When the maestros take the stage
Back in 1977, Pandit CR Vyas had started the Gunidas Sangeet Sammelan under the aegis of the Maharashtra Lalit Kala Nidhi (MLKN), a charitable trust founded by him. The annual music festival is held in the memory of the late Pandit Jagannath Buwa Purohit or Gunidas, a doyen of the Agra gharana, who was a renowned performer, Guru and composer of ragas and bandishes (which he composed under the pseudonym Gunidas; hence, the name of the festival).
In its 38th edition, the festival will feature legendary vocalist Pandit Jasraj, violin player Dr N Rajam, vocalist Pandit Prabhakar Karekar, santoor player Pandit Satish Vyas(Pandit CR Vyas’ son), vocalist Begum Parween Sultana and flautist Rupak Kulkarni. Upcoming artistes such as vocalist Ritesh and Rajnish Mishra, sitarist Lakshya Mohan Gupta, sarod player Aayush Mohan Gupta and vocalist Manjusha Kulkarni Patil will also be performing.
Begum Parween Sultana
On December 4, Ritesh and Rajnish Mishra from the Banaras Gharana will perform a vocal recital, followed by Rupak Kulkarni’s flute recital; he trained under Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia. The evening will conclude with a vocal recital by Pandit Jasraj.
Flautist Rupak Kulkarni
December 5 will begin with a sitar and sarod jugalbandi by Lakshya Mohan Gupta (sitar) and Aayush Mohan Gupta (sarod). Next up is a vocal performance by Pandit Prabhakar Karekar while the concluding performance will be by South Indian violinist Dr N Rajam, who performs Hindustani classical music.
Sitar player Lakshya Mohan Gupta and Sarod player Aayush Mohan Gupta
On December 6, there will be a session by vocalist Manjusha Kukarni Patil and a performance by santoor player Pandit Satish Vyas who trained under Pandit CR Vyas and Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma. The event will conclude with renderings by vocalist Begum Parween Sultana known for her khayal, bhajans and thumris.
Vyas throws light on this event, “My father founded the Maharashtra Lalit Kala Nidhi trust in 1973 for propagating Indian Classical music. In view of this, he started the festival in 1977, named after his Guru whose contribution to Classical music is humongous. Over the years, all the artistes have supported our Gunidas Sangeet Sammelan, which has helped us sustain the event.”
Pandit Jasraj, who has performed almost every year, at the Sammelan shares details about his ties with the festival: “I was closely associated with Pandit CR Vyas whom I looked upon as my elder brother and hence, I have been part of Gunidas Sangeet Sammelan from its inception.”
Begum Parween Sultana, who has also performed at most editions of the Sammelan, recounts, “Pandit CR Vyas was close to my father, who introduced him to me. He heard me singing when I was young, and predicted to my father that I would one day become an icon in Classical music.”
From: December 4 to 6, 6.30 pm
At: Nehru Centre, Worli.