Resonating the glorious tradition of Indian classical music: Rajarani Festival 2019
Odisha Tourism, in collaboration with OTDC, Odisha SangeetNatakAkademi, and the Union Ministry of Tourism, organised the three day long Rajarani Music Festival from January 18 to January 20, 2019, with the objective of showcasing the glorious heritage of the Indian classical music. Held in the sprawling lawns of the Rajarani Temple complex in Bhubaneswar, the pleasant late winter chill in the calm temple surroundings, created a wonderful ambience for melodious music.
January 18, 2019
The first evening came alive with Smt.Aruna Sairam’s Carnatic Vocal music recital. She started her presentation with AmrutaVarshini, followed by an Ashtapadi, popular in the Madurai andTiruchirapalli areas of Tamil Nadu. Later, she presented Punnagavarali, a Ganapati Bhajan, a JagannathBhajan, and finally concluded with a rhythmic Tillana.
Smt. Aruna, from Thanjavur, has been groomed by rare gems of the Carnatic Trinity of composers. Born into a family of music lovers, her immense aptitude for music was reflected at a very young age. She was first trained under her mother, and received her first gold medal when she was eight years old.Her contribution to the field of music has been acknowledged with many prestigious awards, and she is the recipient of the Padma Shri and the title, Sangeeta Kalanidhi. She has also undertaken several mentoring programmes world-wide, including the BBC World Routes Academy Project. She is presently the Vice Chairperson of the SangeetNatakAkademi.
The second presentation of the evening was by Sri Pravin Godkhindi who graced the stage with his son,Shadaj, to render a spell-binding flute recital. He started with RaagVachaspati, and concluded with a devotional piece. Pravin was started learning the art of playing the flute at the age of three, and gave his first public performance at the age of six. Three generations of his family - his father PanditVenkateshGodkhindi, Pravin, and his son Shadaj–are flautists par excellence who have performed together on stage at various prestigious venues and festivals. Besides running Sanjog Bansuri Mahavidylaya, Pravin is a composer and has a fusion band, Krishna that blends both Western and Indian Carnatic music.
January 19, 2019
The audience on the second evening of the Rajarani Music Festivakhad the pleasure of listening to an Odissi vocal recital by Sangita Panda. Commencing her recital with Raag Tara, anauthentic tune of theOdissimusic tradition, she later performed an Ashtapadi from Jayadeva’s Gita Govinda, set to RaagNagabali, and concluded with a Sanskrit bhajan. Daughter and disciple of Pandit Gopal Chandra Panda, Sangita has won many laurels for her contribution to Odissi and Hindustani music. She is an ‘A’ graded artiste of the All India Radio and Dooradarshan and was awarded with a scholarship from the Government of India for her dedication and devotion to the field of music.
Next was a Tabla presentation by Pandit Kumar Bose, the legendary Tabla maestro from Kolkata. He presented the Teen Taal, and was accompanied by KunalPatil on the Sarangi. He learned the first beats of rhythm from his father, PanditBiswanath Bose, a distinguished Tabla Nawaz, and was guided in the basics of classical music by his mother Smt. Bharati Bose, an eminent Sitarist. Pandit Kumar Bose has been awarded with many prestigious awards such as the SangeetNatakAkademiaward, theDinanathMangeshkar award, and Best Entertainer Award, Chicago to name a few.
January 20, 2019
The concluding evening of the Rajarani music festival began with an instrumental presentation by the musical ensemble, Shivagni. Led by AgnimitraBehera, the lively orchestra with an ensemble of flute, guitar, violin, Tabla, keyboard, and drums rendered scintillating musical pieces which were based on classical Raagas such as Charukeshi, Bhairavi and Kirvani. All the members are musicians from Odisha, and their combination of talent and experience shone forth in their mesmerising performance. The peak of their recital was theirpiece on Arabian music, and the Sound of Joy that left the audience spellbound.
The grand finale to the three-day festival was a Hindustani vocal recital by the internationally acclaimed Smt. Shubha Mudgal. With over three decades of musical journey to her credit, she has experimented with various genres of music ranging from the classical Thumri and Dadra, to fusion and pop music. While her rendition of RaagShyamkalyan kept the audience captivated, her musical dexterity came to the forefront as she finished with a Thumri, and a soulful bhajan, drawing thundering applause from art connoisseurs and music lovers.