Competition weekend commences with an inaugural concert by some of the finest musicians in the Indian Classical Music field. Throughout the history of the competition, this stage has been graced by such stalwarts as Ust. Vilayat Khan, Pt. Budhaditya Mukherjee, Ust. Shujaat Khan, Pt. Ajoy Chakrabarty, Pt. Tarun Bhattacharya, Pt. Ronu Majumdar, and many more. 

This year, we are presenting:

  • A solo recital by Dr. Farid Mahmood, a vocalist and student of Ustad Hamid Hossain
  • A duet jugalbandhi concert byShakir Khan, son of Ustad Shahid Parvez, on sitar and Deepak Ram on bansuri
  • A duet jugalbandhi concert by Hidayat Khan, son of Ustad Vilayat Khan, on sitar and Kamal Sabri, son of Ustad Sabri Khan, on sarangi.

This concert is held in an intimate baithak setting with limited seating available so please buy tickets in advance!

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Dr. Farid Mahmood is a medical doctor by profession and a talented vocalist who has performed classical, thumri, and ghazal recitals for audiences all over the US. He is a student of Ustad Hamid Hossain.


Shakir Khan is one of the most promising young exponents of the legendary Etawah Gharana, energetically following in the musical footsteps of his prodigious father and guru - the sitar maestro Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan. Indeed, Shakir represents the eighth generational link in an unbroken chain of musical talent and tradition poured exclusively into the sitar and surbahar. A chain that includes, besides Ustadji, the musical legacy of Ustad Aziz Khan (Shakir’s paternal grandfather), and that of the patriarchal surbaharist Ustad Wahid Khan (Shakir’s great grandfather). He is also a close blood relative of the great Ustad Vilayat Khan. 
As might be expected from such a pedigreed musician, his talent surfaced early in life, Shakir giving his first public performance at the age of eleven. Talent, however, is not enough to master the Indian classical tradition, and under the careful tutelage of his father, Shakir matured gradually through study, countless hours dedicated to practice (riyaaz) and frequent recitals. The work paid off, and in recent years Shakir has performed brilliantly for prestigious music conferences in India including the Dover Lane Music Conference (Kolkata), Sawai Gandharva music festival Pune. the Saptak Music Festival (Ahmedabad), Bombay Festival (Mumbai), the Tansen Music Festival (Gwalior), the Shankarlal Music Festival (Delhi) and many more. He has also performed extensively worldwide, bringing the joy and subtlety of the Etawah Gharana to audiences in the US, Canada and Europe – the latter including a performance at the famous Woodstock Festival in Poland in 2008.  

Youtube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sO3TspRrWfM


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Deepak Ram is a versatile artist who is well known for his evocative performances in traditional North Indian (Hindustani) classical music, his collaborations with musicians of other genres, his innovative compositions and for his excellence as a teacher.

Deepak's first love is north Indian classical music. Indeed, he is an accomplished soloist. He is a delightful and captivating performer, combining technical mastery with personal charm. He has performed in the United States of America (where he is currently based), South Africa, India, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Austria, Germany, Lebanon, Turkey, Taiwan and Holland and had the honor of accompanying his teacher, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, in Geneva, London and Paris.

Deepak began his formal training in bansuri and tabla under Sri Jeram Bhana in South Africa in 1975. Two years later he was off to Mumbai, India, to study flute under the late Sri Suryakant Limaye (India's master flute maker); he simultaneously spent a short time under flautist, Pandit Vijay Raghav Rao. It was in 1981 that his dream was realized when he became the disciple of the celebrated flautist, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, with whom he continues to study from time to time. During this period he also studied tabla under Sri Yashwant Padhye and music theory and voice under Pandit Rajaram Shukla. Deepak earned a Masters degree in Music (MMus) from Rhodes University, South Africa, in 1996 for his thesis, “Exploring Syncretism Between Indian and Western Music Through Composition”.

