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Product of rigourous rraining

Wednesday, October 24, 2018
By Amarendra Dhaneshwar

The Sangeet Research Academy was set up by the India Tobbaco Company long back in 1977. It has not only survived but has gathered strength over all these years. Two outstanding products of the Academy are Rashid Khan, and Ajoy Chakraborty. Later generation of vocalists have also trained there and have been shining in their own chosen field. One of the outstanding vocalists of our time, Ulhas Kashalkar was roped in by the Academy about twenty five years ago.

A sincere and dedicated teacher that he is, he has trained a number up and coming singers. Shashank Maktedar, Omkar Dadarkar, Samarth Nagarkar, Sameehan Kashalkar, Ruchira Kale, Sadhana have been trained by him at the Academy. Nirbhay Saxena is also one such singer trained by Kashalkar.
Shivaji Park Nagarik Sangh featured him in an evening concert in collaboration with ITC/SRA and Khayal Trust.

The purpose of the concert was to provide performance opportunity and some practical experience to the student and now an aspiring singer. Nirbhay was in his elements from the beginning. He had none of the stage fright which a student could have. He sang almost like a seasoned singer. Singing in an open throated voice he could make an instant impact. His choice of the raga too was good. He sang the raga 'Shree', This raga with komal r, komal d, teevra m and shuddha n, offers a challenge to a musician. Nirbhay could balance all these ingredients very well and develop the thematic content of the raga. He has adopted the body language of his mentor which is natural.

His taans were quite fluid and convincing. He also sang a dadra taught by the famous thumri Queen Girija Devi who too was a faculty member at the academy.

The second part of the programme was a solo violin recital by Milind Raikar. He dedicated the performance to his departed mentor Damodar Krishna Datar. His violin tone resembles his guru's. It is sweetness personified. He has also trained under Kishori Amonkar. Raikar has been able to blend Datar's tonal beauty with Amonkar's sense of raga development. It was an absorbing portrait of the raga that he could accomplish. He was ably assisted by his violinist son Yadnesh. Anutosh Degharia on the tabla and Dnyaneshwar Sonwane on the harmonium lent superlative support.

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