Santoor maestro Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma has been honoured with the annual Sangeet Martand Ustad Chand Khan Lifetime Achievement Award at the 23rd edition of the festival here.
A Padma Vibhushan recipient, the Jammu born musician played raga ‘Kausi-Kanda’ that left the audience spellbound at the festival where leading Hindustani music maestros come together to celebrate Indian classical art.
The award carries a cash prize of Rs 50,000, a memento and a citation.
Organised by Sursagar Society, the festival has been felicitating stalwarts of Indian classical music and dance with the award since 1986 to recognise their contribution towards enriching the art forms.
While last year, the honour was conferred upon Kathak exponent Pandit Birju Maharaj, others who have received the award in the past include Pandit Jasraj, Ustad Abdul Haleem Jaffar Khan, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan.
The two-day festival opened last evening with a duet of tabla maestro Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan and violinist Asghar Hussain who performed raag ‘Shyam kalian,’ an effortless blend of ‘gayaki,’ ‘ang’ and ‘tantkari ang’.
The festival aims to promote a musical spirit among “music connoisseurs from far and wide” as well as offer them an opportunity to connect with the art form.
“Music speaks directly to the heart. This echo within the heart is a proof that human hearts can transcend the barriers of time and space and nationality.
“The voice has the power to transform life from within, to strengthen and purify it,” Iqbal Ahmed Khan, General Secretary of Sursagar Society of Dilli Gharana, said.
Khan also paid a tribute to Ustad Chand Khan, founder of the Society with his rendition of raga ‘Anand Bihag’.
The final day of the festival will see a sarod recital by Pandit Tajendra Narayan Majumdar followed by a melodious vocal recital by Ashwini Bhide Deshpande.
Established by Ustad Chand Khan Sahab in 1940, the Sursagar society aims to conserve and promote an awareness of our rich and heterogeneous culture by focussing on the classical arts.