Pune: The 65th edition of Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav kicked off in the city on Wednesday.
The festival opened with Shehnai recital by Madhukar Dhumal. This was followed by a performance by Dr Vijay Rajput, a vocalist from Delhi, currently staying in England, who had also got a chance to learn from Pt Bhimsen Joshi. Following this, Pt Debashish Bhattacharya from Kolkata gave a stunning performance on Chaturangi, also known as the Slide Guitar.
The evening ended with power-packed performances by the veteran vocalist duo of Benaras Gharana, Pt Rajan - Sajan Mishra and mesmerising flute recital by Padma Vibhushan Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia.
‘Swaramaitra 2018’, the calendar themed around the friendship of Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma and Padmavibhushan Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia was also released by the latter on Wednesday.
As always, the audience was full of people belonging to all age groups. Along with senior citizens, who have been attending the festival for several years, youngsters were also seen attending the festival in huge numbers.
‘Glory of Strings’, an exhibition of photographs of string instrument players of three generations by Paknikar, has also been set up at the festival venue.
In order to cater to foodie Puneites, like every year, numerous food stalls, selling almost everything from full meals to snacks, and hot and cold beverages were set up at the venue.
Earlier, on Wednesday morning, documentaries ‘Music Of India’ (Instrumental) by Bhaskar Rao, ‘Ravi Shankar’ by Pramod Pati, and a documentary on Pt Vishnu Digambar Paluskar by SB Nayampally were screened, followed by the interaction between Shrinivas Joshi, Executive President of Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal and renowned vocalist of Patiyala Gharana Kaushiki Chakrabarty.
The 65th Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav will have performances of 28 renowned artists, including veterans as well as nine promising youngsters, who will be performing for their first time in Sawai.