Sawai Gandharwa Mohotsav on the rocks!!!!!

Musical events and concerts rejuvenate one’s mind. A music lover should indulge himself in such concerts to become more acquainted about the subject. Gathering more knowledge about a topic of your interest is surely not a wasted time. As it is rightly said by Danielle LaPorte, the bestselling Canadian author, “If knowledge is power then curiosity is the muscle,” which means knowledge can be achieved by whatever possible means. Events are held in every corner of the world daily. But grabbing an opportunity that knocks your door is a great pride.

A most popular event is wandering around in Pune since many days. But now it has taken a platform to showcase the artists from around the world on December 7.

The most popular Indian classical event, organized by Sangeet Prasarak Mandal named Sawai Gandharwa Bhimsen Mahotsav has made its set back in the city. This festival is held annually and this year the event will be held from December 7 to December 11.

The Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav is one of the biggest festivals of classical music in India, organized every year in Pune since 1953.

This musical festival was named as Sawai Gandharwa Mahotsav, but after the demise of Bharat Ratna Pt. Bhimsen Joshi, the festival has been renamed to Sawai Gandharwa Bhimsen Mahotsav since 2015. This is the 64th year of this mega music fest, which enjoys patronage of music lovers from all around the world. The Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal has decided to hold it for 5 days in this particular year, instead of 4. Hence the audiences, especially the music lovers, get an opportunity to utilize these days with full zeal and enthusiasm.

A session of the festival which is generally conducted on a Sunday morning has been cancelled this year. Thus, the festival will span over five days and all
sessions will be conducted in the evening.

So Punekars, get set, tie your shoe laces and drive away for the event at New English School, Ramanbaug from 4pm to 10pm. You get an opportunity to experience the live performance of the great artists.

Following is the schedule of the event.
7th December 2016 (Day 1 Timing: 4 pm to 10 pm)

Name of the Artist Performance
S. Ballesh & Krishna Ballesh Shehnai
Gauri Pathare Vocal
Irshad Khan Surbahar
Ganpati Bhat Vocal

8th December 2016 (Day 2 Timing : 4 pm to 10 pm)

Name of the Artist Performance
Ritesh & Rajnish Mishra Vocal
Debopriya Ranadive & Suchismita Flute
Smt. Manjiri Asanare-Kelkar Vocal
Pt. Jasraj Vocal

9th December 2016 (Day 3 Timing : 4 pm to 10 pm)

Name of the Artist Performance
Brajeswar Mukherjee Vocal
Dr. Mysore Manjunath and Mysore Nagnath Violin
Smt. Purvadhanashree Bharatnatyam
Pt Ulhas Kashalkar Vocal

10th December 2016 (Day 4 Timing : 4 pm to 10 pm)

Name of the Artist Performance
Dhanshree Ghaisas Vocal
Shrinivas Joshi Vocal
Lakshay Mohan Gupta Sitar
Aayush Mohan Gupta Sarod
Pt. Uday Bhawalkar Vocal
Dr. L. Subramaniam and Ambi Subramaniam Violin

11th December 2016 (Day 5 Timing : 4 pm to 10 pm)

Name of the Artist Performance
Takahiro Arai Santoor
Kaivalyakumar Vocal
Ut. Amjad Ali Khan Sarod
Amaan Ali Bangash and Ayaan Ali Bangash Sarod
Dr. Prabha Atre Vocal

Music and Art – A harmonious relationship!!!

Music is an art of expressing ones feelings. Adjusting a piece to the perfect rhythm, variation in the tempo makes one get the feel of the music. Listening to a piece of music sometimes gives a good mood and refreshes one from fatigue. Similarly, a painters stroke makes it feel the same. When an artist draws, his every stroke is detailed and accurate. Talking about accuracy, music and painting both need to be given a good finishing all together so that the entire picture is depicted before you through its strokes, which makes you sway resembling the waves in the ocean.

I was just sitting one day and thought what if music and painting be interrelated? What a thought. A stroke on a paper and a chord on instrument say it all. When a rhythm of music sets into your mind, you immediately start swaying to the rhythm of music. Similarly, when music is played, the brushes of the painter automatically tango with the canvas. Rhythm in music is something you can tap your feet to. It tells you how to rock with the music. Rhythm affects art in a similar manner. If an artist uses rhythm correctly, he or she is capable of making your eyes move around every corner of the paper within seconds. It is how the artist wants you to see his/her work.

Sometimes rhythm and the piece are difficult to be understood by a common man who has no knowledge about music, similarly a stroke of a painter fails a normal man to understand what he wants to reveal. The musical notes increase in frequency at a predetermined ratio and so do colour. Moreover, music and art have many things in common such as the pattern, rhythm, balance and emphasis. As each tone has a certain weight which gives a song its overall balance, correspondingly same principle is applied by artists to add structure and balance the painting.

In a palette, the artist mixes the colours and comes up with a unique colour, likewise, the musician combines different notes and composes his own music.  As the process proceeds, painting and music do converge as construction becomes more mysterious, if it does not fade away altogether.

