The much-awaited Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Festival is organised by the Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal. Started by Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, in memory of his guru Sawai Gandharva or Rambhau Kundgolkar, the annual festival will celebrate its 61st year with a four-day celebration.
The highlight is that there will be nine young artistes performing for the first time. Srinivas Joshi, executive president, Arya Sangeet Prasar Mandal, which organises the annual festival, said that the event will feature a Veena performance as well. “It will be performed by Jayanthi Kumaresh who is one of the world’s leading Veena players. Veena is the instrument of Goddess Saraswati, so I feel that it will be a great thing to include the performance in the festival.”
An added attraction will be the Jasarangi Jugalbandi between Sanjeev Abhyankar and Dr Ashwini Bhide –Deshpande. Ustad Imarat Khan’s son and Sitarist Ustad Nishat Khan will enchant the audience along with legendary tabla player Anindo Chatterjee, as well. “There will be 23 performances given by 25 renowned artistes from across the country,” adds Joshi.
The festival will begin with a clarinet performance by Madhukar Dhumal. It will be followed by a performance of Reva Natu, a renowned singer from the Gwalior Gharana and a disciple of Digvijay Vaidya. Some of the other performers will be vocalist Harish Tiwari, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi’s student Pandit Upendra Bhat and Sitar player Mira Prasad.