: Kolkata: Vocalist Meeta Pandit, music artist Bharati Prathap, singer Haimanti Sukla, sarod player Tejendra Majumdar and music composer Kumar Bose at a press conference during 67th Annual ' .... Image Source: IANS

Kolkata, Jan 3 : The four-day 67th Dover Lane Music Conference, an annual gathering of classical music connoisseurs from across the country and abroad, is set to begin from January 22 and would be dedicated to the memory of the late Surbahar (bass sitar) legend Vidushi Annapurna Devi, organisers said here on Thursday.

The music conference, to be held at Nazrul Mancha, would also pay tribute to Ustad Imrat Khan - another maestro known for promoting the sitar and the surbahar internationally - and venerable classical singer Pandit Arun Bhaduri.

"This year we will pay tribute to Vidushi Annapurna Devi, Ustad Imrat Khan and Pandit Arun Bhaduri. We also remember people of other disciplines who passed away last year like director Mrinal Sen, author Nirendranath Chakraborty, singer Dwijen Mukhopadhyay and others," Avijit Majumder, general secretary of The Dover Lane Music Conference told reporters here on Thursday.

The conference will witness performances by stalwarts of Indian Classical music including iconic flutist Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, vocalist Pandit Jasraj, dhrupad specialists Gundecha Brothers (Ramakant and Umakant) and many more.

The Sangeet Samman Award 2018 will go to Haimanti Shukla, a noted Hindustani classical vocalist of West Bengal, Majumdar said.

Shukla can sing khayal, thumri, ghazal, dadra, chaiti and Bengali film and non-film songs with equal ease.

The event will showcase an instrumental ensemble by Maihar Band (trained by Ustad Allauddin Khan) on the first day, a sitar-cello duet by Shubhendra Rao and Saskia Rao on the second day and a slide guitar-flute duet on January 25.

"It is a privilege to perform in Dover Lane concert where my Guruji (teacher) Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar and other masters will perform. The ambience here is filled with positive energy and the audience also listen to the music with great attention," vocalist Omkar Dadarkar said.

Majumder pointed out that 'Talent Search' is also an integral part of the programme. The contenders were tested in December 2018, the results will be posted on the website on January 5 and they will be awarded on the inaugural day.

Asked about using the internet for the publicity for the event he said: "Till date, we haven't uploaded any recording online but we are planning to do so. Maybe by next year, we can put up something. Also, we are not going for an online ticket booking as we have a limited number of seats."
The conference started on a sudden impulse in 1952 when a few music lovers of Dover Lane and adjoining localities staged a three-night cultural programme, which included drama, songs and music - both classical and light.

Among those who have performed at the festival in previous years are D.V. Paluskar, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Tarapada Chakraborty, Chinmoy Lahiry, Amir Khan, Bhimsen Joshi, Balmurali Krishna, Nazakat & Salmat Khan (Pakistan), Nisar Hussain Khan, Manas Chakraborty and Ajoy Chakraborty.

Rashid Khan, Gangubai Hangal, Hirabhai Barodkar, Kesarbai Kerkar, Sarswati Rane, Naina Devi, Kishori Amankar, Parween Sultana, Bismillah Khan, Ali Akbar Khan, Ravi Shankar, Vilayat Khan, Nikhil Banerjee, M.S. Gopalkrishnan, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Shiv Kumar Sharma have also mesmerised the audience with their renditions.

Recognised as the premier organisation of its kind in Eastern India, its annual programme of Indian classical music draws a music-loving crowd of over 4,000 every night of performance.

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