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Archive for the ‘Culture (news)’ Category

R.I.P. … Sitar maestro Ustad Imdad Husain (1936-2016)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on April 2, 2016

(reprint 1:1 | courtesy to Dawn – 03/31/2016)

Sitar maestro Ustad Imdad Husain bows out

S.M. Shahid remembers Ustad Imdad Husain, who passed away on Easter Monday after a brief illness.

KARACHI: The gentle, unassuming, quiet, always smiling, and one of the most able and sincere teachers of sitar music, Ustad Imdad Husain, passed away on Monday after a brief illness.

Imdad Husain was born in Delhi in 1936. His family belonged to the famous Dehli Tabla Gharana. He received his early training from his father, Ustad Ahmadi Khan, who played sarangi. When his father died in 1946, he learnt from his cousin Sardar Husain Hashimi and, later, from his uncle, the legendary sarangi player, Ustad Zahoori Khan.

After his first performance at the age of 11 at the Lahore radio station, he came to live in Karachi where the then director general of Radio Pakistan, Zulfiqar Ali Bukhari, spotted him, saw great promise in the young boy and took him as a staff artist. Thus, Imdad started his music career at the Radio Pakistan, Karachi station, and flourished in the august company of such stalwarts as Ustad Ramzan Khan, Umrao Bundoo Khan, Wilayat Ali Khan, Nathoo Khan, and many others.

One of Imdad's (above right) greatest achievement was his excellent training skill. He trained his son, Ikhlaq Husain (above left), and maternal grandson, Turab Ali, who became accomplished and well-known professoinal artists in their own right - Photo courtesy

One of Imdad’s (above right) greatest achievement was his excellent training skill. He trained his son, Ikhlaq Husain (above left), and maternal grandson, Turab Ali, who became accomplished and well-known professoinal artists in their own right – Photo courtesy

Those were good times when we had sitar players of the calibre of Sharif Khan Poonchwalay and Kabir Khan; sarangi players Zahoori Khan, Nathoo Khan and Hamid Husain; sarod player Nazar Husain; tabla player Allah Ditta; ghazal singers Mehdi Hasan, Farida Khanum, Iqbal Bano regularly performing at the Karachi station.

Following the passing away of Z.A. Bukhari, Imdad left Radio Pakistan and joined the National Performing Arts Group. In 1973, he went to the UK and opened a music school in London and ran it for two years.

Then he returned to Pakistan and rejoined the National Performing Arts Group, run by the Pakistan National Council of the Arts. Here, besides regularly been called to the President House to perform in front of world dignitaries, he also represented Pakistan in many countries around the world. He once mentioned to me that he had visited Moscow as many as six times to play sitar in front of a keen Russian audience.

I remember, after returning from Dhaka where in 1986 he had gone as a member of the cultural troupe, which had Mehdi Hasan, Farida Khanum, Salamat Husain and Ghulam Farid Sabri as well, he was all praise for the reception they had received from the Bangladesh music lovers at the Saarc conference.

Imdad’s greatest achievement to my mind was his excellent training skill. He trained his son, Ikhlaq Husain, and maternal grandson, Turab Ali, who became accomplished and well-known professional artists in their own right. Ikhlaq is settled in New York and enjoys playing to discerning audiences in several cities of the US.

(Source: 03/31/2016 – Dawn | News)

Maternal grandson Turab Ali with Ustad Imdad Husain…

Imdad’s son Ikhlaq Husain on Sitar in September 2012…



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HAPPY HOLI to all our >17,960 FB group members of “INDIAN CLASSICAL”…

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on March 24, 2016

We wish to all >17,960 members of our uniquely FB group “Indian classical” a HAPPY HOLI Fest.
May your life be colourful with Joy, Fun, Happyness, Friendship, Love & MUSIC.

We wish to all >17,960 members of our uniquly FB group "Indian classical" a HAPPY HOLI Fest. May your life be colourful with Joy, Fun, Happyness, Friendship, Love & MUSIC.

Posted in Culture (news), IMC OnAir - News, Live around the globe, Medias, Religion (news) | Leave a Comment »

We remember the 241st birthday of composer Muthuswami Dikshitar

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on March 24, 2016

Saint Tyagaraja, Muthuswamy Dikshitar and Shyama Shastri -The Trinity of Carnatic music.

Saint Tyagaraja, Muthuswamy Dikshitar and Shyama Shastri – The Trinity of Carnatic music.

Muthuswami_DikshitarMuthuswami Dikshitar (March 24, 1775 – October 21, 1835) was a South Indian poet and composer and is one of the Musical Trinity of Carnatic music. His compositions, of which around 500 are commonly known, are noted for their contemplative nature and for capturing the essence of the raga forms through the vainika (veena) style that emphasises gamakas. They are typically in a slower speed (chowka kala). He is also known by his signature name of Guruguha which is also his mudra (can be found in every one of his songs). His compositions are widely sung and played in classical concerts of Carnatic music.

