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A night of classical Indian music

Published: 
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
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Pandit Ronu Majumdar, right, performs with the Sadhana School of Indian Music at the Vibrations Concert, held in Chicago, USA. Photo by:file

Chinmaya Mission T&T (CMTT), in collaboration with the Sadhana School of Music, Chicago, is staging what promises to be a spectacular stage production on Friday, July 27. Headlining the event is Pandit Ronu Majumdar, one of India’s classical music, internationally acclaimed flute maestros.

Majumdar, also referred to as RonuJi, is a master of the bansuri (flute) instrument, with the clearly discernable ability to adapt his presentations to absorb the techniques and patterns across all the musical genres of the flute. He will perform alongside Pandit Gouri Shankar, an equally renowned percussionist, popular for his musical magic on the Tabla and versatility on the Ghatam (clay pot percussions).

The concert will be held at the Chinmaya Ashram, located at Calcutta No 1, Mc Bean, Couva, at 7 pm.

This show promises to be an exquisite evening of Indian Classical Music, taking patrons across different eras, time zones and genres, underlined by the confluence of spirituality with music.

Contribution is only $50, with all profits from this event going to the construction of Chinmaya Mission’s Vidyalaya New School Campus.

About the star act

Majumdar, known in the Bollywood and Hollywood music circuit as India’s flute wizard, is also an acclaimed music composer and lyricist. The flautist maestro is best known for his work in the Hindustani classical space for more than 30 years and more recently, spearheading work as a Indo – world fusion music pioneer.

One of the most unusual circumstances is how he describes his introduction to the venu (flute), a situation where he says he just surrendered to destiny, realising that he did not choose the flute but the flute chose him.

Majumdar began playing at age six, under the guidance of his father, Dr Bhanu Majumdar, but not as an obedient child. In his early lessons, he would break several of the flutes, and punishment by his father was mandatory seven-eight-hour practice sessions. He describes this is when he fell in love with the instrument.

Following these early years of training with his father, Majumdar continued under the guidance of some of India’s greatest Indian musicians of that era, among them Pandit Panna Lal Ghosh, Pandit Vijay Raghav Rao, who groomed him into a concert flautist and, his later years, he was trained by and performed with the world renowned Grammy Winner Pandit Ravi Shankar.

Subsequent to his years of training, one of Majumdar’s first major wins—the All India Radio Competition 1981, was the platform from which he catapulted from concert performances into the Bollywood musical arena, collaborating with one of Bollywood’s grandest maestros RD Burman, very early is his career. Since the early 90s, his music has been a near constant in Bollywood soundtracks, with one if his most popular pieces, featured on 1942 —A Love Story.

Being open minded about collaborations has allowed Majumdar to work alongside esteemed artistes in the Bollywood and Hollywood music industry, composing, producing and directing pieces for esteemed vocal legends names such as: Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, former Beatle George Harrison, Bela Fleck, Ry Cooder, Jon Hassel and is ubiquitously known for his accompaniment alongside Jagjit Singh for almost 15 years of his career.

The maestro who practices and performs to show people the miracles and magic that the flute can create, Majumdar holds to his name, a speciality instrument, and the “shank bansuri,” conceptualised and created by himself.

Also, to his credit, among his many awards and accolades, are India’s prestigious President’s Gold Medal Award of India in 1981 to a Grammy Award nomination, to Guinness World Record.

Most recently, in 2017, Majumdar was honoured by the Films Division of India by having a full length documentary film produced on his life and his work. Aptly titiled, Bansuriwala (Carrier of the Flute), it captures his work, the exploration of and journey with the flute and also includes opinions of great Indian musical legends.

This concert is an opportunity to experience Majumdar’s exquisite music, alongside Pt Gouri Shankar on Tabla and Ghatam (clay pot percussion), a tabla maestro with more than 30 years’ experience. The show promises to be a great night of Indo classical music with India’s modern day Mozart.

For more information on the July 27 concert, contact the Chinmaya Ashram (679 – 3652) or email chinmayamissiontnt@gmail.com

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