Jatin Mandawat, Correspondent
Everyone in the Students Activity Centre seemed lost in a buoyant trance. The occasion was the Santoor Concert by Padma Vibhushan Pandit Shivkumar Sharma accompanied by Pandit Ram Kumar Mishra on Tabla, on Wednesday, the 19th of October 2010.
Organized by SPIC MACAY (Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture Amongst Youth), the event was an inaugural to the VIRASAT 2011 series, a festival comprising of events that include modules like, Classical Music concerts – both Carnatic and Hindustani, Classical dance, Folk performances, Craft, Workshops, Talks and Classical cinema to be conducted from 19th Oct 2011 to 23rd Dec. 2011 in educational institutions in Chennai and other cities of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.
A 34 year old movement- founded by Padma Sri Dr Kiran Seth of IIT Delhi and run by volunteers, SPICMACAY organizes more than 3500 events all over India in educational institutions with an outreach in countries like the USA, UK and few European countries, organizing classical music and dance performances.
To attend a concert by the Santoor maestro Pandit Shivkumar Sharma himself, fervid admirers from all walks of life showed up at SAC. Regarded as one of the most proficient performers, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma is the master instrumentalist of the Santoor. In fact, popularization of the Santoor is accredited to him. Collaborating with flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia, he had composed music for some hit Bollywood movies like Silsila and Lamhe amongst others. He has also received prestigious awards like the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1986, the Padma Shri in 1991, and the Padma Vibhushan in 2001.
The concert commenced with a brief introduction to the classical genre incorporating Hindustani and Carnatic music styles and the intricacies involved in them. The opening composition was Vachaspati rag played in Hindustani style essentially originated in Carnatic form followed by Pahadi rag accompanied by Dadra and Teen Taal encompassing Thumri. The subtle, swift alteration between high and low musical notes and scales in the performance, ably accompanied with the Tabla did compel the crowd for a thunderous applause on numerous occasions. The exuberance of the audience was evident in the fact that admirers preferred to sit on the ground just for the sake of being closer to the stage and the artiste.
The turn up of such a large number of students despite the quiz week ascertained the fact that quite a lot of them considered Indian Classical Music to be eternal bliss. This concert was one-of its-kind and will be remembered for a long time to come, undoubtedly.