Bengal Parampara Sangeetalay
Bengal Parampara Sangeetalay (BPS), a programme of the Bengal Foundation, was established in November 2014 with the wider aim of reviving classical music in Bangladesh. BPS seeks to make education in classical music available and financially accessible to deserving Bangladeshi students, within the country, from an internationally renowned faculty.
The Bengal Foundation’s Music Programme started in the late eighties, with the distinctive aim of presenting good quality Bengali music to all. After many years of successfully delivering concerts, recordings, lectures and workshops, it was keenly felt that that more needed to be done to ensure proper teaching of classical music in Bangladesh. Efforts commenced with a series of teaching workshops in 2002, and was followed by the flagship Bengal Classical Music Festival in 2012, which is until date, the largest festival in the world of its kind in terms of number of performers on a single stage, duration of the programme and audience capacity.
The ideology of the Bengal Classical Music Festival was always backed by the intent to establish a school for training in classical music by renowned maestros, and the success of the first festival led to Bengal Parampara Sangeetalay being introduced in 2014. The school offers free tuition under a modern interpretation of the Guru-Shishya method, to deserving Bangladesh students, from internationally renowned teachers. The objective is to create the next generation of young masters of Indian classical music in Bangladesh, for the continued propagation of an important legacy. In keeping with the Guru-Shishya mode, the training is open ended and is expected to continue until such time that the students achieve professional competence. All pupils, who are competitively offered a place in the programme, are provided free lessons and individual support. The school has been lauded for its unique concept, generosity and commitment to excellence.
Music is an integral part of Bangladesh’s culture and heritage. Through active programming at Bengal Parampara Sangeetalay, Bengal Foundation is able to groom young musicians so that they may uphold the shared legacy of classical music in the Indian sub-continent and take Bangladesh’s music industry to new heights.
Bengal Parampara Sangeetalay targets gifted young Bangladeshi pupils, from 6 to 24 years, to train in the genres of Khayal, Dhrupad, Tabla, Sarod, Esraj/ Sarangi and Sitar. Intake is through an annual open call. Placement is on a competitive basis. Young women are especially encouraged to apply.
Bengal Parampara Sangeetalay currently offers training in the Khayal, Dhrupad, Tabla, Sarod, Esraj/ Sarangi and Sitar genres.
There can be no better means of ensuring a bond between people than through cultural exchange. The aesthetic sensibility and creative urge, which find expression in the arts are surely the ingredients that foster ties between nations and societies, and cut across political, social and economic barriers.
The abundance of talent in our country is an index of the rich tradition of music in Bengal. It is important that each of us try and perpetuate this cultural legacy of ours in every conceivable way. The Bengal Parampara Sangeetalay is a step in that direction.
It is my dream that in the future a new generation of world class Bangladeshi musicians will perform alongside classical music legends of the region. They will represent Bangladesh in the world arena with pride.
– Abul Khair, Chair, Bengal Foundation
– Teach classical music to young and gifted Bangladeshi musicians
– Set standards of excellence in teaching classical music and delivering musical performance
– Inspire talent and creativity, uphold artistry
– Ensure equal access to top-level training in classical music, within Bangladesh
– Ensure free public access to concerts; encourage public interest
– Revive historically important music genres (such as classical music) and position it among the youth, in the contemporary world
– Encourage diversity and inclusiveness; break stereotypes and gendered roles in music
– Develop regional collaboration and networks; work towards Bangladesh’s representation in the international music arena
– Provide certification to enable young classical musicians to gain a foothold in the music and entertainment industry as professional artists
– Impact the music and entertainment industry in Bangladesh to enable musicians, musical instrument-makers, and technicians to pursue gainful livelihoods
– Uphold and position Bangladesh’s lineage in the shared legacy of classical music in the Indian sub-continent.
In all the years I have been coming to Bangladesh, I have realised that the people here love and appreciate classical music. Bangladesh has given us some very talented artists, however, this tradition of classical music has been on the decline over the past few years. When the chairman of Bengal Foundation, Mr Abul Khair proposed to establish a gurukul (school) to overcome this, I instantly agreed to come and instruct the students for a few days every month. The students here learn with a lot of love and dedication and I believe they will become accomplished artists in a few years. My prayers and blessings are with them.
– Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar,
Members of the Faculty
Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar (Khayal)
Pandit Suresh Talwalkar (Tabla)
Pandit Kushal Das (Sitar)
Pandit Tejendra Narayan Majumdar (Sarod)
Pandit Uday Bhawalkar (Dhrupad)
Mr. Debashis Haldar (Esraj & Sarangi)
Mr. Kaushik Mukherjee (Sarod)
Mr. Kalyanjit Das (Sitar)
Ms. Supriya Das (Khayal)
Mr. Avijit Kundu (Dhrupad)
Mr. Prashanto Bhowmick (Tabla)
Members of the Advisory Body
Ms. Shameema Parveen, Past Principal, Govt Music College, Dhaka
Mr. Firoz Khan, leading Sitar artiste, Dhaka
Mr. Yousuf Mohammad Khan, leading Sarod artiste, Dhaka
Dr. Razwan Ali, Professor, Music Dept, Jagannath University, Dhaka
Dr. Asit Roy, Professor, Dept of Music, University of Rajshahi
Mr. Swarup Hossain, Asst Professor, Music Dept, University of Dhaka
Ms. Priyanka Gope, Asst Professor, Department of Music, University of Dhaka
Ustad Shahadat Hussain Khan (1958 – 2020)
I have always heard that Bangladeshi people love the sound of a flute, so much so that their day remains incomplete without it. This knowledge gives me pleasure and I look forward to come and join the students, and play the flute.
– Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia
Bangladesh has given us Baba Alauddin, Bahadur Hossain Khan, Ali Akbar Khan and Ustad Vilayet Khan, to name a few. Their contributions have made way for much greater attainments in art and music. Bengal Parampara Sangeetalay, in turn, has created the opportunity to once again revive classical music to its former glory.
–Pandit Ajay Chakrabarty
To preserve the traditional art is a challenge for every country, not only for India or Bangladesh. It is very important to have our own identity and preserve our own classical music. Therefore, this gurukul will be very beneficial for Bangladesh. I am very happy that Bengal Foundation is serving this cause of preserving and popularizing Indian Classical Music.
– Ustad Amjad Ali Khan