City resonates with the sounds of sitar

Music festival

UMAK Centre for Culture, which has been in the forefront promoting India’s rich culture and heritage, recently, presented a two-day UMAK Festival dedicated to classical music and dance by renowned maestros at the India Habitat Centre.  

The cultural centre is named after one of the greatest sitar maestros, Ustad Mushtaq Ali Khan (UMAK) and the prestigious festival is held every year to celebrate the classical heritage and the rich legacy of the doyens of Indian classical music. This year the UMAK Festival featured an orchestra ensemble and dance presentation by the students of UMAK Centre for Culture, followed by a sitar recital by sitar maestro Padma Bhushan Pandit Debu Chaudhuri on day 1, i.e., on June 2. 

Day 2 saw another grand evening featuring sitarist Pandit Prateek Chaudhuri, son of Padma Bhushan Pandit Debu Chaudhuri and a santoor jugalbandi by Padmashri Pandit Bhajan Sopri and his son Abhay Sopori. In addition, the maestros were also accompanied by tabla maestros Ustad Akram Khan and Ustad Rafiuddin Sabri.

The two-day grand affair was an event worth attending for classical music aficionados. 

Speaking to Metrolife post the event, Pandit Debu Chaudhuri, said, “I am really satisfied with the response of the audience. I started this event in the name of my Guru Ustad Mushtaq Ali Khan and I am really proud to carry on his legacy. I also felicitated all my students who participated in this festival.”

Rueing the fact that youngsters today are not keen on learning sitar and tabla, the maestro said, “Children nowadays only want to learn guitar and keyboard. No one wants to learn sitar or tabla. The situation is really sad. They are so much in love with films and because of this we are losing our culture.”

The Centre is recognised by the Government of India as one of the leading cultural organisations of the country which has been involved in preserving and promoting the rich heritage, culture and traditions of India.

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