Acclaimed Sarod-Tabla duo from Kolkata Arnab Bhattacharya and Nilimesh Chakraborty returned today to Kolkata from a ten day (Aug 26-Sept 04) tour to Thailand, which included nine days in Chiangmai, a city in north Thailand holding concert after concert of Indian classical music. The tour – their second to Thailand – began with a concert at a gala reception hosted by the Consulate of India in Chiangmai to celebrate 75 Years of Independence.
They also performed at the ten-day (Aug 31-Sept 09) Chiangmai Ganesh Chaturthi and recited Raag Ganesh Kalyan composed by Ustaad Amjad Ali Khan besides Raag Chandrakaus. They had a Baithaki-e- Mausiki at the Consulate, where they recited Raag Bageshri, including a composition by Ustaad Bade Gulam Ali Khan followed by a recital of Raag Bairagi. The Baithaki included a rendition by Arnab of ‘Ek ungli ka Khayal’, a 17th century composition of Ustaad Mohammed Amir Khan, a disciple of Tansen and of a ‘Raila’ by Nilimesh of his guru Pundit Swapan Shiva. They played morning ragaas in the hills on the outskirts of the City at Amaravati Wellness Centre, and had another concert at Pai, a beautiful small city in Mae Hong Son province of North Thailand. They dedicted their concluding concert (Sept 03) to the memory of legendary Tabla Maestro Pandit Kishan ji Maharaj and had a fundraising concert at Bangkok for building a crematorium for Indian Community.
All their concerts drew full house from audiences comprising diverse sections, including Thai nationals and expats population from different countries.
Their first tour of Thailand was in May-June during which they performed six concerts, including one each in Bangkok and Pattaya and four in different parts of Chiangmai city. One of these four was a Concert on May 29 at the Consulate of India in Chiangmai to pay tribute to Santoor Maestro Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma.
This is the first time that Indian classical music concerts are being held in north Thailand and people have loved it, asking for more and more. Arnab-Nilimesh already have offer of many concerts in different parts of Thailand and would go back there in October-end.
They have also contributed and collaborated to produce a musical Video Vande Mataram: Welcome to Chiangmai – A Beauty on Earth. The much-appreciated Video was released at the reception hosted by the Consulate. The video has contributions by a number of Indian artists based in Chiangmai, including one from Kolkata, Bibaswan Palchaudhury, popularly known as Swan, who has his own band there; Parth Patel, a singer from Ahmedabad who is the lead singer in two bands in Chiangmai; poet and singer Shyam Arora, and percussionist Vinimay. The Video has been produced by Kolkata based AB Music and edited by Jub Art. They have been honoured by the Consulate of India in Chiangmai with Freedom Fighter Lal Singh Pandhi Award for promoting Indian Classical Music in North Thailand.