The musical trinity consists of Dikshitar, Tyagaraja (1767–1847), and Syama Sastri (1762–1827) although, unlike theTelugu compositions of the others, his compositions are predominantly in Sanskrit. He also had composed some of his Kritis in Manipravalam(admixture of Tamil and Sanskrit).

Muthuswami Dikshitar (March 24, 1775 – October 21, 1835)

Muthuswami Dikshitar (March 24, 1775 – October 21, 1835)

Muthuswami Dikshitar was born in Tiruvaruar (of Thiruvaruar district in what is now the state of Tamil Nadu) to a Tamil Iyer Brahmin couple Ramaswami Dikshitar(discoverer of Raaga Hamsadhwani) and Subbamma, as the eldest son. According to the account of Subbarama Dikshitar, Muttuswami Dikshitar was born in the manmatha year, in the month of Tamil Panguniunder the asterism Krittikaa. He was named after the temple deity, Muttukumaraswamy; legend has it that he was born after his parents prayed for a child in the Vaitheeswaran Temple. He had two younger brothers Baluswami, Chinnaswami and a sister Balambal.

In keeping with the tradition, Muthuswami learnt the Sanskrit language, Vedas, and other important religious texts. He obtained his preliminary musical education from his father.

While he was still in his teens, his father sent him on a pilgrimage with a wandering monk named Chidambaranatha Yogi to gain musical and philosophical knowledge. Over the course of this pilgrimage, he visited many places in North India and acquired a broad outlook that is reflected in many of his compositions. During their stay in Kashi (Varanasi), his guru Chidambaranatha Yogi, presented Dikshitar with a unique Veena and died shortly thereafter. The samādhi of Chidambaranatha Yogi can still be seen in Sri Chakra Lingeshwar temple at the Hanuman Ghat area in Varanasi.

His music

According to legend, his guru asked Muthuswami to visit Tiruttani (a temple town near Chennai). There, while he was immersed deep in meditation, an old man appeared and asked him to open his mouth. He dropped sugar candy into his mouth and disappeared. As he opened his mouth, he had a vision of the deity Muruga and Dikshitar burst forth into his first composition “Shri Nathadi Guruguho” in the raga Mayamalavagowla.

This song addressed the Lord (and/or the guru) in the first declension in Sanskrit. Dikshitar later composed kritis in all the eight declensions on the Lord. These are mostly with epithets glorifying the guru and have very few references to Lord Muruga or specifically to the deity in the saguna form, as at Thiruthani.

He then went on a pilgrimage visiting and composing at the temples at Kanchi, Tiruvannamalai, Chidambaram, Tirupathi andKalahasthi, before returning to Tiruvarur.

Muthuswami Dikshitar attained mastery over the Veena, and the influence of Veena playing is evident in his compositions, particularly the gamakas. In his kriti Balagopal, he introduces himself as a vaiNika gAyaka, “a player of the veeNA”. He experimented with the violin, and among his disciples, Vadivelu of the Thanjavur Quartet, and his brother Baluswami Dikshitar pioneered the use of violin in Carnatic music, now an integral part of most Carnatic ensembles.

Dikshitar’s prime

On his return to Tiruvaruar, he composed on every deity in the Tiruvarur temple complex including Tyagaraja (an amsham of Lord Shiva), the presiding deity, Nilotpalambal, his consort, and the Goddess Kamalambal an independent deity of high tantric significance in the same temple complex. This is when he composed the famous Kamalamba Navavarna cycle, filled with exemplary sahityas on the deities of the Sri Chakra which proved to be the showcase of his compositions. Thesenavavaranams were in all the eight declensions of the Sanskrit language and are sung as a highlight of Guruguha Jayanti celebrated every year. He continued to display his prowess by composing the Navagraha Kritis in praise of the nine planets. The sahitya of the songs reflect a profound knowledge of the Mantra and Jyotisha sastras. The Nilotpalamba Kritis is another classic set of compositions which revived dying ragas like Narayanagaula, Purvagaula, and Chayagaula


Muthuswami Dikshitar was approached by four dance masters from Tanjavur: Sivanandam, Ponnayya, Chinnayya and Vadivelu. They expressed their desire to learn music from him and entreated him to accompany them to Tanjavur. There, Dikshitar imparted to them the 72 mela tradition handed down by Venkata Vaidyanatha Dikshita. The students showed their gratitude by composing a set of nine songs called Navaratna Mala glorifying their guru. These four disciples became what is known as the Tanjore Quartet and are revered as the prime composers of music for Bharatanatyam. Among his students, Ponnayya (Also called Ponnayya Pillai) and Chinnayya (Also called Chinnayya Pillai) also served as court artists of Sri Swati Tirunal of Tiruvananthapuram (Trivandram – Kerala). Sri Ponnayya served as the principal of Annamalai University as well and trained many students in music there.

