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Ritwik Sanyal - Concert of dhrupad classical music

Open yoga session
curated by Ambasciata dell’India a Roma

Performance Mani Bianche and Quadracoro



Dhrupad is a solemn and austere form of classical Hindustani music which has remained almost unchanged over centuries, having been transmitted orally from generation to generation. Originating from temple music and later developed in the royal courts of North India, Dhrupad strictly adheres to the canons of traditional Indian music, and today it is considered its purest and ancient style. Its solemn and highly-structured compositions are constructed in the form of devotional poems. Dhrupad takes its name from dhruvapada, where dhruva means fixed or structured, and pada indicates poetic metre. When examining the raga, a musical composition meaning the capacity to “colour the mind”, many sacred syllables known as nomtom are used when improvising the texts and which represent its fundamental element and constitute the building blocks for the extemporaneous creation of the melody.

Ritwik Sanyal vocal

Ritwik Sanyal is one of the finest interpreters of Dhrupad song in the contemporary musical panorama. He is both a teacher and philosopher, and is currently director of the Department of Music of the University of Benares. During his long career, Pandit Ritwik Sanyal has received many awards, among which the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, conferred by the President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee in 2013. Pandit Ritwik Sanyal has published numerous articles in scientific journals and has written many Dhrupad compositions. He has performed in the United Kingdom, United States, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Korea, Israel, Croatia, Brazil, Mauritius and Japan. For many years he has collaborated with the National Programme of Music for AIR (All India Radio) and the Doordarshan radio channels. He has participated in many prestigious Dhrupad Music Festivals in India: Gwalior Tansen Samaroh, Varanasi Dhrupad Mela, Harballabh Sangeet Samaroh Jallandhar, and Saptak Ahmedabad.

Gianni Ricchizzi rudra veena

Gianni Ricchizzi completed his studies as Maestro of Sitar and Indian Music at the prestigious Banaras Hindu University under the guide of the illustrious maestros Raj Bhan Singh and Amarnath Mishra for Sitar, Gopal Krishnan for Vina and Ritwik Sanyal for Dhrupad singing. He was awarded by Banaras Hindu University for receiving the highest grades in the 1984-85 examination session for the Master Diploma programme and received the title “Young Light of Music” from the Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh. He mastered the fundamentals and techniques to play various ancient Indian stringed instruments; Surbahar, Vina, Santoor, Tampura, and the Indian guitar. In Bhopal in January 2006 he inaugurated the PRATISHRUTI Festival dedicated to non-Indian musicians who have interpreted Indian music for many years. He has been invited repeatedly to perform at the Indian Embassy in Rome and has given concerts in Germany, France and Switzerland as part of leading international festivals, as the only non-Indian performer of classical Indian music; in particular, the concerts of the “Parampara Festival” in Berlin in 1994.

Mohan Sharma pakhawaj

Pandit Mohan Shyam Sharma is one of the leading pakhawaj players in India. Mohan Shyam learnt the pakhawaj from Pandit Tota Ram Sharma of Mathura, and started his career accompanying Zahiruddin and Faiyazuddin, the junior Dagar Brothers, and the rudra-veena player Ustad Asad Ali Khan, in India and abroad. He has accompanied world-renowned musicians such as Pandit Ravi Shankar, Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, and is a much sought-after accompanist in dhrupad and in other genres of Indian classical music. The specificity of his playing lies in his handling of the techniques of accompaniment. His accompaniment is marked by his imaginative variations of pakhawaj sounds anticipating the singer’s improvisations while keeping the necessary coordination and respecting the mood of the raga. Mohan Shyam has a personality of his own and yet blends into the performance. In addition to his work as an accompanist, Mohan Shyam has given several solo performances, and has been recorded as such for a CD by India Archive Music.


Photos: Mario D’Angelo

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