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Ustad Shujaat Husain Khan: The melody maker

“The best thing HCL did is making these shows ticketed,” says Ustad Shujaat Husain Khan. He adds, “If someone purchases a ticket, takes out time to come to a classical music concert, that means they’re interested in it.”

One of the greatest living legends of sitar, Khan, who is part of the HCL Mega Concert 2019, says classical music is an experience you need to be open to. “It’s a wonderful thing that a conglomerate has taken this step to promote the arts and culture of the country. In my previous performances at this concert, I enjoyed the challenge of planning a fresh and different raga for each day.”

In its fourth year, the HCL Mega Concert, held in Delhi, Noida and Gurugram, witnessed a wide range of music genres, including fusion and pure classical music jugalbandis.

Beside Ustad Shujaat Khan, this year the Concert saw performances by Shubha Mudgal, Ustad Shujaat Khan, Ustad Rashid Khan, Rakesh Chaurasia, Kaushiki Chakraborty and Manganiyars, and Purbayan Chatterjee.

And the efforts have clearly paid off as the sitarist says he’s observed at least 50 per cent of the audience being under the age of 25. “Once you’ve gone through mediocrity then your heart and mind starts to look for something different.

Classical music needs a heightened state of consciousness. And that’s what’s happening with our youth who are opening their minds to imbibe the classic arts,” says Khan. He feels it’s a preconceived notion that people are going away from tradition but in fact people are opening themselves to a different experience.

Ustad Shujaat Husain Khan will be performing at Shiv Nadar School, Noida today at 7 pm.

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