At a young age, Dikshitar was also exposed to the music of the Western bands at Fort St. George. At a later stage, Dikshitar composed some forty songs to several (mostly western folk) tunes loosely adopted to ragas such as sankarabharaNa. This corpus is now known as nottusvara sAhitya (etym. nottusvara = “notes” swara). The influence of Celtic and Baroque styles in these compositions is quite evident (e.g., Sakthi Sahitha Ganapatim, to the tune of voulez-vous dancerVarashiva Balam). There is an erroneous belief that these were composed at the behest of CP Brown, the Collector of Cuddappah. This is not possible as the two could have never met. Muttuswami Diskhitar had left Madras by 1799. Brown came to Madras only in 1817, learnt Telugu in 1820 and moved over to Cuddappah the same year.


On Deepavali day, in 1835, Dikshithar performed puja as usual and asked his students to sing the song “Meenakshi Me Mudam” in the raga purvikalyani raga.

As his students sang the lines “Meena lochani pasa mochani” he raised his hands and saying “Sive Pahi” and left his mortal coil.

His Samadhi is at Ettayapuram ( Mahakavi Bharathi’s Birth Place), between Koilpatti (14 km) and Tuticorin.


Muthuswami Dikshitar died on 21 October 1835. Dikshitar had a daughter but it was the descendants of his brother Baluswami who have preserved his musical legacy, and his compositions have been popularized due to the efforts of people like Subbarama Dikshitar and Ambi Dikshitar.

Baluswami Dikshitar, the sixth descendant in the line, a well-known vainika by his own rights, resided in Trichy and then moved to Chennai in 1957. He died in November 1985. He has two sons and two daughters. The eldest son, Muthuswamy, the seventh descendent in the line, retired as a top executive in the State Bank of India group of banks and then was the managing director and CEO of a private sector bank. The younger son runs his own small-scale industry near Madurai. Both daughters are married and well settled in Chennai.

The Raja Rajeswari, Vallabha Ganapathi, Sree Chakra, Banalingam, Saligramam and other idols, given to Shri Muthuswamy Dikshithar by his guru Chidambaranatha Yogi is in the family with the eldest son Muthuswamy along with the veena (with the upturned Yaali Mukha) with the Sanskrit inscription “Sri Ram” said to have been given to Dikshithar by Goddess Sarasvati, when he bathed in the river Ganges, as indication of his having attained Mantra Siddhi.

The grandson of Dikshitar’s only child – a daughter – was a Shri Venkatarama Iyer who took voluntary retirement in the 1940s from his position as Superintendent in the Secretariat of the then Madras State Govt to devote full time attention to his coconut plantation in what is now known as Seetamma Colony of Alwarpet in Madras (official new name is Chennai). The descendants of Shri Venkatarama Iyer are scattered all over the world, a feature if not typical, at least far from uncommon among Iyer families in the 21st century. His great grandson lives in Seetamma Colony with his mother and family, and other great grand children and their descendants live in Madras, Bangalore, Australia, the United Kingdom, Dubai, Doha, Canada and the United States.

Music compositions

His total compositions are about 450 to 500, most of which are very widely sung by musicians today in Carnatic music concerts. Most of his compositions are in Sanskrit and in the Krithi form, i.e., poetry set to music. Muthuswami Dikshitar traveled to many holy shrines throughout his life, and composed krithis on the deities and temples he visited. Dikshitar is considered to have composed on the widest range of deities for any composer.

Each of his compositions is unique and brilliantly crafted. The compositions are known for the depth and soulfulness of the melody — his visions of some of the ragas are still the final word on their structure. His Sanskrit lyrics are in praise of the temple deity, but Muthuswami introduces the Advaita thought seamlessly into his songs, resolving the inherent relationship between Advaita philosophy and polytheistic worship. His songs also contain much information about the history of the temple, and its background, thus preserving many customs followed in these old shrines.

Muttuswami also undertook the project of composing in all the 72 Melakartha ragas, (in his Asampurna Mela scheme) thereby providing a musical example for many rare and lost ragas. Also, he was the pioneer in composing samashti charanam krithis (songs in which the main stanza or pallavi is followed by only one stanza, unlike the conventional two). Dikshitar was a master of tala and is the only composer to have kritis in all the seven basic talas of the Carnatic scheme. Dikshitar shows his skill in Sanskrit by composing in all the eight declensions.

For richness of raga bhava, sublimity of their philosophic contents and for the grandeur of the sahitya, the songs of Dikshitar stand unsurpassed.

Muthuswami Dikshitar composed many kritis in groups. The List of compositions by Muthuswami Dikshitar describes those groups and compositions that belong to each group. Vatapi Ganapatim is regarded his best-known work.

Muthuswami Dikshitar composed one song (Shri Kantimatim Shankara Yuvatim Shri Guruguhajananim Vandeham.. Samashti Charanam Hrîmkâra Bîjâkâra vadanâm Hiranya manimaya Shôbhâ Sadanâm) on the Nellaiappar Temple goddess Kanthimathi Amman.This song is considered to be a rare song set in the rare raga.

