The music section of Maharashtra Cultural Centre was started in around 1998, with a thematic program ‘Kahe Kabir’ and in last 20 years, the music section has flourished in many ways. We organize ‘Sudarshan Sangeet Mahotsav’, a yearly music festival since 2004. From 2011, we run ‘Sudarshan Sangeet Sabha’, a bimonthly activity focused towards awareness of various music-cultures and musicology, in which we invite scholar musicians to present lecture demonstrations. ‘Urja’ was our 5 years project during 2000 to 2005 that provided concert platform to many budding musicians, similarly MCC has supported young, budding musicians under the banner of ‘Kaushik Ranjani’. MCC music section also hosted ‘Sangeet Sankalp’, a national movement of musicians for period of more than a decade. Apart from music performances, we had felicitated veteran scholar musicians such as Dr. Ashok Da Ranade, Yashvant Deo & Karuna Deo, Suhasini Koratkar, Faiyaz Hussain Khan, Jayashree Patnekar, Kumudini Katdare, etc.

Musical Productions:

Our musical productions have a spectrum of musical genres and flavors, such as –

  • Kahe Kabir (program on Kabir Baani),
  • Saaj Thumricha (concert of Marathi Thumri),
  • Manarangache Aabhal (concert of Marathi Prem-Kawita),
  • Ramdas Padawali (program on musical compositions of Sant Ramdas)
  • Sant Swar Wel (concert of Marathi devotional music in various musical genres)
  • Marathi Geet Thewa (concert of traditional Marathi songs from folk and devotional music traditions, depicting life and seasons in Maharashtra)
Music workshops:

We have organized several workshops on music with inviting stalwarts such as –

  • Hindustani Art Music: Pt. Dinkar Kaikini, Pt. Ramashray Jha, Dr. Ashok Da Ranade, Dr. Arawind Thatte, Pandit Suresh Talwalkar,
  • Bhaaw-Sangeet: Pandit Yashvant Deo
  • Western music: Warren Senders, Matthew Rahaim
Thematic concerts
  • Bhairavi Darshan’ (Dr. Ashwini Bhide Deshpande and Shri Shounak Abhisheki)
  • ‘Laya Saras Gaan’ (Smt. Arati Anklikar – Tikekar)
  • ‘Kalyan Darshan’ (Pt. Vijay Sardeshmukh)
  • ‘Adakari Ki Thumri’ (Bireshwar Gautam),
  • ‘Nayika-Bhaav-Tarang’ (Raghunandan Panshikar and Anuradha Kuber)
  • ‘Kalidas Vilas’ (musical program on Sanskrit poet Kalidas)
‘Bandish-kaar Utsav’

This is our venture to present new compositions in Hindustani classical music (Bandish) and in this, we have presented programs of Waggeyakaar-s such as –

  • Pt. Vijay Baxi,
  • Panditaa Kumudini Katdare,
  • Dr. Arawind Thatte,
  • ‘Rohini Swar Smaran’ (program of NrityaPandita Rohin Bhate’s Bandishes),
  • ‘Sur-mohi’ (Bandishes by Sushila Pohankar, presented by Kalpana Zokarkar and Ranjana Pohankar)
  • ‘Kala Ranjani’ (concert of Pt. Vasant Thakar’s Bandishes)
  • ‘Rasdaas’ (compositions of Pt. Arun Kashalkar presented by Ravindra Parchure),
  • ‘Bandish Bahar’ (Bandishes by Pritam Bhattacharya)
  • ‘Tore Pada Pankaj’ (concert of Pt. Vinayakrao Kelkar’s Bandishes)
  • ‘Suran Gaao Saras’, ‘Samprati’, ‘Soor Chaitanyache’ and ‘Praat Samaye’ (Bandishes of Chaitanya Kunte, sung by Anuradha Kuber, Pushkar Lele, Sameer & Prachi Dublay, Ranjani Ramchandran).
Light Music programs with new compositions –
  • ‘Onjalit Swar Tujhech’ (musical program on veteran poet Vinda Karandikar)
  • ‘Dil Chahe So Gaao’ (Program on poet Ba. Bha. Borkar’s Hindi poetry, composed in tune by Dr. Suhasini Koratkar)
  • ‘Nakshatra Vel’ (concert of poems of veteran poetess Vijaya Jagirdar)
  • ‘Eka Kawite Sathi’ (concert of poems of young poet Valay Mulgund)
Programs organized on special occasions:
  • A program dedicated to Shobha Gurtu after her demise
  • Dr Ashok Da Ranade Smriti Sabha (August 4, 2011): Speeches by Vinay Hardikar, Shyamala Vanarase, Sameer Dublay & Chaitanya Kunte
  • Concert of Begum Akhtar’s Thumri & Ghazals on the occasion of her birth centenary year, by Ashwini Tilak.
Musicians that performed in MCC’s music programs:

