M A I N   N E W S

Discord at Bismillah-Amjad Ali jugalbandi

Kolkata, December 24
A rare shehnai-sarod jugalbandi concert before a sellout crowd here last evening ended abruptly on a discordant note with Ustad Bismillah Khan refusing to play, blaming “poor” acoustics and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan hitting back at him.

Hardly 20 minutes into the concert at Science City Auditorium, Bismillah Khan stopped playing, sat cupping his face leaving Amjad Ali Khan and a packed house of more than 3,000 classical music enthusiasts bewilderered.

The concert, the first shehnai-sarod jugalbandi here, had generated a lot of interest in the city known for its understanding and appreciation of Hindustani classical music.

The sarod maestro initially prodded Bismillah Khan to carry on with the concert but failed in his efforts and gave a solo performance of more than hour to save the day. He was bitter at the behaviour of the shehnai maestro with whom he had done his first jugalbandi in August Delhi.

“Ustad Bismillah Khan misbehaved with me. He has no respect for fellow musicians,” Amjad Ali Khan said PTI today.

He alleged that the octogenerian shehani legend had become “too money minded apparently at the instance of the people around him. That is why when he stopped playing on the stage though he was complaining about acoustics but he whispered to me that he was paid only for one hour”.

“I was most ashamed of his behaviour”, a fuming Amjad Ali Khan said and even went on to suggest that the Bharat Ratna should be taken away from the shehnai player. “I am never going to play with Bismillah Khan again,” he said.

A spokesman of Bismillah Khan, Jawed, reacted to the charge saying “We do not want to go into this controversy. As far as we are concerned there was nothing wrong in the programme. It went off as per our satisfaction.” — PTI


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