He is also said to have composed a Rama Ashtapathi along with Upanishad Brahmendral at Kanchipuram. Unfortunately, this work has been lost.

(Source: 03/2016 –

Compositions of Muthuswamy Dikshitars
sung by Dr. M. Balamuralikrishn

Posted in Carnatic (ICM), Culture (news), IMC OnAir - News, Religion (news) | Leave a Comment »

The world celebrates 100th birthday of Shehnai legend Ustd. Bismillah Khan (21 March 1916 – 21 Aug 2006)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on March 21, 2016

Bismillah Khan (Urdu: استاد بسم اللہ خان صاحب‎; 21 March 1916 – 21 August 2006), often referred to by the honorific title Ustad, was an Indian musician credited with popularizing the shehnai, a subcontinental wind instrument of the oboe class. While the shehnai had long held importance as a folk instrument played primarily during traditional ceremonies, Khan is credited with elevating its status and bringing it to the concert stage.

He was awarded India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 2001, becoming the Third classical musician after M. S. Subbulakshmi and Ravi Shankar to be accorded this distinction.

Early life

Bismillah Khan was born on 21 March 1916 in Dumraon, Bihar in northern India. He was the second son of Bachaie Khan and Mitthan. His parents had initially named him Amiruddin, to rhyme with their first-born son Shamshuddin. However, his grandfather, Rasool Bux Khan, the shehnai master of the court of Bhojpur, exclaimed “Bismillah!” (“In the name of Allah!”) at the sight of him and thereafter he came to be known by this name.

His ancestors were court musicians and used to play in Naqqar khana in the princely states of Bhojpur, now in Bihar. His father was a shehnai player in the court of Maharaja Keshav Prasad Singh of Dumraon Estate, Bihar.

At the age of six, he moved to Varanasi. He received his training under his uncle, the late Ali Baksh ‘Vilayatu’, a shehnai player attached to Varanasi‘s Vishwanath Temple

Bihar Government has proposed setting up of a museum, a town hall-cum-library and installation of a life-size statue at his birthplce in Dumraon

Religious beliefs

Though a pious Shi’ite Muslim, he was also, like many Indian musicians, regardless of religion, a devotee of Saraswati, the Hindu Goddess of wisdom and arts and often played at Hindu temples, including the famous Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi, on the banks of the river Ganga He also performed for spiritual master Prem Rawat


Bismillah Khan was perhaps single-handedly responsible for making the shehnai a famous classical instrument. He brought the shehnai to the center stage of Indian music with his concert in the Calcutta All India Music Conference in 1937. He was credited with having almost monopoly over the instrument as he and the shehnai are almost synonyms.

Khan is one of the finest musicians in post-independent Indian classical music and one of the best examples of Hindu-Muslim unity in India. He played the shehnai to audiences across the world. He was known to be so devoted to his art form that he referred to shehnai as his begum (wife in Urdu) after his wife died. On his death, as an honour, his shehnai was buried with him. He was known for his vision of spreading peace and love through music.


Performances at Red Fort

Khan had the rare honor of performing at Delhi’s Red Fort on the eve of India’s Independence in 1947. He also performed raga Kafi from the Red Fort on the eve of India’s first Republic Day ceremony, on 26 January 1950. His recital had become a cultural part of India’s Independence Day celebrations, telecast on Doordarshan every year on 15 August. After the prime minister’s speech from Lal Qila (the Red Fort,) in Old Delhi, Doordarshan would broadcast a live performance by the shehnai maestro. This tradition dated from the days of Nehru.

Popular culture

Khan had a brief association with movies. He played the shehnai for Rajkumar‘s role of Appanna in the Kannada movie Sanaadi Appanna. He acted in Jalsaghar, a movie by Satyajit Ray and provided sound of shehnai in Goonj Uthi Shehnai (1959). Noted director Goutam Ghose directed Sange Meel Se Mulaqat, a documentary about the life of Khan.In the 1967 film The Graduate, there is a poster advertising “Bismillah Khan and the seven musicians” on a busy street of Berkeley, California.


Khan seldom accepted students. He thought that if he would be able to share his knowledge it wouldn’t be useful as it would only give his students a little knowledge. Some of his followers include S. Ballesh as well as Khan’s own sons, Nazim Hussain and Nayyar Hussain.

Personal life

On 17 August 2006, Khan was taken ill and admitted to the Heritage Hospital, Varanasi for treatment. He died after four days on 21 August 2006 because of a cardiac arrest. He is survived by five daughters, three sons and a large number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and his adopted daughter Dr Soma Ghosh (famous Hindustani shastriya sangeet exponent).

The Government of India declared a day of national mourning on his death. His body along with a Shehnai was buried at Fatemain burial ground of old Varanasi under a neem tree with 21-gun salute from Indian Army.


Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, instituted the ‘Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar’ in 2007, in his honour. It is given to young artists in the field of music, theatre and dance.

Awards and recognitions



Bismillah Khan had honorary doctorates from

Others include


  • Sanaadi Appanna – Played shehnai for Rajkumar‘s role in the movie.
  • Goonj Uthi Shehnai (1959) – shehnai recitals throughout the movie for Rajendra Kumar‘s role.
  • Maestro’s Choice (February 1994)
  • Megh Malhar, Vol. 4 (the other piece in the album is by Kishori Amonkar) (September 1994)
  • Live at the Queen Elizabeth Hall (September 2000)
  • Live in London, Vol. 2 (September 2000)
Contributing artist


  • Bismillah Khan: the shehnai maestro, by Neeraja Poddar. Rupa & Co., 2004. ISBN 81-291-0351-6.
  • Monograph on Shehnai maestro Bismillah Khan, by Amar jyoti, Shivnath Jha, Alok Jain, Anjali Sinha. Pub. Neena Jha & Shivnath Jha, 2005. ISBN 8175256400.
(Source: 03/21/2016 –

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R.I.P. Sarangi maestro Ustad Sabri Khan (05/21/1927 – 12/01/2015)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on December 1, 2015

Sarangi Maestro Ustad Sabri Khan (1927-2015)

Sabri Khan (1927-2015)

It’s a big loss in the world of Indian classical music. As I just got the infos from family member Suhail Yusuf Khan himself, the outstanding maestro on the Indian fiddel (Sarangi) is no more. Great Ustad Sabri Khan passed away within the family circly at home early morning in New Delhi on 1st December 2015, at the age of 87. Our condolences go to the family and close friends. – R.I.P.

Ustad Sabri Khan (Hindi: उस्ताद साबरी खान,(Urdu: استاد صابری خان), born 21st May 1927 in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh[1], died 1st December 2015 in New Dehli, Dehli) was an Indian sarangi player, who was descended on both sides of his family from a line of distinguished musicians.


  • Early life
  • Music career
  • Family
  • Awards and honour
  • References
  • External links

Early life

Khan belonged to the Sainia Gharana. This Gharana traces the tradition of its music back to Mian Tansen, the great vocalist in the court of Moghul Emperor Akbar. Khan had been initiated into Sarangi – playing by his grandfather, Ustad HajiMohammed Khan and later continued his training under his father Ustad Chajju Khan, both accomplished Sarangi exponents of their time. Khan also learned some important and rare techniques of playing this ancient and difficult instrument from his uncle Ustad Laddan Khan of Rampur.

Khan had a prodigious command over the Sarangi – bowed instrument, which is considered to be a difficult instrument to master in Indian instrumental music. In playing Sarangi he had generated his own style where the purity of raga, variety of tans, layakari, (rhythmic oscillations) alaap-jor are obvious and of course of the traditional form of sarangi-playing in its total originality.

Music career

Khan, had toured extensively across the world and performed in Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Japan, USSR, Russia, USA, Canada, England, France, Germany, theNetherlands, Belgium, Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Mexico.. The credit of introducing the Sarangi to American and European audiences goes to Khan. He had also played a duet with the renowned Yehudi Menuhin and had been invited as a visiting professor by the University of Washington, Seattle, USA.

In appreciation of his contribution to the Classical Music of India Ustad Sabri Khan had received numerous honours and awards, including the Sahitya Kala ParishadAward, UP Sangeet Natak Academy Award, National Sangeet Natak Academy Award and the prestigious Padma Shree Award (1992) and Padma Bhushan Award (2006) by the President of India – Government of India.[2]


Ustad Sabri Khan Sahib had 4 sons- Sarwar Sabri (Musician – Tabla; living in Birmingham), Jamal Sarwar Sabri (Chartered Accountant; living in Dubai), Kamal Sabri (Musician – Sarangi; living in Delhi) and the youngest Gulfam Sabri; musician ; living in Delhi and 5 Daughters. He has many grandsons playing musical instruments:Suhail Yusuf Khan (Sarangi), Faisal (Tabla), Shariq (Tabla), Junaid (Guitar) and Nabeel (Sarangi).

As reported by Shuail Yusuf Khan himself early morning on 1st December 2015 Sabri Khan demised within the family circle at their home in New Delhi.[3]

Awards and honour

  • Sahitya Kala Parishad Award
  • Shobhna Kala Sangam Award – 1985
  • Begum Akhtar Award
  • Sangeet Natak Akademi Award – 1986
  • Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Natak Academy Award, Luchnow, UP – 1990
  • Padma Shree Award by the President of India, Government of India – 1992
  • Ustad Chand Khan Award – 2002
  • Sangeet Bhushan Award – 2002
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – LEGENDS OF INDIA – DMA – Delhi – 2003
  • National Artist Award – All India Radio Prasar Bharti Award – 2004
  • Padma Bhushan Award by the President of India, Government of India – 2006
  • Tagore Ratna Award by Governor of Bengal-2012

Khan received several national awards, including the Padma Shri in 1992 and the Padma Bhushan in 2006.[4]


  1. Hunt, Ken. “Sabri Khan – Biography”. Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-03-16.
  2. “Padma Awards” (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2015.
  3. “Ustad Sabri Khan Saheb has passed away earlier this morning. 21st May 1927 – 1st Dec 2015”. Suhail Yusuf Khan (New Delhi). 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  4. “Padma Awards”. Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (India). Retrieved 2009-03-08.