Pt. Babanrao Haldankar, Dr Ashok Da Ranade, Pt. Sharad Sathe, Suhasini Koratkar, Jayashree Patnekar, Ashwini Bhide-Deshpande, Vijay Sardeshmukh, Dr Arawind Thatte, Sandhya Apte, Arati Anklikar, Anuradha Kuber, Shounak Abhisheki, Raghunandan Panshikar, Rahul Deshpande, Ranjani Ramchandran, Shaila Datar, Sarita Bhave, Vitthal Umap, Prakash Singh Salunke, Warren Senders, Phil Scarff, etc.

Sudarshan Sangeet Sabha: A review

Pune has numerous festivals held annually and there is no dearth of music organizations that host artists from all over the country. But all or most of these performances are ‘entertainment’ oriented. Very few, if any have an ‘edutainment’ value. Our music has so many facets that escape the listener due to his lack of awareness about them. These aspects need to be highlighted to make ‘listening’ to Music a more prolific and enriching experience. Sensing this need, Harmonium player, composer and musicologist Dr Chaitanya Kunte conceptualized a monthly guided listening session. He has successfully run this activity for last five years. Sudarshan Sangeet Sabha, as it is called, has featured up till now, 43 interesting discourses handling a wide spectrum of musicological issues. Following the footsteps of Dr. Ashok Da Ranade, Dr Chaitanya Kunte has focused on the six categories of music; Primitive, folk, Devotional, Art, Popular and Confluence music. This creative activity was willingly and generously supported by ‘Maharashtra Cultural centre’ an organization devoted for the last several years to experimental theatre, visual and performing arts.

The Sabha was inaugurated by renowned vocalist Smt. Arati Anklikar Tikekar in July 2011. Every 3rd Sunday of the month saw a sizable gathering of musicians and lay listeners who come to savor the unique presentations. The venue is a small intimate auditorium with a capacity of about 150. This allows for a good rapport between the audience and the performer.

 A chronological description of the programme series:

