Hindustani tunes in the land of Carnatic

What started as a humble concert has turned into a platform that brings together Hindustani musicians from all walks of life.

Published: 07th November 2018 10:31 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th November 2018 09:02 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

CHENNAI : What started as a humble concert has turned into a platform that brings together Hindustani musicians from all walks of life. This has been an exhilarating journey,” says Krishna Ballesh, co-founder, Tansen Academy of Hindustani Music, as he talks about the academy’s annual ‘Ras Barse Utsav’ concert, an initiative to preserve the legacy of the academy’s gurus.

“This is the fourth edition of the musical utsav and is conceptualised to give a tribute to gurus — Ustad Bismillah Khan Saheb and Shehnai Samrat Pandit Sanna Bharamanna Gawai,” shares Krishna Ballesh, who launched the Utsav with his father S Ballesh in 2015. “Earlier, my father and my uncle used to host a Hindustani concert at a small level.

They organised it for four decades but it came to a halt due to a few unfortunate incidents. Ras Barse Utsav is an upgraded version of the concept. It is the brainchild of my father and his uncle along with my vision of taking Hindustani music to every nook and cranny of the country,” says Krishna who trains about 500 students in his academy in Chennai.

“When we started the academy in 1999, there were only a few students. People thought that Hindi songs were Hindustani music. From then to now, we have come a long way,” he beams.The musical evening will also be followed by an award ceremony.

“Our academy has always focused on identifying and encouraging talent. This year, the prestigious Bharat Ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan and Pt Sanna Bharamanna Gawai smarak Kala Ratna Awards will be presented to Vishwa Mohan Bhatt for his unparalleled contribution to Hindustani music, and his pioneering concept of the mohan veena,” shares Krishna Ballesh.

Senior musicians from classical backgrounds and the film industry will be honoured with the Gaurav Puraskar. “This year, it will be presented to Yogesh Samsi, accompanist and a soloist;  Purushothaman rhythm player — Illayaraja’s conductor, and Srinivasa Murthy, violinist — AR Rahman’s conductor,” he says. The Yuva Kala Puraskar will be awarded to upcoming Hindustani musician Aranyakumar, sitar player and disciple of Rajeev Taranath.

This edition will also feature solo performances by Grammy award winner Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, and S Ballesh followed by a jugalbandi. “From IAS officers, advocates, playback singers to cinema actors, several celebrities are part of our academy. Our students and their families have been our main support system in this journey. To set foot in Chennai, which has a thriving tradition of Carnatic music, and create awareness about Hindustani music isn’t an easy task. But, we have managed to do it and we couldn’t be more happier. The journey will continue,” he adds.

(The fourth edition of Ras Barse Utsav will be held on November 9 at the Narada Gana Sabha, TTK Road, from 5.30 pm to 9.30 pm. Tickets are available on bookmyshow. For details call: 9952993992)


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