External links


The Indian Fiddel played by a real master…

Ustad Sabri Khan plays Early Afternoon Raga Saugandh…


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India celebrates Diwali…. the Festival of Light (with beginning on 11th November 2015) …

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on November 11, 2015

What is Diwali ? – In India, Diwali is one of the most significant festivals. Diwali is the Festival of Lights.
It’s a fiveday celebration that includes good food, fireworks, colored sand, and special candles and lamps.


Posted in Culture (news), Live around the globe, Religion (news) | Leave a Comment »

HAPPY & BLESSED DIWALI to all our fans of Indian Classical Music !

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on November 11, 2015


We wish all our fans & music lovers of Indian Classical music, their families + friends
a HAPPY & BLESSED DIWALI 2015 ! – May we look beautiful new music ahead 🙂 

Posted in Culture (news), Indian Classical Music, Medias, Religion (news) | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

6th India Week Hamburg 2015 (2nd-8th Nov): Senate reception (opening)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on November 2, 2015

The relations between Hamburg and India are as varied and diverse as the country itself. With around 80 events Hamburg is now celebrating the sixth time the traditionally good relations with India. The India Week Hamburg invites from 2 to 8 November 2015 to to discover this diversity.

The opening ceremony of the India Week Hamburg in presence of the First Mayor of Hamburg is held in the City Hall. Invited are all organizers of the program and those who are actively involved in maintaining good relations between Hamburg and India. The Indian psychoanalyst and author Sudhir Kakar will present the keynote speech. The vocalists Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay and Christiane Iven present poems of the Nobel laureate in literature Rabindranath Tagore accompanied by Burkhard Kehring on the piano.


Senate reception for the opening of “India Week”

Welcome address Olaf Scholz.

Senate reception for the opening of “India Week”

Your Excellency,
Dear Mr. Kakar,
Dear members of the consular corps,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Olaf Scholz - 1st major of Hanseatic City Hamburg (North Germany)

Olaf Scholz – 1st major of Hanseatic City Hamburg (North Germany)

Mumbai’s most famous landmark, the historic Gateway of India, stands proudly on the waterfront of the city, overlooking the harbour. It greets travellers from every corner of the earth and invites them to discover a fascinating country. I myself had an opportunity to do that three years ago. The country and its people impressed me enormously. India unites tradition and innovation in a way that is truly unique.

So it is all the more pleasing to me that Hamburg, too, becomes a Gateway of India every two years. And having said that, dear guests, I welcome you most warmly to India Week 2015 on behalf of the Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.

India Week is taking place for the sixth time this year. The motto is: “Discover India in Hamburg”. And that is not too much of a promise. Until next Sunday our city will be transformed into a colourful kaleidoscope that will tempt the public to discover some of the many facets of India.

There is no denying that India is a land of superlatives and a land where extremes meet. With a population of 1.2 billion, the Republic of India is the world’s second-largest country and its biggest democracy. It is one of the ten largest economies and therefore an important global player. In some industries, especially in the IT sector, it has achieved a leading position. But at the same time – and that is India, too – one-third of the population lives on or under the subsistence level.

India Week is the biggest event of its kind in Germany. It has long become a good Hamburg tradition, and one that is becoming more and more popular. This year we are celebrating the biggest India Week ever. Nearly twice as many participants are involved as in 2013, and a large number of new sponsors and promoters have been found.

film actress Sharmila Tagore (born 8 Dec 1946)

film actress Sharmila Tagore (born 8 Dec 1946)

Preparations for the coming week have been going on for over a year. Many people have put great effort into this work – and I wish to thank them all most sincerely! The result is very pleasing. Visitors can look forward to top-class presentations from the fields of industry, politics and society. The programme includes both traditional topics and issues of importance to the present and the future.

Of course fans of Indian culture will find a great deal to interest them, too. The cultural events will account for a large part of the coming week – and much of its magic. Among other things we can look forward to musical and cinematic highlights, an Indian football match and the dance performance of a male ensemble. One important topic will be the strength of Indian women.

We are happy and honoured to welcome so many prominent personalities from India, including the outstanding actress Ms. Sharmila Tagore.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It’s four hundred years, now, since the first ships set out for India from the port of Hamburg, under extremely difficult conditions. In those days it took a good 20 weeks to reach their destination. But arduous as the journey was, trade between our nations flourished and German-Indian relations have become stronger all the time.

