Prestigious Dhrupad awards for Soporis

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Jammu, Feb 21: The Dhrupad Samiti, Varanasi presented its prestigious Dhrupad awards to the great Music Legend Pandit Bhajan Sopori  (posthumously), the legendary Santoor virtuoso and music composer, known as the Saint of Santoor and the King of Strings, and music maestro Pt. Abhay Rustum Sopori during the 49th International Dhrupad Mela 2023 held at the Dhrupad Teerth, Tulsi Ghat, Varanasi.

The Dhrupad Mela is the biggest Dhrupad music festival of the world. Pt Bhajan Sopori was awarded the Maharaja Banaras Vibhuti Narayan Singh Award 2023 for his unparalleled contribution to music and Dhrupad in particular. The award was received by his wife Prof Aparna Sopori.

Pt Abhay Sopori, the present representative of his Gharana, was presented with the Maharaja Swati Tirunal Travancore Award 2023 for his outstanding work in Dhrupad.

Sopori belongs to the fabled Sopori Sufiana Gharana of Kashmir, the Shaivaite – Sufi Parampara and the exclusive traditional Santoor family with its roots spanning over more than 300 years.

The awards were presented by the Kashi Naresh Anant Narayan Singh, Prof Vishwambhar Nath Mishra, the Mahant of the Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple and Pandit Rajeshwar Acharya, Co-founder of the International Dhrupad Festival and eminent musician.

Pandit Bhajan Sopori was earlier honoured with the title of ‘Dhrupad Shri’ in 2016, the exclusive title ever given to any musician by the Dhrupad Samiti.

Pandit Sopori was also awarded the Maharaja Swati Tirunal Travancore Award in 2017 by Dhrupad Samiti. Pt. Bhajan Sopori is credited for introducing the Dhrupad Ang style on Santoor with the accompaniment of the Pakhawaj.

During the festival Pt. Abhay Sopori presented a memorable Dhrupad recital on his Shatatantri Veena presenting Raga Nandkauns with detailed Aalap – Jod and compositions in Ashtamangal Taal (11 beat cycle) and Sool Taal (10 beat cycle) in his Sopori Baaj, the style created by Pt. Bhajan Sopori with nuances like Meend, Gamak, Glides, Chhand and Laya patterns, which was appreciated by both Indian and foreign audiences. He was proficiently accompanied on the Pakhawaj by Rishi Shankar Upadhyay.

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