Sawai Gandharva Music Festival(Last Updated 09 Jul, 2022)
The Sawai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav made a very humble beginning way back in the year 1953 and it has come a long way since then to emerge as one of the most prestigious music festivals not only in the state of Maharashtra but also in India. Sawai Gandharva was a stalwart of the Kirana Gharana of music and the mentor of Smt Gangubai Hangal, Pandit Feroz Dastur and Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, each of whom are very well recognized in the field of music. He passed away on 12th September, 1952 and the very next year his disciples decided to commemorate his death by organizing a music festival in his honor. It met with such phenomenal success in the year of its origin itself that they thought of arranging it each year. From then on it continued and now it has became one of the most awaited events in Pune's cultural calendar.
Time for celebrating the Sawai Gandharva Music Festival :
The festival is celebrated annually in the month of December for a period of three days.
Description of the Sawai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav :
The festival is a great platform for new comers to show case their talents. However many distinguished and renowned artistes also take to the stage. In fact one of the most unique aspects of this music festival is that it gives novices a chance to share space with accomplished artistes. They put up such delightful performances that the audiences are simply riveted to their seats.
This prestigious festival first started at Laxmi Krida Mandir but the venues have been changing in order to cope up with the large crowd which participates in the festival. It moved to Modibag, then to Renuka Swaroop School, English School grounds, finally in 1998 it was shifted to Ganesh Kala Krida Rangmanch. It is believed that the gathering which participates in this annual extravaganza each days numbers more than 15000. The organizers therefore had no other option but to shift the venues from downtown Pune to the outskirts of the city. It is increasingly gaining popularity because it delivers great music to the people.
The smooth and honeyed strain of Tukaram Daithankar's shehnai, the mesmerizing voices of Pandit Jasraj, Gangubai Hangal, Parveen Sultana and Malini Rajurkar, the Noteworthy performances of classical vocalists like Shaunak Abhishekhi, Ganpati Bhat, Sandipan Samajpati, Shalmali Joshi and Yadavraj Phad keep the audience enthralled. The concerts simply cast a spell over them all. Not necessarily that each and every one of these eminent artistes perform each year but it is definitely an occasion when Pune gets to witness the talents of several acclaimed classical musicians of the country.
The festival also has a well-known tradition of delicately poising vocal music and instrumental music. This is why apart from pleasing one's ears to the sonorous voices of the singers; one also gets a chance to listen to sarangi, sarod, sitar and other musical instruments. If you are a music lover, you surely cannot afford to miss out on the Sawai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav.