Renowned Kathak dancer Pt Birju Maharaj was recently honoured with Ustad Chand Khan Lifetime Achievement award for taking forward the legacy of the Kalka-Bindadin Gharana of Lucknow and promoting the art form around the world.
“This award is even more special to me because I have had the opportunity to listen to the music maestro and take his blessings. Since we all belong to the field of art, my father was friends with Khan saheb when he was in Delhi during 1944-45. So as a child, I used to go to Ustad Chand Khan sometimes and listen to him,” Pandit Birju Maharaj told PTI in an interview.
The award was conferred on Pandit Maharaj during the two day Sangeet Martand Ustad Chand Khan Music festival here, which saw raga rendition by some stalwarts in Indian classical music like Ajoy Chakraborty, Rajan-Sajan Misra, Subha Mudgal and Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan.
Shubha Mudgal began her performance with raag Chhayanat and concluded with a semi-classical singing style popular in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, known as ‘Hori.’
While Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty sang khayal and thumri form of Indian classical music, brother duo Rajan-Sajan Misra mesmerised the audience with Raga Jaijaiwanti and Hori.
“We all have given our lives to music and Indian classical art forms. It always feels good to hear classical music. If I get another life, I would love to dedicate even that one to Indian classical art,” says Birju Maharaj who also has command over thumri, dadra, bhajan and ghazal styles of singing.
Head of the Sursagar Society of Dilli Gharana, Ustad Iqbal Khan also introduced his student, Vivek Kumar Prajapati during the second day of the music festival.