The Youth Festival at the Dadar Matunga Cultural Centre (DMCC) provides young talent with a platform. This Sunday, the Youth Festival features 27 year-olds Shruti Bhave Padhye on the violin and vocalist Tejashree Amonkar.
Amonkar, Indian classical singer Kishori Amonkar’s granddaughter, has performed only a handful of times and looks forward to tonight’s concert. “My grandmother, who is also my guru, decides when and where I perform. The last time DMCC invited me, she felt I wasn’t ready and forbade me from performing,” she adds.
Ask her what audiences can expect from her performance and she only reveals that it will be a classical music concert. “I will not delve into semi-classical. Mixing two contrasting styles spoils the atmosphere. Which raga I sing should be a surprise for the audience,” she quips.
Music has always been in the family, and Amonkar has been training off and on since childhood. “I started focussing on music only after college, where I studied fashion design,” she says. She also worked as a fashion illustrator and designer, quitting it when she realised she couldn’t juggle it with her passion for music.
Accompanying her vocals will be tabalchi Shantanu Shukla, Niranjan Lele on the harmonium, violist Milind Raikar, and Vanita Tambuskar on the tanpura. “Unfortunately, these artistes are far senior to me and have more concerts to practice for. Meeting them for practice sessions becomes quite difficult,” she rues, adding that she continues to practice every day in the mornings and in the evenings.
The other artiste who will perform on Sunday is Shruti Bhave Padhye, who has trained under veteran violinist D K Datar. She began learning to play the violin at the age of 16. Padhye will open the concert this evening and will perform solo.