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Bishnupur Music Festival gears up for another edition

7 January, 2021 17:45:59
Bishnupur Music Festival gears up for another edition

As the name suggests, the Bishnupur gharana of Hindustani classical music originated in Bishnupur, West Bengal, possibly way back in the 13th and 14th centuries, though it became popular from the 17th century onward. It follows the dhrupad tradition, one of the two forms of Hindustani classical music. Once the domain of the Malla kings, who owed allegiance to the Mughal empire, the erstwhile 'Mallabhum' and modern-day Bishnupur was, as many historical records suggest, the cultural capital of eastern India.

The Bishnupur Music Festival, a unique initiative of the West Bengal Tourism Department, pays homage to those long-ago pioneers, and keeps the rich cultural heritage of the land of the Malla kings alive.

The Bishnupur gharana remains the only vocal gharana of West Bengal, and owes much of its popularity to Bahadur Khan. A descendant of Tansen and a dhrupad vocalist of the Senia gharana, Khan fled Aurangzeb's court, like many other musicians, and settled in Bishnupur, already known for its patronage of the arts. An accomplished vocalist and instrumentalist, Bahadur Khan became the court musician of king Raghunath Singh Deo II, and soon acquired a number of disciples.

Today, the Bishnupur Music Festival, a unique initiative of the West Bengal Tourism Department, pays homage to those long-ago pioneers, and keeps the rich cultural heritage of the land of the Malla kings alive. At par with the Khajuraho or Konark Dance Festivals in terms of popularity and reach, the festival has inevitably had to be scaled down this year owing to the Covid pandemic, but it will nevertheless go ahead, and as always, draw some of the finest names in contemporary Hindustani classical music. 

The Bishnupur gharana remains the only vocal gharana of West Bengal, and owes much of its popularity to Bahadur Khan. A descendant of Tansen and a dhrupad vocalist of the Senia gharana, Khan fled Aurangzeb's court, like many other musicians, and settled in Bishnupur, already known for its patronage of the arts.

Scheduled to be held between January 8 and 10, 2021, the festival will see the participation of renowned vocalists and instrumentalists such as Pt Tarun Bhattacharya, Pt Tanmoy Bose, Pt Sandipan Samajpati, and Pt Debashis Bhattacharya, and Pt Ronu Majumdar, alongside several other performers such as . the programme will begin at 4.00 pm on each day and end at 7.00 pm, stretching to 8.00 pm on the final day.

Needless to add, Covid protocol will be strictly followed during the festival, and though open to all, all social distancing norms shall be maintained. 
 

Story Tag:
  • Bishnupur Music Festival

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