Chaar Prahar music festival: Classical musicians from India & North America perform for global audience


Festival supported by Radio Zindagi, Divya Bhaskar and The Indian Eye

Our Bureau
New York 

Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan USA, Sneh Arts, Kolkata Sitar School, and Viewcy in association with the Consulate General of India and Dhwani Academy of Percussion Music presented the 2nd Annual Chaar Prahar Indian Classical Music Festival. Adapting to the challenges of the global pandemic, the festival was held online on November 29 and December 5 on the digital platform Viewcy, which enabled us to reach audiences in Asia, Europe and North America. The artist lineup included some of the most recognized names in Indian Classical music as well as rising stars. The concert was streamed in several time zones to accommodate audiences from around the world on both days. The festival was supported by our media partners: TV Asia, World BBTV, Radio Zindagi, Divya Bhaskar, and The Indian Eye.   

Indro Roy Choudhury on the sitar

Viewers were treated to soul-stirring music at this two-day, 12 hour- festival, which featured 26 musicians from both the Hindustani and Carnatic styles of music. Community of artists and music lovers gathered to enjoy instrumentalists and vocalists from various gharanas (school of music) showcasing their talents and mastery on the sitar, tabla, sarod, esraj, santoor, violin, veena, mridangam, harmonium and vocals. The festival team was particularly enthusiastic about giving a platform to the younger generation of Indian-American artists who work very hard to pursue this art form alongside those based in India.

Dignitaries from the music world and the community graced the occasion online to bestow their blessings, not only to the young artists, but also to the organizers for continuing this special initiative. The Consul General of India in New York Amb Randhir Jaiswal and Deputy Consul General Amb Shatrughna Sinha, who graced the occasion, appreciated the work and effort put into presenting the rich music of India through this festival. Bhavan Chairman Dr Navin C Mehta, joined the festival on both days, commending the music community for coming together for such a special marathon of music. He was thrilled to see such a fantastic line up and engaging audiences that were enjoying this online festival.  

Minesh Patel, MD of Bhavan USA

There were countless comments of support and appreciation pouring in during the live streaming of the festival, which encouraged the artists and the organizers. Dibyarka Chatterjee wrote, “What a treat these past 6 hours have been! Congratulations once again to the organizers, not only for being able to continue the festival despite these trying circumstances, but for such a high-quality production. Deepest gratitude to all the performers for bringing light and joy into our homes!” Vineeta Khanna wrote, “Much gratitude to Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sneh Arts, the brilliant artists and all the folks instrumental in making this event happen! You all are doing great service to the Arts!”             

This year’s festival had a very special significance to the organizing team of Chaar Prahar, which consists of Minesh Patel, Managing Director of Bhavan USA, Indro Roy Choudhury, Bhavan Sitar guru and Director of Chaar Prahar Festival, and Sunny Thakkar, Founder of Sneh Arts.  It was dedicated to the former Executive Director of Bhavan USA Deepak Dave, who left this world too soon; it was his vision that motivated the team to continue this festival. It was also dedicated to one of the board members, Megha Bhouraskar’s father Digambar Bhouraskar. He was a long time Bhavan supporter and an ardent lover of Indian Classical Music. Long time vocal guru at Bhavan, Sanjukta Sen and her daughter Shruti Sen, performed the opening invocation for the festival.             

Sunny Thakkar of Sneh Arts

The Chaar Prahar Music Festival team is extremely grateful to the artists, community partners, media partners, team members and everyone who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make this festival possible. They look forward to even more support from the musicians and music lovers so they can continue to present such special events and give a continuous platform to local talent. The team has announced that the next Chaar Prahar Festival will be in November 2021.

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