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Date with classical greats

The city’s most prestigious annual tryst with classical music gets underway from January 22 when a host of musicians come together for the 61st annual session of The Dover Lane Music Conference, presented by Desh.

The conference will be inaugurated by governor M.K. Narayanan and the Sangeet Samman Award for 2013 will be presented to Pandit Manilal Nag, the sitar maestro from the Bishnupur gharana.

“We are 61 years old now but that doesn’t mean we’re old. We’ll never grow old because the attraction of this conference has only gone up over the years,” said Pradipta Sankar Sen, the conference chairman.

The line-up for this year’s conference, from January 22 to 25 at Nazrul Mancha, includes stalwarts like Ulhas Kashalkar, Meeta Pandit and Sanjeev Abhyankar on vocals, Partho Sarothy and Kartik Seshadri on a sarod-and-sitar duet and Shahid Parvez Khan on sitar on Day One. Day Two will feature Pandit Shivkumar Sharma on santoor, Nishat Khan on sitar and Parween Sultana, Arshad Ali Khan and Kaivalyakumar Gurav on vocals.

Day Three begins “on a special note with a jugalbandi between two women musicians for the first time — Pandit Manilal Nag’s daughter, Mita Nag, on the sitar and Anuradha Pal, a tabla artiste from Mumbai,” said Bappa Sen, the general secretary of the conference. That apart, there will be Hariprasad Chaurasia on the flute, Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt on the Mohan Veena, the Gundecha brothers, Ramakant and Umakant, rendering dhrupad in their own inimitable style and Chhannulal Mishra from Benaras on vocals.

The final night will see performances by Manjusha Patil and Shubhada Paradkar on vocals, Tejendra Narayan Majumdar on sarod and Ganesh and Kumaresh Rajagopalan on a violin duet. Pandit Jasraj will bring down the curtains on the conference. “I’ve been involved with The Dover Lane Music Conference since 1961. For me, this stage is like home. Calcutta is home. I’ve lived on 32, Kabir Road from 1949 to 1963. I hope the conference grows younger with every year. Jai ho!” he said on Friday.

“The first night of the concert will be dedicated to Pandit Ravi Shankar and the concluding night to Pandit Manas Chakraborty. We lost the stalwarts on the same day and would like these two nights to be in their memory,” said Bappa Sen.