The Telegraph
Monday , January 28 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
CIMA Gallary

Sitar orchestra as a tribute to Ravi Shankar

- 50 sitarists and santoor player to perform at Rabindra Bhawan on Sunday in remembrance

Jan. 27: Sitars are here, ready to pay tribute to a maestro.

As many as 50 sitars will be played on February 3 in the city to pay tribute to sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar, who passed away on December 11, 2012.

The programme is being organised by Talim, a society for promotion of Indian classical music and Unike Media at Rabindra Bhawan. Sitar player and president of Talim, Hem Hazarika, will conduct the sitar orchestra.

“This classical music programme is the first of its kind in the Northeast and is going to pay tribute to the sitar maestro ,” said an organiser.

Ravi Shankar, who was one of the best-known Indian musicians, retains the credit of introducing sitar to the West.

Renowned musicians from across the nation, including Pandit Manilal Nag and Mita Nag from Calcutta, will perform at the event.

Pandit Manilal Nag belongs to the fifth generation of the Nag family of instrumentalists of the Bishnupur Gharana in Bengal, which is known to be around 300 years old. Sangeet Natak Akademi award-winner Nag has wide experience of performing in many countries abroad. He started learning sitar at the age of five and his debut performance was at the age of 14.

Nag has had the unique opportunity of being close to music stalwarts like Ustad Allauddin Khan, Pandit Kanthe Maharaj, Pandit Omkarnath Thakur, Pandit Vinayak Rao Patwardhan, Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan and Ustad Ahmed Jan Thirakwa. He has performed at music conferences all over India as well as at international music festivals and concerts held at UK, the US, Canada, Italy, France, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, Japan, Fiji and Nepal.

Mita is Manilal Nag’s daughter. She is the sixth-generation of sitar players in her family. She appeared at her debut programme at the age of 10.

She has performed in a number of concerts solo as well as duet recitals with her father in major cities in India and in many cities in the US, Canada, Japan and Europe.

Previously, Talim organised and performed several programmes, including the Hundred Sitar Programme in 2010 in the city, which received statewide appreciation.

Santoor maker and player, Subir Mukherjee, from Calcutta, will play the instrument at the event. Though Mukherjee started his musical journey with tabla but later on shifted to santoor. His santoors, with some innovative changes, have been exported abroad. He has been a regular santoor performer in many classical music conferences.