Artists to pay tribute to Pandit Bhimsen Joshi

Five-day programme begins today; organisers tweak name of festival to Sawai Gandharv Bhimsen Mahotsav to honour vocalist

Music lovers attending the 59th chapter of Sawai Gandharv Sangeet Mahotsav that begins today will miss the late music maestro Pt Bhimsen Joshi this year. Several artists, however, have decided to pay tribute to the legend in their own special ways. 

True maestro: Picture of Pt Joshi captured by late Hemant Pithwa will 
be enlarged and put up on the Sawai Gandharv dais. 

Sculptor Sharad Kapuskar will display a sculpture of the maestro at the venue, while Sateesh Paknikar will release a book Swaradhiraj Bhimsen, which is a compilation of 50 rare pictures of Pandit Joshi, along with a calendar based on the theme Singing Strings. Apart from this, Ram Wairkar, a noted caricature artist, has decided to display six caricatures of the singing maestro at the five-day music festival. 

Sharad Kapuskar will display the sculpture at the venue

As a token of respect to the Pandit, the organisers of the programme Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal have also changed the name of the festival to Sawai Gandharv Bhimsen Mahotsav. Kapuskar, who has been attending the Sawai festival for several years, had created a sculpture of Pt Joshi in 1998. This sculpture will be displayed at the venue in Ramanbaug New English School, Shaniwar Peth. 

Photographer Sateesh Paknikar had shown his calender of musicians to 
late Pt Bhimsen Joshi. Pics/Krunal Gosavi

"Pt Joshi was a humble and a lovable person. I made this sculpture at his residence. The same sculpture was selected for the 2007 exhibition in London by Sculpture Society of Portrait Culture. I am pleased to display my work of art at the festival," he said.

Paying homage: Preparation of the  festival at New English School

Paknikar, a noted industrial photographer and music lover, has captured over 25,000 expressions of more than 400 musicians in the past three decades. "My book is a compilation of 50 rare and beautiful pictures of Pt Bhimsen along with his thoughts on music, since 1984," he said. Shrinivas Joshi, son of Pandit Joshi, said that a unique expression of the Pandit captured by noted media photographer late Hemant Pithwa, 15 years ago, would also be put up on the Sawai Gandharv dais. 

The 9 sqft frame of the picture is donated by Kolkata based industrialist Jayant Chaterjee as a tribute. A special exhibition of caricatures of various singers shall also be on display at the venue. Ram Wairkar, noted caricature artist, said, "It was fun to draw caricatures of the Pt Joshi. We will miss the maestro."

Excerpt from the book  Swaradhiraj Bhimsen
"The vocalist must not indulge in himself needlessly in matters of personal comfort and safety. Physically he should be fighting fit like a wrestler. It is not only vocal cords, but every organ in the human body sings!"- Pt Bhimsen 

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