MUMBAI: The Sangit Kala Kendra, among the nation’s premier cultural institutions, was founded by Shri Aditya Vikram Birla in 1973 for fostering the performing arts. In 1995, after his untimely demise, in his memory and to carry forward Shri Aditya Birla’s legacy, the Sangit Kala Kendra instituted the Aditya Vikram Birla Kalashikhar Puraskar in 1996. Subsequently, they also set up the Aditya Birla Kalakiran Puraskar. The awards are a recognition of exemplary talent and amazing distinction in the field of performing arts and are thematic.
For the year 2019, the award will recognize an exemplar in instrumental music. Emerging maestros will also be honored.The Kalashikhar Puraskar will be awarded to one of the most reputed and globally recognized tabla maestro. Dr. N. Rajam among the world’s most renowned violinist is the Chief Guest at the awards ceremony to be held on the 27th of November in Mumbai. Mrs. Rajashree Birla, President and Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla, Vice President of Sangit Kala Kendra will greet the awardees as well.
Over the years, these awards have become aspirational. Its recipients have been exemplars in the field of performing arts. Some of the marquee names in instrumental music are legends – Pandit Shivkumar Sharma (2015), Pandit Vijay Raghav Rao (2008) and Pandit Shri Ram Narayan (1999).
Among other virtuosos feature: Kum. Lata Mangeshkar (1996), Shri M. F. Hussain (1997), Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra (1998), Pt. Bhimsen Joshi (2000), Shri Habib Tanvir (2001), Shri Sankho Choudhuri (2002), Smt. Tejan Bai and Shri Jeeva Soma Maashe (2003), Shri Purshottam Das Jalota (2004), Dr. Gangubai Hangal (2005), Shri K. G. Subramanyan (2006), Smt. Mrinalini Sarabhai (2007), Pandit Jasraj (2009), Prof. Raj Bisaria (2010), Shri Nagji Patel (2011), Padmashri Smt. Yamunabai Jawle and Shri Nageshwar Rao (Babji) (2012), Dr. Girija Devi (2013), Pandit Birju Maharaj (2014), Dr. Pratibha Agrawal (2016), Dr. Prabha Atre (2017) and Dr. Kanak Rele (2018).
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