The 69th annual session of the four-day Dover Lane Music Conference ended on Tuesday, 16th February with a cluster of `youngers’ like the 17- years old Armaan Khan on vocal, Shiraz Ali Khan on Sarod and Ishaan Ghosh on tabla and singer Atri Kotal hogging the light of the show and winning all hearts of the audience with their musical performances.
Armaan is the son of the living legend of Hindustani classical music Ustad Rashid Khan who also rendered a scintillating performance on the last day of the four-day annual feat and enthralled the half packed Nazrul Mancha in South Calcutta through his much demanding popular rendition `Yaad Piya Ki Aye’. However Khan was annoyed as a few within the audience were either loitering or moving around and even leaving the hall in the middle of his renditions.
He said “ I am giving all effort but you are leaving the hall in the middle of a song. It is typical of Kolkata. In Maharashtra the audience is calm and attentive”.
Shiraz is the great grandson of the legendary music maestro Baba Alauddin Khan and grandson of Ali Akbar Khan.
A veteran of Dover Lane Conference and a member of the governing body said, “ in so far as my memory goes Armaan is the youngest to have performed on stage in the history of this conference’’. Rashid performed at the age of 21 at Vivekananda Park in 1989.
Following SOP norms Dover Lane Music authorities had reduced the size of seats to almost half by issuing around 800 member passes and 200 donation cards for Nazrul Mancha that has a capacity of almost 2400.
The most noticeable among the 27 principal performers and 31 of their accompanists at the country’s highest music platform were Padmabhushan Pandit Ajay Chakrabarty, Omkar Dadarkar, Jayateerth Mevundi, Sanjeev Abhayankar, Anupama Bhagwat, Subhendra and Saskia Rao De Haas, Bharati Pratap, Pandit Satish Vyas, Bikram Ghosh, Tanmoy Bose, Kumar Bose and the `star crowd puller and eye catcher’ sarodist Amaan Ali Bangash the elder son of the sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan.
Dover Lane conferred the Sangeet Samman Award 2021 to Chakrabarty.
As the 69th session was held under pandemic conditions Dover Lane authorities were forced to break the whole night tradition of holding this concert. An official said, “ we were compelled to push back the even by a fortnight and hold it day and evening. In all likelihood we shall revert to tradition in January 2022, if the situation is normal.’’ On the matter there are differing opinions. The 69th session was dedicated to the memory of the late legend Pandit Jasraj who passed away on August 2020 at New Jersey, USA at the age of 90.