Noted flautist Pt Hari Prasad Chourasia was today conferred this year’s Sumitra Charat Ram Award for lifetime achievement in the field of Indian classical music.
The prestigious award was given to the 78-year-old artist by Lt Governor Najeeb Jung at a function here.
“The award is given to individuals who have excelled in the field of Indian classical dance and music or other disciplines of the Indian art and culture, including theatre during the last 15 years and who had a significant impact in promoting a particular art form,” the Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra said in a statement.
The prize is named after Sumitra Charat Ram, of the illustrious Shri Ram family, who played a key role in the revival of the performing arts traditions, specially kathak and Hindustani music in north India.
She was also the founder of Shiram Bharatiya Kala Kendra, one of the country’s premier institutions of performing arts.
“The prestigious Sumitra Charat Ram Award for Lifetime Achievement 2016 was presented to Pandit Hari Prasad Chourasia today at Kamani Auditorium by Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung in the presence of Chairman, Sangeet Natak Akademi Shekhar Sen.
“The award presentation was followed by a classical flute recital by Pt Chaurasia,” the Kendra said.
Kendra’s Director and Vice Chairperson, Shobha Deepak Singh, said, “Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra instituted the award to create a benchmark that custodians of Indian cultural forms will value, carrying forward the global legacies that have taken birth in India”.
Chaurasia, a Padma Vibhushan Awardee, started learning vocal music from his neighbour, Pandit Rajaram, at the age of 15.
“Later, he switched over to playing the flute under the tutelage of Pandit Bholanath Prasanna of Varanasi for eight years. He joined the All India Radio, Cuttack, Odisha in 1957 and worked as a composer and performer. Later he received guidance from the reclusive Annapurna Devi, daughter of Baba Allaudin Khan,” the Kendra said.
The award carries a purse, citation, shawl and a silver plaque.
The past recipients of the award include Pt Birju Maharaj (kathak), Kishori Amonkar (Hindustani vocal), Mayadhar Raut (Odissi), Pt Jasraj (Hindustani vocal) and Kumudini Lakhia (kathak).