Monday, January 24, 2011
January 5 was National Bird Day. A day to celebrate the beauty and song of
birds that have long been a source of inspiration to all of us. But did you know that today, nearly 12 per cent of the world's 9,800 bird species may face extinction within the next century, including nearly one-third of the world's 330 parrot species.
Birds are sentinel species whose plight serves as the barometer of ecosystem health and alert system for detecting global environmental ills.
Many of the world's parrots and songbirds are threatened with extinction due to pressures from the illegal pet trade, disease, and habitat loss.
Public awareness and education about the physical and behavioural needs of birds can go far in improving the welfare of the millions of birds kept in captivity.
The survival and wellbeing of the world's birds depends upon public education and support for conservation.
Eventually, Sangeet Natak Akademi recognized the talent of one of the illustrious Sitarists of the era Pt. Budhaditya Mukherjee and conferred upon him the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 2010. It is also a pleasant coincidence that one of his fans Dr. Ravi Sharma, who has been the disciple of his great father and has also got training from him, got the information of these Awards from the reliable sources and conveyed the same to Pt Mukherjee on 20/01/2011 in the evening. He became the first person to break the news. Pt. Mukherjee has never been hungry of recognitions but it is sad that Sangeet Natak Akademi recognized his skills so late. But better late than never.
Budhaditya Mukherjee (1955–) is a Hindustani classical sitar and surbahar player of the Imdadkhani Gharana (school).
He was taught by his father Bimalendu Mukherjee from the age of 5, and started making a name for himself at a young age. In 1970, he won two national-level music competitions, and soon after was famously endorsed in glowing terms first by film maker Satyajit Ray and then South Indian veena maestro Balachander, who proclaimed him to be the sitar artist of the century. In 1975, Budhaditya became a grade A artist with All India Radio (he was promoted to top grade in 1986). Since then, he has become an established sitarist, known for virtuosity, speed and precision.
He is the first artist ever in the history of the British Parliament to have performed in the House of Commons. It was on June 30, 1990 when the British Parliament was mesmerized by the finest tonal quality and the delicacy of his Sitar.
Mukherjee has toured the world extensively, giving concerts in over 25 countries, and from 1983 and 1995, respectively, taught from time to time at the Istituto Interculturale di Studi Musicali Comparati in Venice and the Rotterdam Conservatory. He has also recorded widely, and at the age of 47, his discography spanned exactly 47 CDs, LPs and cassettes. In 1995, he started recording on the surbahar (bass sitar), first as a two-part series (Brilliance of Sound) for Beethoven Records in Kolkata (ragas Yaman and Marwa), then raga Komal rishabh Asavari for RPG/HMV on Tribute to My Father, My Guru (STCS 850362). In 2003, he was the first Indian classical musician to have an enhanced CD published: Thumriyan (RCD-2224), on Bengali label Rhyme Records in Kansas, containing ragas Piloo and Bhairavi.
His son, Bijoyaditya, was born in 1984, and started training with grand father sri Bimalendu Mukherjee and father Budhaditya Mukherjee at the age of 5.
Budhaditya Mukherjee also holds a degree in metallurgical engineering.
The other recipients of the Award
Girija Devi, Nataraj Ramakrishna, Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellows
NEW DELHI: The general council of the Sangeet Natak Akademi elected two eminent personalities from the field of performing arts — Girija Devi and Nataraj Ramakrishna — Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellows (Akademi Ratna) at its meeting held here on Wednesday.
It is a rare honour, and there are only 34 fellows of the Akademi at present.
Thirty-eight people from the fields of music, dance, theatre and puppetry were selected for the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards (Akademi Puraskar) for 2010.
In music, nine artists — Channulal Mishra and Shri Yashpal (Hindustani vocal); Budhaditya Mukherjee (sitar) and Nityanand Haldipur (flute, Hindustani instrumental); Suguna Purushothaman and Mysore Nagamani Srinath (Carnatic vocal), Nagai R. Muralidharan (violin) and Srimushnam V. Raja Rao (mridangam) and M.V. Simhachala Sastry (Harikatha) have been selected.
In dance, Malabika Mitra (Kathak), Kalamandalam Kombil Govindan Nair (Kathakali), Phanjoubam Iboton Singh (Manipuri), Ratna Kumar (Kuchipudi), Aruna Mohanty (Odissi), Manik Borbayan (Sattriya), Uttara Asha Coorlawala (creative and experimental dance), Kalamandalam Painkulam Rama Chakyar (other major traditions of dance and dance theatre — Kutiyattam) and S. Rajeshwari (music for dance — Bharatanatyam) have been selected.
In theatre, eight eminent persons have been selected: D. Vizai Bhaskar (Telugu) and Atamjeet (Punjabi) for playwriting; Veenapani Chawla and Urmil Kumar Thapliyal for direction; and Dilip Prabhavalkar, Banwari Taneja, Maya Krishna Rao and Swatilekha Sengupta for acting.
For their contribution to other forms of art, 10 artists have been selected. They are Harbhajan Singh Namdhari for Gurbani Kirtan (Punjab); Nazeer Ahmed Khan Warsi and Naseer Ahmed Khan Warsi (joint award) for qawwali (Andhra Pradesh); Dwijen Mukherjee for Rabindra Sangeet (West Bengal); T. Somasundaram for folk dance (Tamil Nadu); Krishna Kumari for folk music — Bhakha (Jammu and Kashmir); Chand Jagdish Tiwadi for folk theatre — Bharud (Maharashtra); K. Chinna Anjannamma for Tolu Bommalata or shadow puppetry (Andhra Pradesh); and K.V. Ramakrishnan and K.C. Ramakrishnan (joint award) for Pava Kathakali or glove puppetry (Kerala).
Ashok D. Ranade will receive the Akademi Award 2010 for a scholarship in performing arts (music). Jaidev Taneja will be presented an award for overall contribution to performing arts (theatre).
According to Akademi secretary Jayant Kastuar, the honour of Akademi Fellow has been conferred since 1954 and Akademi Award since 1952. "They not only symbolise the highest standard of excellence and achievements on a national basis but also recognise sustained individual work and contribution to the practice and appreciation of the arts through performance, teaching and scholarship."
The Akademi Fellow carries a prize money of Rs.3 lakh and the Akademi awards carry Rs.1 lakh, besides a tamrapatra and an angavastram.