Music and painting have many things in common such as pattern, colour, shape and form, but the way of expressing the emotion varies in language.

The only Ardent Disciple of Ustad Bismillah Khan…!!! – Pandit SHAILESH BHAGWAT

Stimulation to ones brain and refreshing mind is music. Music can be in any form, either listening to it, playing an instrument or just murmuring a piece of it.

The music helps me function. It helps me with studies and sports. Music is the universal language. It is impossible to create drama, opera, and ballet without music. What would world be without music? Without music the world would be a quiet place. It is a reminder of how things once were an indication of how things are, and a view of where society is headed. Music is a reflection of the society. Music can be a way to deliver messages, a poetic medium, a fine art, or a source of entertainment. No matter what it is used for, music is the perfect art and our lives would be that much less complete without it.

What Is A Shehnai…?

The most popular, but rarely played instrument is the shehnai. shehnai is a double-reed conical oboe of north India called as a reed — and a slightly widening bell at the bottom. it is made of wood, comprising of four parts. The first part is the wooden body (naad), second consists of a flaring metal bell attached to the bottom of the instrument, a metallic tube (nalli) and a reed. The metallic bell measures about 12–20 inches (30–50 cm) in length, with seven keyless finger holes along its body. Possessing a 1+1/2 octave range, The Shehnai is a difficult instrument to play, as the musician must master a wide range of finely nuanced embouchure and fingering techniques. The Shehnai takes considerable skill to master because mouth-control & wind-control, along with finger dexterity and how the mouth is held, requires practice.



Pandit Shailesh Bhagwat, a widely travelled man of simple habits, and a well-experienced artiste with polite and firm concepts. He is most excellently groomed and taught well for almost 39 years in music, shehnai & “sanskaars” by the supreme authority in shehnai and the most revered bharat-ratna Ustad Bismillah Khan Saheb.

Pandit Shailesh Bhagwat is the most well known disciple of Ustad Bismillah Khan. He is a widely travelled man of simple habits, and a well-experienced artist with polite and firm concepts.
Pandit Shailesh Bhagwat is equally eager to perform lecture-cum-demonstrations like his concerts, and feels the intense necessity of propagating music and every intricacy of Shehnai to each and every person who would love to understand music and the instrument – Shehnai.

Pandit Shailesh Bhagwat, being a down to earth person said, “Every performance is like a test to me. When one test is over, i immediately start researching on the further studies. i can’t forget about the performance but rather think of improving the same next time. This is the way it has to be……”

When asked about the religion bias of Ustad Bismillah Khan, Pt Bhagwat said, “He had no religion bias whereas he could only see how dedicated a person is towards achieving his goal and then accepted Shailesh as his student.” because…., – music knows no religion because music itself is a religion in its own authority.
Pandit Shailesh Bhagwat has rendered his shehnai- recitals at innumerable places in India and abroad on account of various types of occasions & has given concerts of shehnai for more than three decades to date. A widely travelled artist, Shailesh has rendered his recitals at various music festivals in India. His depth, range of his shehnai has a thorough spiritual and scientific approach towards music.

The unassuming artiste of the younger generation Pandit Shailesh Bhagwat maintains the status of SHEHNAI The Divine Musical Instrument he loves. Pandit Shailesh Bhagwat has rendered his Shehnai – Recitals at innumerable place in India on account of various types of Occasions. Pandit Shailesh Bhagwat rendering of Shehnai is marked with an emotional presentation – which has a systematic blending and an improvisation of Raga in the “Gayaki-Ang” his phenomenal breath-control is superb and notable. No less noteworthy is his inclination in presenting the most intricate Ragas of his Shehnai which are less heard these days, like Raga Shivamat-Bhairav, Shahana-Bahar, Hans-Narayan, Hanskinkini, Meghranjani & many others. The depth and range of Pandit SHAILESH BHAGWAT Shehnai has a thorough spiritual, scientific, logical and professional approach towards his Music.. Equally eager to perform a Lecture-cum-Demonstration like his concerts, Pandit SHAILESH BHAGWAT feels the intense necessity of propagating Music and every intricacy of Shehnai to each and every person who would love to understand the Music and the Instrument – Shehnai. Pandit SHAILESH BHAGWAT has given Concerts of SHEHNAI for more than Two Decades to date. Some of the most renowned places of his performance and achievement are on the following pages.


  1. Since when did you start playing shehnai?

I started playing since the age of 13

 2. What Motivated You To Play Shehnai? Any Family Background?

Playing this instrument was in my blood and no one in my family was into music. God has given me this talent and need to utilize it and do something in life.

3. How Many Hours Do You Practice Daily?

Like All Others Do Their Business, Service & Jobs For 8-9 Hrs, Similarly Playing Shehnai Is My Profession And I Am Devoted To.

4. According To You, What Should Be The Passion? Should It Be Just For Entertainment, For Yourself Or A Happiness Achieved By Devotion Of God?

Music Is Basically A Shortest Cut To Reach GOD And I Devote It To God. The More You Get Engrossed In Playing, Faster Will You Reach GOD. Shehnai Should Be Played In Such A Way That, People Must Start Swaying To Its Tunes.

