Sixth Bengal classical music fest opens

Curtains will go up today on the sixth edition of the Bengal Classical Music Festival, hailed as the biggest classical music festival in the world, at the Abahani grounds in the capital’s Dhanmondi.

This is the first time the festival is being held at a new venue, as the Army Stadium –the venue for the last five editions — was not allotted to Bengal Foundation, the organisers of the event. The decision prompted the cancellation of the originally-scheduled mega event, set to be held November 25-29, although it was later re-scheduled for December 26-30 at the new venue.

Like in previous years, the festival will continue from 7:00pm to 5:00am every day and feature the most prominent Eastern classical musicians in the world. This year’s festival is dedicated to eminent litterateur Professor Emeritus Dr. Anisuzzaman.

At the opening ceremony tonight, Finance Minister AMA Muhith will inaugurate the festival, where cultural affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor will be present as a special guest. Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Harshvardhan Shringla, Barrister Fazle Nur Taposh, Abahani Limited Chairman Salman F Rahman and Square Group Chairman Anjan Chowdhury will also be present.

The festival will open with a joint performance by Dr. L Subramaniam’s Carnatic (South Indian classical) violin with the Astana Philharmonic Orchestra’s western classical music.

The five night-long bonanza will see legends of Indian classical music perform, including Pandit Jasraj, Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma, Dr. L Subramaniam, Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty, Ustad Rashid Khan and Vidyan Vikku Vinayakram, among many others performing a wide array of music and dance. Bangladeshi artistes including Firoz Khan, Gazi Abdul Hakim, students of Bengal Parampara Sangeetalay and Government Music College will also perform on the same stage.

The festival is presented by Square and organised by Bengal Foundation, with support from BRAC Bank. Channel i is the broadcast partner. Blues Communications will be the event management company, with cooperation from Perfect Harmony, Singapore.

For detailed coverage of the festival, including the schedule of performing artistes, please see the Arts & Entertainment page (Page 9).