  1. Primitive Music to Fusion – A Spectrum (July 10, 2011): It featured rare musical pieces from various musical genres. The six categories of music were also explained with audio samples.
  2. The Practice of Improvisation (August 21, 2011): Warren Senders, a renowned musician from USA, conducted this interactive programme. The audience participated enthusiastically in the special experiments Warren has devised to enhance creative improvisation.
  3. Soor Araspani (Sept. 18, 2011): Sanjay Sant, a passionate record collector was the guest presenter. This programme was a treat for the audience as old recordings (from the early 1900s), were played and analyzed.
  4. Khayal (Oct. 16, 2011): screening of a documentary film on Hindustani Art music and musicians.
  5. Niwrutti Naad (Nov. 20, 2011): It was in commemoration of the birth centenary of the Atrauli-Jaipur Gharana doyen Pt. Niwruttibua Sarnaik. Smt. Lata Godse rendered his compositions and spoke about Pandit Ji’s life and work.
  6. Uttari Thumari – Marathi Rang (Dec. 18, 2011): This was a session describing the contribution of singers from Maharashtra in the field of Thumri rendition. Chaitanya Kunte described the nuances in their Thumri singing with the help of audio samples featuring many celebrated musicians.
  7. Babuji (Jan 15, 2012): In the seventh session, musical works of the much loved Marathi music composer Sudhir Phadke were presented by Shripad Umbrekar.
  8. Kantha Rang Tarang (Feb 19, 2012): The voice, the varied voice textures and voice production techniques have great significant in all music genres and music cultures. Chaitanya Kunte explained this with use of recorded samples from diverse musical cultures to demonstrate the timbers, ornamentations, range and textures peculiar to each genre and sometimes to a particular individual.
  9. Iranian Music (March 18, 2012): Iranian composer Sasan Bazgir performed traditional Iranian music on ‘Tar’, a lute like instrument. After the performance, he explained in detail the technicalities of Iranian music such as Maqam, Dastagah and various forms of music.
  10. Tappa Gayaki – Kal Aur Aaj (April 15, 2012): The special presentation on Tappa, a rare musical form, was unfolded through audio clips of veteran artists and a vocal presentation by Saniya Patankar. Chaitanya Kunte explained the history of the form, its various presentations styles, and the impact of Tappa Gayaki on other forms.
  11. Ramkrishnabuwa Vaze: Gayaki & Parampara (May 20, 2012): The session was presented by Pt. Ramkrishna Bua’s great grand daughter-in-law, Leenata Vaze on the occasion of the maestro’s 69th death anniversary. It illustrated Vazebuwa’s contribution as a singer, composer & Guru.
  12. Gomantakeeya Loksangeet (June 17, 2012): Rupesh Gavas presented the rich tradition of Goan folk music. It was an interesting presentation with Rupesh’s rendition of a few songs and audio video samples of Dhalo-geet, Ghumat Aarti, Mando, Dhulpod, Dekhni, Suvari wadan, and Sokarat.
  13. Ashok Ranade – A musical journey (July 29, 2012): This program paid tribute to Dr. Ranade’s musical genius as a singer, composer and musicologist.
  14. Gunijan Smaran (August 19, 2012): In this presentation, Chaitanya Kunte explained the contribution of luminaries such as Pt. Bhatkhande, Pt. Paluskar, Anjanibai Malpekar, Rajabhaiya Puchhawale, Krishnarao Pandit and Vinayakrao Patwardhan with select audio samples and photographs.
  15. Tarana, Tappa and Thumri (Sept 16, 2012): Screening of a documentary featuring musicians such as Ghulam Mustafa Khan, Sharad Sathe, Vidyadhar Vyas, Veena Sahasrabuddhe and Sarala Bhide while rendering the mentioned three forms of Hindustani music.
  16. Ek Amir Swar (Oct 21, 2012): Dr. Suresh Chandvankar presented a special session on Ustad Amir Khan of Indore Gharana on his birth centenary year.
  17. Bells and Meters (Ghanta and Visaralele Sangeet) (Nov 18, 2012): Screening of two documentaries made by Dr. Ashok Ranade, on bell as a musical instrument and music in Marathi poetic meters.
  18. Music of tomorrow (Udyache Sangeet) (Dec 30, 2012): Chaitanya Kunte, taking a review of emergence of fusion music, explained the development of Confluence music, in special reference to music of future generations. This also featured various pioneers such as Pt. Ravi Shankar, L Subramaniam, Trilok Gurtu, Amelia Cuni, etc.
  19. GaanYogi Swami Vivekanand (Jan 20, 2013): Talk by Adwait Dharmadhikari on Swami Vivekananda’s musical journey.
  20. Soor Sangat (Feb 17, 2013): Screening of documentary of Tabla maestro Vasant Achrekar
  21. Dilruba Madhur Ha (March 17, 2013): Vishwanath Oak and Madhuri Oak presented Ragas and Bandishes composed by Chhota Gandharva.
  22. Shatamaan Smaran (April 21, 2013): Prof. Rahiman Tarikere (Dharwad) paid tribute to the singer sisters Amirbai Karnataki and Goharbai Karnataki on the birth centenary year of Amirbai.
  23. Baja-Nama (May 19, 2013): Chaitanya Kunte presented this special program taking a review of stylistic diversity of the solo Harmonium playing in last century. It included AV clips of maestros from Tembe, Korgaonkar, P Madhukar to Dr. Arawind Thatte.
