National music festival off to a grand start
With an inspiring inaugural address by Governor M.C. Bhandare and pulsating performances by Hindustani vocalist Kaushiki Desikan and Odissi exponent Damodar Hota, the much-awaited annual national music festival hosted by the Bhubaneswar Music Circle (BMC) began at Rabindra Mandap in the city on Tuesday.
“Our music is divine and secular. The Daggar Brothers singing in Sanskrit shows how secular is Indian music,” said the Governor as he recollected how as a child he used to sneak into classical music concerts being hosted in his home city of Mumbai.
Hailing the initiatives of the BMC in hosting concerts of classical music in the capital city for the past 47 years, he urged television channels to take special care to air classical music. He further suggested the hosts to rope in the youth as audience for the classical concerts.
BMC president Aurobindo Behera and general secretary Mahendra Misra also addressed the occasion where the souvenir was released.
Making her first-ever appearance in Orissa and having the rare honour of opening the festival with her recital, Kolkata-based young and acclaimed Hindustani vocalist Kaushiki, daughter and disciple of well-known musician Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty, mesmerised the audience with her mellifluous rendition of the raaga Maru Bihag followed by a thumri and a Meera bhajan. The gifted singer, whom A.R. Rahman roped in for Deepa Mehta's film Water, had a team of young and talented accompanists -- Rupak Bhattacharya on tabla and Gaurav Chatterjee on harmonium.
Feast for eyes
The evening's concluding concert by distinguished Odissi musician Pt. Damodar Hota was a feast for the eyes and the ears. Singing with the zest of a 17-year-old, the 75-year-old vocalist and composer regaled with recital of a number of rare raagas and hooked the audience to their seats till late evening. His presentation portrayed how Odissi music was intimately associated with the rituals of the temple of Jagannath in Puri.