Classical music finds a prominent place in many people’s lives.
It provides a connection to supreme powers and acts as a soothing factor in an increasingly stressful life.
New Zealanders would have an opportunity to experience such a connection at a concert by Dr Alankar Singh (Vocalist) and Ustad Sandeep Singh (Dilruba Player) at the Panmure Community Hall on February 23.
The concert, organised by Manjit Singh of Rhythm School of Indian Music, will begin at 630 pm. During his stay in Auckland, Dr Singh will also perform at gurdwaras between February 24 and March 3.
Dr Alankar Singh is employed as Assistant Professor of Vocal Music at the Punjabi University in Patiala. He is the first and only recipient of the ‘Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar’ (Gurbani Kirtan) given by the Sangeet Natak Academy.
Starting at the tender age of four, he learned for eleven years under the late Professor Tara Singh, a renowned musicologist and composer of the Gawalior Gharana of Khayal Gayaki.
He has been a student of Pandit Ganesh Prasad Sharma of Ambala Cantonment.
As a university student, he was declared the best classical vocalist in National Youth Festival held at University of Mumbai. He was also adjudged best classical vocalist twice in Punjab and as the best classical vocalist of the Punjabi University for five consecutive years.
Besides being and expert in notation, composing and arranging, Dr Alankar is a recognised classical music artiste of the All India Radio and Doordarshan.
An expert in shabad gayans, bhajans, geet and ghazals, he has several religious albums to his credit. He has written many books and research papers on Indian classical music and Gurmat Sangeet and participated in many seminars, conferences and workshops on the subjects.
Ustad Sandeep belongs to a family of traditional Sikh devotional singers.
Initiated into Dilruba at a young age by his father S Tarlochan Singh, he learnt the art from renowned sitarist Manu Sen, a disciple of Ustad Shahid Parvez of Itawa Gharana.
Ustad Sandeep plays Dilruba regularly at Sri Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) with prominent Ragis. He has also performed at the Chamunda Devi Temple (Himachal Pradesh), Swami Haridas Sangeet Sammelan (Mumbai), Vasant Utsav, Sangeet Sankalp, Sangeet Pratibha of Sangeet Natak Academy (New Delhi) and Addutti Gurmat Sangeet Sammelan of Jawaddi Taksal (Ludhiana).