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Maestro Tarun Bhattacharya’s philanthropic Santoor Ashram set to hit the shores of USA

Maestro Tarun Bhattacharya’s philanthropic Santoor Ashram set to hit the shores of USA

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 15 Oct 2019, 05:35 pm

Kolkata: Santoor Maestro and philanthropist Musician Pdt Tarun Bhattacharya embarks on month-long tour of USA, a country he has been frequently performing in for the past 3 decades and more.

But this trip gains a vital significance as he shall be unveiling his not for profit Santoor Ashram in USA.

Now a green card holder, Pdt Tarun Bhattacharya through his philanthropic Ashram which is spread over a few acres in Howrah, his native place, aims to raise funds to meet expenses of budding talent from villages and rural Bengal who excel in music.

Pdt Tarun Bhattacharya is the Sangeet Natak Academy winner of 2019 and surely a deserving candidate for the coveted Padma award which despite his unstinting service towards Indian classical music has very strangely eluded him. He is the only santoor disciple of Bharat Ratna Pdt Ravi Shankar’s Maihar Gharana and is one of the rare musicians credited with the invention of Raga , Ganga, and also inventor of a fine tuner, menka, helping santoor to be played at a lower octave.

His charity and philanthropy is an extension of his musical genius, having been a long serving Global ambassador for Polio Eradication program a joint initiative of Rotary, WHO, UNICEF among others.

He has played in several fund raisers for thalassaemia patients, cancer patients and eye operations across the globe. 

Pdt Bhattacharya says, “I am proud of the innovations I have made in the style of playing the instrument and the fine tuners that I created to make santoor a better sounding instrument as well making the playing easier. The new raga that I created a year back, Raag Ganga, was surely the high point of 40 years of my musical career. Very few musicians have had the strength, belief and skill to create a new raga in Hindustani classical music. But my non musical background, no high and mighty lineage and not belonging to any camp whether political or musical has played a major part in my not getting a Padma award even the Sangeet Natak Award was very late as it came this year. But I have  carried on relentlessly for the past 4 decades and more simply because of my love for the music as such awards are only an impetus or encouragement to carry on as I really do not have much more to gain in terms of recognition, appreciation and love from music lovers across the globe.  But this remains an unfulfilled part of my musical journey that despite doing so much and more for music , society and the country my legitimate claims of the Padma or Sangeet Natak Academy remain elusive. But at the same the unhindered love, appreciation and accolades from my fans, listeners and aficionados have always given me the impetus to carry on creating music and spread the message of love and goodwill through my music.”

Talking about the future of Indian Classical music, he says, “Possibilities are immense and Indian music can only go up and capture the imagination of the world sooner than later and that includes classical music as well but to do that the younger generation must learn, understand and practice perfectly the Ragas,  essence and nuances of the ragas. Our generation of musicians, inspired by our Guruji Bharat Ratna Ravi Shankar, first started synthesizing or collaborating with the western musicians after perfecting our basics and then fusion went hand in hand with the traditional ragas and notes.

But I am not a puritan in approach and Bollywood music and Hindustani Classical or Carnatic music has to prosper hand in hand to have a more impactful global presence."

Social media is already playing a vital role in spreading the influence of Indian music at a global level and in the coming 15 years it shall play the most vital role in spreading our music to the farthest parts of the world.

It is high time  there are dedicated slots in the satellite channels for young classical musicians, Competitions for classical music only ( like the Indian Idol, Sa Re Ga Ma etc) and corporate sensitization that India does not only have Bollywood but outstanding classical musicians as well.”

The maestro informed that he shall be performing in New York, Arkansas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Seattle, New Jersey, Baltimore and Allen Town. His US tour begins on 18th October.

But surely the beginning of a new journey with the establishment of Santoor Ashram chapter in USA  shall be the high point of this tour. He believes that the Ashram is just a music school but a life coaching centre making a complete human resource development institution. Learning music, manners, presentation, negotiation and management skills which is on the lines of skill development and opening opportunities to earn a decent and respectful livelihood, the maestro signed off.

Maestro Tarun Bhattacharya’s philanthropic Santoor Ashram set to hit the shores of USA

India Blooms News Service
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