Hamburg’s foreign trade with India has nearly tripled since 2002 – from 450 million euros to about 1.25 billion euros. Over 236,000 standard containers are now handled in the port of Hamburg, including shipment via Sri Lanka. Our imports from India are mainly textiles, chemical products, and food and feed.

Our trade relations are by no means a one-way street. Proof of that is the latest record order from IndiGo to Airbus. 250 aircraft of the type A320neo are now to be built for the Indian airline.

Some 550 Hamburg companies engage in trade with India. More than a quarter of them have representative offices, affiliates or production facilities of their own in the country. And not without reason: the sub-continent offers enormous potential for growth – potential which is still far from being exploited to the full.

Companies that are treading new ground by entering the Indian market can count on support from Hamburg. Since 2011 the city has had a representative office in Mumbai and informs Hamburg investors about the opportunities awaiting them on the spot. In addition, two Hamburg Ambassadors represent the interests of our city in Hyderabad and Mumbai on a voluntary basis. Not to mention the offers here in Hamburg, too.

Hamburg maintains an economic dialogue with India through networks and institutions. They include the German-Indian Round Table, one of the initiators of India Week. This open platform for small and medium-sized companies was established in Hamburg in 2001 to promote business relations between Germany and India. Other players specializing in “India” are the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, the HWF Hamburg Business Development Corporation and the Hamburg Ministry of Economy, Transport and Innovation. Yet another platform aiming to promote relations with Indian industry is the German Asia-Pacific Business Association (OAV).

Conversely, there is considerable interest in Hamburg. Some forty Indian companies have established themselves in our city. They include the Indian steel magnate Laxmi Mittal, who bought the Hamburg Steelworks. And also Tata Consultancy Services Deutschland GmbH and various importers of clothing and spices.

But good partnership requires close cultural relations, too. Our India Week is a way of pointing that out to the public. For years, Hamburg has maintained intensive contacts and cooperation with creative artists from India.

Indian culture has many facets and has always held great fascination for us here. It inspired famous German writers like

Hermann Hesse and Thomas Mann and sends our imagination on journeys of discovery to this day.
The Hamburg Ministry of Culture regularly supports a cultural exchange with India. One example of this is the project “040”. It was initiated in 2009 together with the Goethe Centre in Hyderabad with the aim of promoting artistic and cultural projects jointly. It so happens that Hamburg and the south Indian city of Hyderabad have the same telephone dialling code.

Indian artists are regularly invited to our city. The partners and organizers are the associations active in Hamburg, such as the Indo-German Society, and many institutions from Hamburg’s cultural scene such as Kampnagel, the Metropolis Cinema and KinderKinder. Similarly, cultural institutions from Hamburg present themselves in India.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Two hundred years ago Franz Bopp, who initiated the study of the Indo-Germanic languages, was able to prove what had long been suspected in Europe: Old High German and other ancient European languages are related to Sanskrit. A fascinating discovery. It makes us aware that we have common roots that will always constitute ties between us in spite of all our social and cultural differences.

Maybe it is these common roots that make Hamburg and India partners in the pursuit of progress. We are united by a strong will to achieve competence in matters of modern technology and the sciences. For years, Hamburg’s universities have been cooperating with top-ranking universities and research institutions in India.

In the last winter semester, 375 students from India were registered at universities in Hamburg. That means the number has more than doubled in the past three years. Most of the students register for degree courses in Engineering at the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg, and they are highly successful. That makes them extremely interesting as specialists – both for Hamburg and for the Indian market.

Hamburg is one of the most dynamic major cities in the European Union, and it offers excellent quality of life. Part of that is our culture of welcome. We support newcomers to our city in numerous ways. That applies especially to skilled workers from abroad; for them we hope to become a “Gateway to Germany”. We want everyone who lives and works in Hamburg to feel welcome and at home among us.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This year, India Week will be taking place on the eve of the Diwali Festival. The “Festival of Lights” is one of the most important celebrations in India, rather like Christmas here in Europe. So we hope the next few days will be a successful run-up to it, full of highlights and insights that open up new paths into the future.

Thank you.

(Source: 02/11/2015 – Senatskanzlei der Freien und Hansestadt Hamburg)

Download the programm of 6th India Week HH 2015 as PDF here


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18th April: Start of the 1st official VINYL Charts on Record Store Day 2015

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on April 18, 2015

Unique: Vinyl Records of Indian Classics produced in India during the 60th till 80th of last century…

The official VINYL Charts will start on the Intern. Record Store Day, on 18th April 2015.

  • Why Vinyl Charts in times of mp3 Internet downloads ?

Music Records pressed in Vinyl experience since years a revival because of different reasons: music is physical, haptical and the analogue sound creates a uniquely, more natural room accoustic. No wonder about the sales numbers of Vinyl records in U.K. just peaked a new and highest maximum of last 20 years.

