The Art Theatre at Rashtrapati Bhavan resonated with the sound of music this past Sunday as the country’s top veena players gathered there to invoke the spirit of human harmony.

Three veena artistes -- Ustad Asad Ali Khan on the Rudra Veena and Saraswati Rajagopalan and Veena Venkataramani on the Saraswati Veena -- performed “Veena Arpana”. At the same time, veena players across the country representing the Hindustani and Carnatic music traditions also performed for spreading human harmony. Organised by the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts and the Veena Foundation of Delhi, the event was not only an occasion to celebrate the veena tradition but also to perpetuate its pride of place in Indian music and musicology fostering national integration and harmony.

While Ustad Asad Ali Khan belongs to the Jaipur Beenkar Gharana and his family tradition of playing the “been” goes back to seven generations, Saraswati Rajagopalan is one of the leading veena artistes of Carnatic music today. Veena Venkataramani is a budding artiste of 12 years. A student of Modern School, she is also a vocalist.

Madhur Tankha

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