Santoor maestro Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma will be conferred upon with the annual Sangeet Martand Ustad Chand Khan Lifetime Achievement Award this year, Sursagar Society of Dilli Gharana has announced.
The 23rd edition of the festival that celebrates Indian classical art is scheduled to be held on September 13 and September 14 here with performances by some of the leading Hindustani classical vocal and instrumental maestros.
A Padma Vibhushan recipient, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma was born in Jammu in 1938, and is believed to be the first musician to have played Indian classical music on the santoor, a folk instrument from the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The maestro will also be performing at the festival. The society has been felicitating stalwarts of Indian classical music and dance with the award since 1986 to recognise their contribution towards enriching the art forms. While last year, the honour was conferred upon Kathak exponent Pandit Birju Maharaj, others who have received the award in the past include Pandit Jasraj, Ustad Abdul Haleem Jaffar Khan, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and a centenarian Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan.
The award carries a cash prize of Rs 50,000, a memento and a citation.
According to organisers, the festival aims to resonate a musical spirit among "music connoisseurs from far and wide" as well as offer them an opportunity to connect with the art form.
"Music speaks directly to the heart. This response, this echo within the heart, is proof that human hearts can transcend the barriers of time and space and nationality.
The voice has the power to transform life from within, to strengthen and purify it," says Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan, General Secretary of Sursagar Society of Delhi Gharana.
Highlights of the two-day celebration include a vocal recital by Khalifa of Dilli Gharana, Ustad Iqbal Ahmed Khan on the first day, and a sarod recital by Pandit Tajendra Narayan Majumdar followed by a vocal piece by Pandita Ashwini Bhide Deshpande on the second.
Established by Ustad Chand Khan Sahab in 1940, the Sursagar society aims to conserve and promote an awareness of our rich and heterogeneous culture by focussing on the classical arts.
"We're trying to save an art, the art of music, which is precisely, an implication of the collective conscience of the Indian civilization," organisers said. The society has been holding music festivals across Delhi, Kolkata and Ranchi for over 70 years now, honouring artists who seek to develop interest in Indian Classical Music.