  24. Musical journey of ‘Vande Mataram’ (June 16, 2013): Milind Sabnis brought forth the history of ‘Vande Mataram’ as an inspirational song to national song and its musico-cultural voyage. The diverse renditions of song by various maestros such as Tagore, Omkarnath, Pagnis, Keshavrao Bhole, Mogubai, M S Subbalaxmi and Dilipkumar Roy, etc. were presented with audio clips.
  25. Sangeet-Bhashyakaar Dr. Ashok Ranade (July 21, 2013): This was a special screening of speeches and interviews of Dr. Ashok Ranade, portraying him as an orator and thinker, on the occasion of his second death of anniversary.
  26. Bal Gandharva in his own voice (August 18, 2013): Sanjay Sant presented this listening session containing a rare audio interview of celebrated stage actor-singer Bal Gandharva speaking on his life and music.
  27. Kashinath Shankar Bodas: Sansmaran (Oct 20, 2013): Ranjani paid a musical tribute to her Guru Kashinath Bodas, a veteran vocalist of Gwalior Gharana, with rendering his compositions of Khayal, Tarana Bandishes and Bhajans.
  28. Devotional music in Gramophone records (Jan 19, 2014): Dr. Suresh Chandvankar displayed a spectrum of devotional music in India through the selected samples from Gramophone records.
  29. Hori Geet (March 16, 2014): This presentation covered many facets of travel of ‘Hori’ from a simple folk song to an art music form. Chaitanya Kunte elaborated this with rare recordings of Gauhar Jan, Indu Bala, Sundara Bai, Malka Jan, Rasoolan Bai, Mehboob Jan, Kesarbai Kerkar, Hirabai Barodekar, Master Krishnarao, Kumar Gandharva, Shobha Gurtu, Girija Devi,
  30. Musical instruments in Hindustani Music (May 18, 2014): Deepak Raja will explain about the classification of musical instruments in various approaches and consideration of present-day instruments within the modern classification system.
  31. Tribal Music in India (July 20, 2014): Prachi Dublay gave a lecture-demonstration on her experiences and observations on Tribal music of India, with songs demonstrations and audio-visual clips.
  32. Jhap Taal – A musical quest (Sept 21, 2014): Chaitanya Kunte elaborated on Jhap Tala, a cycle of 10 beats in Hindustani music – its glimpses in folk music, poetic meters, art music and popular music, with audio clips.
  33. Khayal Darpan (Nov 16, 2014): Screening of documentary made by Yousuf Saeed on the contemporary situation of Hindustani Art music in Pakistan.
  34. Marathi Bhaaw Geet – Kirananchi Sawali 1 (Jan 18, 2015): With reading passages from Dr. Ashok Ranade’s series ‘Kirananchi Sawali’, Dr. Suresh Chandvankar and Chaitanya Kunte explained the origin and development of Marathi Bhaaw Geet as a music form.
  35. Marathi Bhaaw Geet – Kirananchi Sawali 2 (March 15, 2015): In this second part, audio clips Bhaaw Geet sung by art musicians, non-Marathi singers, songs on various unusual topics were presented, along with reading of passages written by Dr. Ranade.
  36. Lavani Vilas (May 17, 2015): An audio-visual presentation by Ramchandra Pagey and Chaitanya Kunte on ‘Lavani’ as a musical form, as portrayed in the Gramophone records during 1904 to 1950s.
  37. They Lit The Way – 1 (July 19, 2015): An audio visual program on musico-biographical sketches of Ustad Faiyaz Khan, Surashree Kesarbai Kerkar & Pandit Omkarnath Thakur, written by eminent musicologist Dr. Ashok Da. Ranade. Chaitanya Kunte rendered the passages and audio clips.
  38. Kawiteche Geet Hotana (Poem becomes a song) (Jan 17, 2016): Screening of rare video footage from Mangesh Padgaonkar’s 60th anniversary celebration in which stalwart composers Sudheer Phadke, Yashwant Deo, singer Arun Date and Padgaonkar talk about the process of transforming poem into a song.
  39. An Introduction to Jazz (March 20, 2016): Warren Senders gave a lecture demonstration explaining the nuances of Jazz.
  40. Bhaaw-Rang (May 15, 2016): This program was organized to pay musical tribute to ace composer singer Pandit Balwantrai Bhatt aka Bhaaw-Rang on the occasion of his passing away.
  41. They Lit The Way – 2 (July 17, 2016): An audio visual program on sketches of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, B R Deodhar & Jagannathbuwa Purohit, written by eminent musicologist Dr. Ashok Da. Ranade. Shruti Kunte and Chaitanya Kunte presented this with rendition of passages and audio clips.
  42. Sajan Piya (Sept 18, 2016): A special concert of Bandishes composed by Ustad Khadim Hussain Khan aka Sajan Piya. Veteran singer Pt. Babanrao Haldankar performed with his disciples Kawita Kharwandikar and Chandrashekhar Mahajan.
  43. Sangeet Chintan (June 18, 2017): Audio-visual program on Dr. Ashok Da. Ranade’s articles on Mogubai Kurdikar, Allarakha, C Ramchandra and topics such as folk music and religious music with passage reading by Preshit Abhyankar and musical commentary by Chaitanya Kunte.
  44. Marathi Khayal Composers (October 15, 2017): This was an audio-visual program presented by Dr. Chaitanya Kunte, featuring Khayal composers in Maharashtra such as Vaze buwa, Paluskar, Vinayak buwa Patwardhan, Shankarrao Vyas, Shankar Abhyankar, Baburao Rele, Satyasheel Deshpande, Shankar and Kashinath Bodas, Prabha Atre, Veena Sahasrabuddhe, Padmakar Barve, N M Khare, Vasant Thakar, Anant Manohar Joshi, Gajanan buwa Joshi, Ashok Ranade, Sharachchandra Arolkar, Master Krishnarao, Chota Gandharva, Bhatkhande, Ratanjankar, Kaikini, V R Athavale, Jagannath buwa Purohit, C R Vyas, Babanrao Haldankar, Mogubai Kurdikar, Kishori Amonkar, Ashwini Bhide, etc.