Classical Music Current Affairs
Eminent classical singer Girija Devi passed away following a cardiac arrest at age of 88. She was considered as queen of thumri, a common genre of semi-classical Indian music.
She was born in zamindar family at village near Banaras on May 8, 1929. She was legendary singer of the “Seniya and Banaras gharanas”. Music was a part of her life from a very early age. She had received Padma Shri (1972), Padma Bhushan (1989) Padma Vibhushan (2016), Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1977), Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship (2010) and Maha Sangeet Samman Award (2012) etc.
Thumri (ठुमरी) is common genre of semi-classical Indian music originated in eastern part of Uttar Pradesh. The term ‘thumri’ is derived from Hindi verb thumakna which means to walk with dancing steps so as to make ankle-bells tinkle.
Thumri is connected with dance, dramatic gestures, mild eroticism, evocative love poetry and folk songs of Uttar Pradesh, though there are regional variations. Its text is romantic or devotional in nature and usually revolves around girl’s love for Krishna.
Noted flautist Pandit Hari Prasad Chourasia (78) was conferred 2016 Sumitra Charat Ram Award for lifetime achievement in the field of Indian classical music.
The prestigious award bestowed upon him by Lt Governor Najeeb Jung at a function held in New Delhi.
About Pandit Hari Prasad Chourasia
- Chaurasia had started learning vocal music at the tender age of 15 from his neighbour Pandit Rajaram.
- Later, he had switched over to playing the classical flute under the tutelage of Pandit Bholanath Prasanna of Varanasi. He plays in the North Indian tradition.
- He joined the All India Radio (AIR), Cuttack, Odisha in 1957 and worked as a composer and performer.
- Awards and Honours: Sangeet Natak Academy (1984), Padma Bhushan (1992), Yash Bharati Sanman (1994), Padma Vibhushan (2000), Dinanath Mangeshkar Award (2000) etc.
About Sumitra Charat Ram Award
- The prestigious award has been named after Sumitra Charat Ram who had played a key role in revival of the performing arts traditions, specially kathak and Hindustani music in north India.
- It is bestowed upon individuals who have excelled in field of Indian classical dance and music or other disciplines of Indian art and culture, including theatre during last 15 years.
- The award carries a purse, citation, shawl and a silver plaque. The past recipients include Pt Birju Maharaj (kathak), Kishori Amonkar (Hindustani vocal), Mayadhar Raut (Odissi), Pt Jasraj (Hindustani vocal) and Kumudini Lakhia (kathak).
Note: Sumitra Charat Ram was also the founder of Shiram Bharatiya Kala Kendra, one of the country’s premier institutions of performing arts.