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Sarod Maestro Amjad Ali Khan Exhorts Indian Corporates to Support, Promote Classical Music, Artists

Sarod Maestro Amjad Ali Khan Exhorts Indian Corporates to Support, Promote Classical Music, Artists

Maestro Amjad Ali Khan, the legendary master of the sarod, wants Indian corporate and business houses to come forward to support and promote the genre of Indian classical music, which has been fading in the noise created by modern music on new-age technology platforms.

Advocating that people who wish to learn music should do so with an aim to understand and preserve it, Khan -- the sixth generation in the legendary line of the Senia Bangash School -- emphasised that opting for a career in music with the sole purpose of a stage performance or talent shows is a "disservice" to the music itself.

"People who learn music should learn to understand it, to go into its depth and to preserve it. To learn music for stage performances...maybe a thinking... but I don't know what it achieves," Amjad Ali Khan told reporters.

Khan, who along with his sons Amaan and Ayaan Ali Bangash, performed recently at the second edition of 'HCL Concerts' at Carnegie Hall, New York City, and Levi's Stadium, San Francisco, further said, "It is important that corporate houses of India should encourage Indian classical music and musicians."

The concerts, held recently in the two US cities, drew hundreds of music lovers comprising HCL partners and customers.

Since giving his first performance at the age of six, Khan has won numerous accolades including a Grammy nomination, the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum and Unicef's National Ambassadorship during his distinguished career spanning more than six decades.

The 'HCL Concerts', on the other hand, has been bringing performances of established maestros as well as promising upcoming artists to the public. Over 600 artists have performed at this platform since 1988, including legends such as Pandit Shivkumar Sharma and Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, as well as new-age maestros such as Purbayan Chatterjee, Kaushiki Chakraborty and Rakesh Chaurasia. The concert has also provided a platform for the rare genres of performing arts such as Dhrupad, Rudra Veena and Gaudiya Nritya, among others.

Apart from curating and hosting the 'HCL Concerts', HCL also supports prominent classical music festivals like the Swami Haridas Tansen Sangeet Nritya Mahotsava.

The 'HCL Concerts' has been organising events in Delhi-NCR, Lucknow, Nagpur, Madurai and Chennai across various venues regularly through the year. It moved beyond the Indian shores for the first time in 2018 when HCL Concerts were organised in the US (New York), featuring two renowned Indian artists, L Subramaniam and the legendary playback vocalist Kavita Krishnamurthy Subramaniam.

The second edition of the 'HCL Concerts' held in the US earlier this month featured celebrated Sarod Virtuoso and Grammy Nominee Ustad Amjad Ali Khan with his sons Amaan and Ayaan.

Speaking to reporters, Khan said there are nearly 500 sarod players across the world and many talented young musicians in India, and added that sarod as an instrument itself has "become expressive" over the years.

Despite the struggles involved, Indian classical music is doing "quite well", he said but rued that while in the older days, classical musicians had to surrender themselves completely to their guru (teachers) and commit to long and gruelling duration of practice, parents today feel happy just seeing their child perform on the stage.

"Young musicians or dancers want to perform...See the reality shows, it is good that they are encouraging talent, but what happens to children who win them...very few people want to understand art, they all want to perform, they want the stage. A lot of untrained musicians are performing on the stage and that is a disservice to music," Khan said.

The 'HCL Concerts' has also expanded the scope of its programmes beyond the physical concerts, into digital concerts, to nurture new talent and preserve the rich legacy of Indian classical music. On the World Music Day (June 21) this year, HCL launched HCL Digital Concerts, an initiative that identifies young artists to showcase their talent to the world. Under the plan, a total of 12 digital concerts will be held annually featuring, 3 new and emerging artists in every concert.

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