Capturing audience emotion @ The Sawai Gandharva festival

The city’s most sought after music festival, the Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav, started on a melodious note yesterday. The first day was dedicated to shehnai legend, Ustad Bismillah Khan and his student Pandit S Ballesh and his son Krishna Ballesh. They performed several ragas and the iconic Thumri, Yaad Piya Ki Aaye. Their performance was followed by that of Gauri Pathare, a renowned vocalist from the Gwalior and Jaipur Gharana. Ustad Irshad Khan wowed the audience with his perfectly strung notes while playing the surbahar. The day came to a close with Pandit Ganapati Bhat, a Hindustani classical vocalist.

We try to capture the people’s emotions and feelings as they enjoy every performance at the festival.

In a deep trance while the shehnai plays
In a deep trance while the shehnai plays

Harish Thakkar has been attending the festival since 1969 and compares it with an Indrasabha, “The best of artists and musicians come to the Indrasabha as well as the Sawai. The people of Pune get the best here. It is a good platform for new artists.”

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Storing the musical memories

Seema Marulkar brings her mother to the festival every time, “I have been coming here since 22 years. I am very interested in classical music and I want to get my children accustomed to it.”

A child mimicking S Ballesh as he plays the shehnai
A child mimicking S Ballesh as he plays the shehnai

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