Three-day Annual Thumri Festival to Enthrall Music Lovers in Delhi

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  • Delhi Government’s Department of Art, Culture & Languages and Sahitya Kala Parishad present Thumri Festival, 2015 from Aug 7-9
  • Veteran exponents of Hindustani classical music Girija Devi, Pandit Channulal Mishra and Ustad Ghulam Sadiq Khan to participate

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NewZNew (New Delhi) : 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.

A three-day Thumri Festival that opens on August 7 at Kamani Auditorium in the capital is set to add to the beautiful melody of pouring raindrops and the rhythms of cool monsoon laden winds. Some of the veterans of Hindustani classical music such as Girija Devi, Pandit Channulal Mishra and Ustad Ghulam Sadiq Khan will be among the vocalists participating in the festival.

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 will be inaugurated 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, will be the chief guest at the festival.

For the lovers of Hindustani classical music, the repertoire of the tradition is incomplete without Thumri. The beautiful blend of Hindustani classical music with traits of folk literature, Thumri is among the most eloquent traditions of Indian art.

Over three days, nine vocalists who have mastered the beautiful art form of Thumri will entertain the audience.

The first day will have the young talents Aarti Ankalikar and Kakli Mukherjee rub shoulders with the veteran Pandit Channulal Mishra. 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.