Flute maestro Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia conferred top Birla Award

Mumbai: Renowned flautist and music director Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia was conferred the ‘Aditya Vikram Birla Kala Shikhar Puraskar’ for his contributions to music and catapulting it on the global arena, officials said here on Friday.

The Sangit Kala Kendra (SKK) President Rajashree Birla conferred the honour on Pt. Chaurasia, 85, at a glittering function late on Thursday, when she described him as the “doyen of the Bansuri (flute), whose status as a flautist is unmatchable”.

Two other promising young artists, tabla player Ojas Adhiya and sarangi player Sabir Khan were presented with the ‘Aditya Vikram Birla Mala Kiran Puraskar’ each.

Veteran playback singer Kavita Krishnamurthy was the chief guest of the event along with the panel of judges comprising Shekhar Sen, Rahul Sharma Dr Suvarnalata Rao, Ronu Majumdar, all acclaimed names in the world of instrumental music, as per the theme of the awards this year.

Industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla and others were treated to an evening of music with Malevo from Argentina, actor-director Farhan Akhtar and singer Sunidhi Chauhan.

Rajashree Birla recalled her late husband Aditya V. Birla’s contributions to the nation, his love for music and patronage to the performing arts which saw the birth of the SKK 50 years ago, in 1973.

She said that the legendary American singer Harry Belafonte – who died this year in April aged 96 – was the idol of Birla, who also strummed the guitar for relaxation, so when he conceptualised the SKK, he was keen that instrumental music should be an integral part of it.

Some of the past recipients of the SKK top awards include legendary artists like Dr Vyjayanthimala Bali, Ustad Zakir Hussain, Pt. Shivkumar Sharma, Pt. Vijay Raghav Rao and Pt. Ram Narayan, Pt. Birju Maharaj, Naseeruddin. Shah, Dr. Kanak Rele, Pandit Jasraj, Lata Mangeshkar, M. F. Hussain, and others for different achievements.


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