, ‘Saiyyan Gaye Pardes’.
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