  • Why you should listen to Vinyl ? Benefits for your ears, soul and heart…

The first charts list with date of 13th April 2015 is following:

– Vinyl Albums Chart
1. All Time Low – Future Hearts
2. Drenge – Undertow
3. Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell
4. Turbowolf – Two Hands
5. Prodigy – The Day is My Enemy
6. Coutney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think…
7. Van Morrison – Duets – Re-working the Catalogue
8. East India Youth – Culture of Volume
9. Nadine Shah – Fast Food
10. James Bay – Chaos and the Calm

– Vinyl Singles Chart
1. Underworld vs Heller & Farley – Baby Wants to Ride
2. Aphex Twin – MARCHROMT30a
3. Swim Deep – To My Brother
4. Mark Ronson Ft Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
5. Lulu – Shout
6. Everything Everything – Distant Past
7. David Bowie – Young Americans
8. Chic & Nile Rodgers – I’ll Be There
9. Circa Waves – T-Shirt Weather
10. Toseland – Hearts and Bones

Here the official Vinyl Charts page (U.K. Top 40):

imagegen (1)

You might ask now being born in times of CDs (compact discs), mp3 player, iPod and Internet downloads:

  • How are Vinyl records made ? – Here the answer… watch this documentary:

  • The German Method of accuracy to produce Vinyls of top quality…

  • Last: How to collect Vinyl records ?

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R.I.P. … Sitar maestro Pandit Amarnath Mishra (Varansi, 1943-2015) is no more.

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on March 19, 2015

Sitar maestro Pandit Amarnath Mishra (Varansi, 1943-2015)

Sitar maestro Pandit Amarnath Mishra (Varansi, 1943-2015)

Today we received the sad news from Varanasi that Sitar maestro Amarnath Mishra is no more… the global community of musical friends of Indian classics and Sitar is mourning.. as one of the great maestros on Indian lute is gone at the age of 72.

Our condolences by heart go to the family, to Prem Kishore Mishra (sitar player himself (born 1969) and assistant Professor for Sitar at Banares Hindu University), Neeraj Misra (Sitar), Pandit Kishore Kumar Mishra (born 1954) who accompanied Amarnath over many years and all closer friends, e.g. Shawn Mativetsky (tabla player, Montreal) and others… R.I.P.

Pandit Amarnath Mishra was born in 1943 in Kabir Chaura, a famous place in Varanasi (also known as Benares), the holy city on the banks of Ganges in federal state Uttar Pradesh.

CD Raga Vachaspati (India Music Archive - IAM 1050)

CD Raga Vachaspati (India Music Archive – IAM 1050)

Amarnath himself belonged to a family of musicians who are counted as typical representatives of Banares Gharana, one of different “music schools” (styles) in Indian classical music. He first studied Sarangi and Tabla before choosing the Sitar, and was guided by his uncle and father Pandit Shrikant Mishra, who was sitar player himself and vocalist of Indian light classics (Thumri style).
Amarnath’sfather is known as excellent Thumri singer along with vocalist Girja Devi (born 1929), who bcame on her own a legendary representative of Banares Gharana and titled in India as “Queen of Thumri“.

Pt. Amarnath Mishra's sitar performance, accompanied by Kuber Nath Mishra at BHU (2009) - Tks to Shawn Mativetsky for the photo.

Pt. Amarnath Mishra’s sitar performance, accompanied by Kuber Nath Mishra at BHU (2009) – Tks to Shawn Mativetsky for the photo.

It is reported that Amarnath was impressed and influence mostly by the virtuosity of two sitar players, legends on their own: Pandit Ravi Shankar (1920-2012) and Ustad Vilayat Khan (1928-2004). Amarnath’s style is lyrical and an excellent example of Benares Gharana (you can listen from the videos in the bottom).

The virtuosity of Pt. Amarnath Mishra was honored with multiple awards. Amarnath Mishra spent his time between concerts, he gave in India and abroad and teaching in master classes (especially in Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Israel and the United States). The virtuosity of Pt. Amarnath Mishra was honored with multiple awards.

We are remembering well the beautiful recording of Amarnath Mishra (on 9th Febr 1994 in Matridham Ashram/Benares ) who was joined for by Prof J. Massey on Tabla (born 1939 in Kanpur) and lately being published as CD Raga Vachaspati in 2001/2002 by the New York label India Archive Music (IAM)… with South India Raga Vachaspati (night raga), Raga Khamaj (evening raga) and Raga Bhairavi (morning raga).

Raga Madhuvanti (p 1/5) by Amarnath Mishra & Sanjay K. Banik (Tabla) in 2008…

Raga Tilak Kalyan (Sitar Recital) by Amarnath Mishra, Neeraj Misra (Sitar) & Uddhav Praveen (Tabla)…

Raga Bageshri by Amarnath Mishra (Sitar) & Edward Feldman (Tabla)…


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