Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav is one of the important and prominent music festivals of India. This music festival is celebrated with great grandeur in Pune city in the month of December every year for three days. Thousands of music aficionados attend this much-awaited annual musical extravaganza.
Sawai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav is held to commemorate the first death anniversary of Sawai Gandharva who was a noted Hindustani vocalist. This biggest festival of classical music in India, is organised every year by the Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal, founded by Pt Bhimsen Joshi who was the disciple of Sawai Gandharva. Now this festival is renamed as ‘Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav’ s after demise of Bharat Ratna Pt Bhimsen Joshi last year.
Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav Music Festival 2013 Dates
In 2012 Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav was held between December 11 and 16.
In 2013 Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav will be in second week of December.
The festival is usually held for three days but since this year marks the 60th year of the music fest it is held for six days.
Many famous musicians, dancers and singers take part in this musical extravaganza. Initially only artists from Kirana gharana would perform in this fest but today artists from different vocal gharanas come to present their talent. Not only noted musicians but also artists, who have already attained masters in their respective subject get a chance to perform on this prestigious stage. Performing at this prestigious fest marks the arrival of an artist in the panorama of Indian classical music
The festival was started in 1953 to commemorate the first death anniversary of Pt. Sawai Gandharva. Rambhau Kundgolkar popularly known as Pandit Sawai Gandharva was born in 1886 in a town named Kundgol in Karnataka. He started learning music under the tutelage of Balwantrao Kolhatkar. After the demise of Balwantrao Kolhatkar’s passing, he started training under Ustad Abdul Karim Khan who was the founder of Kirana Gharana. He also learnt music from other teachers like Bhaskarbuva Bakhale and Nasir Hussain Khan of Gwalior gharana. He later became a well-known vocalist and also tutored noted musicians like Gangubai Hangal, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, and Pt.Feroze Dastur who further popularised the Kirana gharana.
He passed away in in 1952. To commemorate the death anniversary of their guru, his disciples under the patronage of Pandit Bhimsen Joshi held the Sawai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav for the first time. Eventually this fest became a huge success in the classical music panorama of India. This year is the diamond jubilee celebration of Sawai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav. It has become a trademark event in the annual cultural calendar of Pune and attracts artists, connoisseurs and fans from all over India as well as from abroad.