5. How many scales does shehnai have and is it necessary that you should have the knowledge of songs and singing?

Shehnai Has 1 And Half Scales And The Scales Vary According To The Sizes. I Have Done A Lot Of Study Myself But I Have Nothing In Written But In My Head. No One Has Thought Me Sa Re Ga Ma Of Music But Learnt It Myself With Lot Of Practice. Hence It Is Said, “Practice Makes Man Perfect.”

I Was Initially Taught The Basics Of Shehnai & Music By Pandit Aurangabadkar & Pandit Maruti Patil Of Thane.

 6. How Did You Approach Ustad Bismillah Khan Saheb, And Requested Him To Be Your GURU? Since How Long Have You Been Guided Under Ustad Bismillah Khan, Can You Explain That Incidence?

Since Several Years, Pandit Shailesh Has Been A Devotee Of Ustad Bismillah Khan Saheb. When TNRN Correspondent Asked Shailesh Sir About His Journey For Accepting Such A Great Teacher, He Said, “I Was His Bhakta (Devotee), But In Fact He Accepted Me As His Student And I Am Very Much Blessed To Learn Under His Guidance. I Always Used To Visit Khan Saheb Whenever He Used To Visit Mumbai And Have Been Requesting Him To Accept Me As My Student, But He Used To Refuse. One Day Khan Saheb Called Me And My Journey Began. He Loved Me And Considered Me As His Own Son.

 7. What All Awards Have You Achieved Till Date?

Awarded A “Senior-Fellowship” In The Field Of Hindustan Music – Shehnai, By The Central Government Of India For A Period Of 2 Years W.E.F: 01-12-2000. I Was Also Awarded Empanellment With ICCR As Shehnai Artist To Represent Indian Culture And Indian Music To Abroad Countries. I Have Also Received Pitambari Thane Nagar Ratna Puraskaar In 2013.

8. What All Performances Have You Given Till Date?

Performances Of National Level Concerts:         

  • Shree Baba Harivallabh Sangeet Mahasabha  –  JALANDHAR
  • Bhubaneshwar Music Circle  –  BHUBANESHWAR
  • All India Festival Of Musical Wind Blowing Instruments At Bharat Bhavan  –  BHOPAL
  • APNA-UTSAV (Organised By The Central   Government Of India)  – MUMBAI
  • Rajarshi Chhatrapati Shahu Sangeet Rajani Organised By Shivaji University  –  KOLHAPUR
  • HAMPI-Utsava, KARAVALI-Utsava, KADAMBA-Utsava Of KARNATAKA Government
  • The Most Prestigious SAWAI GANDHARVA Sangeet Mahotsav  –  PUNE
  • Maharana Kumbha Gurupurnima Utsav – UDAIPUR
  • Chowmahalla Palace Sangeet Mahotsava  –  HYDERABAD
  • Dhrishti Foundation  –  BIJAPUR
  • Karnataka State Cinema Awards  –  BANGALORE
  • Centre For Excellence & Micro-Sign  –  BHAVNAGAR
  • Pipavav Shipyard  –  PIPAVAV
  • Dr.PRABHA ATRE Foundation  –  PUNE
  • Shruti Mandal  –  JAIPUR
  • ALAAP Sangeethotsav 2012  –  TELLICHERRY
  • Sur-Sagar Organization  –  BANGALORE
  • Tumkur University  –  TUMKUR
  • Dr. Hendre-Parandekar Gayatri Swaroop Hospital & Sakaal Newspaper – (2 Times) KOLHAPUR
  • Sangeeth Sabha – UDUPI                                                                                                           9. You Have Travelled In So Many Countries All Over and You Like Their Songs? How Are You Trying To Make A Song For Maharashtra? I Personally Feel There Is No State Anthem
  • For Maharashtra. I Just Want To Give A Suggestion To The Government Of Maharashtra To Come Up With An OFFICIALIZED STATE ANTHEM. There Are So Many Singers, Music-Composers, Poets & Lyric-Writers And The Political Parties Should Come Forward And Develop A STATE ANTHEM As Our Neighboring State Karnataka Has Its Own State Anthem.
  • What Do Awards Mean To You?
    Receiving An Award Is Not A Criteria, Performance Is Important. Awards Have Nothing To Do With Music; In-Fact Increases The Responsibility.
  • What Do You Feel About The Young Generation Will It Be Inclined Towards Shehnai?
  • I Would Like To Tell The Young Generation That If Anyone Interested In Learning This Instrument, You Need To Invest Lot Of Time And Be Well-Focused To Put In Lot Of Hardwork In The Subject With Lots Of Energy. Please Don’t Do It As A Hobby As It Is Surely A Difficult Instrument To Play.

11.  Why Do You Say “Let Success Go Into Your Books Not Into Your Head” Can You Explain That?

If The Success Goes Into Your Head, You Will Not Wish To Go Ahead And This Is Where Ego Arises. Hence Let The Success Be Where It Is….., And Always Aim High, If You Don’t Achieve Your Aim Try To Reach To It.