NewZNew (New Delhi) : Some of the country’s most renowned exponents of Hindustani classical music came together to paint a monsoon-laden Delhi in the beautiful colors of Thumri music as the three-day annual Thumri festival opened to a resounding welcome in the capital.
The annual Thumri Festival, presented by Delhi Government’s Department of Art, Culture & Languages and Sahitya Kala Parishad brings together the maestros of this art form with some outstanding young talent.
The festival was inaugurated at the Kamani Auditorium today by Shri Manish Sisodia, Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister, Government of Delhi. Shri Kapil Mishra, Hon’ble Minister for Water, Law & Justice, Tourism, Art, Culture and Languages, Government of Delhi, was the chief guest at the opening.
The opening day of the festival saw participation from veteran Hindustani classical vocalist Pandit Channulal Mishra, who is a noted exponent of the Kirana school of classical music and is known especially for his mastery of Khayal and Purab Ang gayaki of Thumri. The Padma Bhushan awardee has a wide following among lovers of the Hindustani classical music tradition.
Pandit Mishra had other younger exponents for company on the opening day of the festival. Ms Aarti Ankalikar, another noted exponent of the classical music tradition also regaled the audience with her gayaki. The day also saw a performance by Ms Kakli Mukherjee, a promising young talent in the field.
Once among the most popular art forms in the royal courts of Awadh, Thumri is still adored and followed by the lovers of Hindustani classical tradition. The beauty of Thumri lies in the fact that it is semi-classical form of singing which appeals equally to the connoisseurs of classical music as well as those who prefer lighter musical art forms.
The three-day Thumri Festival will see participation from some of the veterans of Hindustani classical music such as Girija Devi and Ustad Ghulam Sadiq Khan over the next two days.
The second evening of the festival will see performances by Anjali Pohankar, Devasish Dey, and Ustad Ghulam Sadiq Khan. The final evening will have young classical music exponents Uma Garg and Nabhodeep Chakroborty render the musical form.
The festival will have a fitting finale when Girja Devi, the 84-year-old maestro of Thumri who has made immense contribution to the profile of this art form over several decades, takes the stage.
“Thumri is one of the most loved genres of Indian music which has a wide appeal. It is not only valued by an audience discerning enough to appreciate Hindustani classical music, but also appeals to the audience who might not be as well-versed in pure classical music. Despite much talk in recent years about the diminishing followers of the classical tradition, Thumri has always had its loyal audience,” says Girija Devi.
Thumri rose in popularity in the 19th century under the patronage of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah. Romantic and devotional in nature, the genre is a blend of Hindustani classical with traits of folk literature and music. The dohas of Indian bhakti poets form the core of the content of Thumri songs.
“Thumri is often an expression of the love for Lord Krishna and with time a number of lighter forms have emerged from its folds like Dadra, Chaiti, Hori, Kajari, Saavan and Jhoola. With its power to attract audiences, Thumri has been able to keep alive the tradition of Bhakti poets, despite emergence of new forms of entertainment. It becomes important to give a greater platform to artists who practice it and take it down generations. It is heartening to see young and fresh blood taking up the art form with zest,” says Ustad Ghulam Sadiq Khan.