A foundation for the promotion of Indian classical music and arts got off to a promising start in Auckland last weekend.
The Mohan Nadkarni Foundation, named after one of India’s best-known musicologists and authors, was inaugurated with a concert of classical music with accomplished singers from Dubai, Australia and New Zealand.
A website with a selection of the Late Mohan Nadkarni’s fifty years of writings was also launched on the occasion. These writings were hitherto not available on the web and for the first time will be accessible to students, music lovers, historians and researchers free of cost, no matter where they are located.
The concert at the Green Bay High Performing Arts Centre began with a Ragamala performed by well-known Auckland vocalists Vidya Teke and Manasi Kulkarni. The 16-raga garland was performed with great finesse, setting the perfect tone to the fest of music that was to come.
Auckland’s Samir Bhalodkar on the Harmonium and Sanjay Dixit from Wellington on the Tabla accompanied all the vocalists with great aesthetics, skill and aplomb.
A film comprising artistes’ tributes to the author and musicologist was screened next. It featured Switzerland and US based sarod maestro Ken Zuckerman, celebrated violin exponent Kala Ramnath (based in Mumbai and the US) and well-known vocalist Vidushi Lalith J Rao from Bengaluru, India.
Dev Koppikar’s recital followed the film. The banker from Sydney who has always been a keen student of Hindustani vocal music rendered his fare brilliantly. He sang raga Madhuvanti followed by a couple of lighter pieces to the delight of the discerning audience that had swelled to fill the well-appointed auditorium.
It was post interval that the evening’s main highlight unfolded. Milind Chittal of the hallowed Kirana tradition of Hindustani vocal music – whose lineage boasts legends like Pandit Bhimsen Joshi and a host of others – began his offering with raga Puriya Kalyan followed by a rare rendition of the ancient Dhrupad-style ‘nome-tome’ in raga Abhogi that progressed into a khayal and a drut.
His rendition of the famous Marathi devotional abhang of Sant Eknath, Maaze Maher Pandhari, had the audience in raptures. He concluded with a traditional bhairavi.
The concert, which was organised in association with Might-I (Migrant Heritage Charitable trust), was well received, with many in the audience making a beeline for the stage to congratulate and thank the artistes for their sterling performances and click pictures.
The foundation plans to promote classical music education as well as endeavour to build platforms for young and upcoming talent while presenting quality performers to wider audiences in New Zealand.
To read the Late Mohan Nadkarni’s writings on the web, visit www.mohannadkarni.org
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