Deepak's versatility is apparent in his numerous collaborations with musicians of various genres. These include performances with jazz pianists Darius Brubeck and Bheki Mseleku, Tunisian oud player and vocalist Dhafer Yousseff and the popular South African band Tananas. On January 1, 2000, Deepak performed with South African musicians like Sibongile Khumalo and the Rwandan diva, Cecile, on Robben Island in South Africa's Millennium Concert hosted by presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki. Deepak has 9 solo albums to his credit and as a session musician can be heard on over 60 albums. His bansuri can also be heard on movie soundtracks, such as “The Fast And The Furious”, “Matrix Revolutions”, “India, Kingdom of the Tiger”, “Stealth” and “Before The Rains”.

Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3aextqlSTI


Kamal, who is the seventh generation of a distinguished family of traditional musicians, has demonstrated profound versatility in playing the Sarangi.

Kamal was initiated and trained by his father in the style of the Senia Gharana (school) of Rampur, Moradabad from the tender age of 5 years and very soon this child prodigy made waves in the musical world with his talent. His musical brilliance and talent as a seasoned accompanist gained immense popularity amongst eminent classical vocalists.

In India Kamal participated in several prestigious festivals over the years like the Harballabh Music Festival in Jallandhar(Dec.1991,2001,2005,2007,), Tansen Samaroh in Gwalior(Dec.2001), Saptak Festival Ahmedabad(2002,2003), Swami Haridas Music festival Mumbai(1995), ITC Sangeet Sammelan(2004), New Delhi, ICCR Festival of Music NCPA, Mumbai and World Peace Concert in Delhi, Sangeet Natak Academy Golden Jubilee Festival Hyderabad (Nov.2003), to name a few. Appreciation by music lovers and rave reviews for his performance came easily and spontaneously.

Some of the most highly respected Indian and foreign dignitaries who have attended Kamal Sabri’s Sarangi-concerts include, but are not limited to, King of Norway, Prime Minister of Norway, President of China and two of the former Presidents of India Mr. R. Venkat Raman and Sh. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

A Graded Artist of All India Radio, Kamal is a regular performer on All India Radio and Indian National Television. He has appeared in many Radio Sangeet Sammelans and National Programmes of Music. He has won several awards including, 'The Best Instrumentalist'(2000), Surmani'(2001), Sangeet Bhushan Award(2002),'The Young Maestro Award' (1999) conferred by the Indo-Sri Lankan Cultural Council and the 'Young Ustad Khitab (Title) (2005) at the Prestigious Harballabh Music Festival.

Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jger9JLTEdg


Hidayat Khan began his formal training of Indian classical vocal music from his legendary father Ustad Vilayat Khan at the age of 4 and continued it until he was 14. From Khan Sahib, He learned to sing "Khayal" and a variety of other forms of Indian classical music. During this time he performed at various concerts including performances at prestigious venues such as the Royal Albert Hall in London, England, Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall at the Lincoln Center in New York.  At the age of 14, Ustad Vilayat Khan Sahib initiated him formaly into sitar. This was followed by intensive sitar training which consisted of hours of riyaaz (practice) and taleem (training) every day. His vocal music training helped him develop as a sitarist and quickly catapulted onto the stage.  Hidayat has performed all over the world. This includes major performances in Europe, Japan, USA, Malaysia, Indonesia, Canada, Singapore and India. Recently he completed a tour in Italy where the press commented on his ability to caress and invoke the primordial sound of creation (nada Brahma). He believes in sincere "riyaz" to take him heights of artistic endeavor.

One of the highlights of Hidayat's performances is the melodic movements that completely replicate the human voice in the true form of "gayaki ang". This style of sitar playing was introduced by his father, Ustad Vilayat Khan. In order to enhance this style more in Hidayat's sitar playing, his father initiated him into vocal music first.  Multidimensional is a word that can be used to describe this performer, as he has taken part in musical compositions for films worldwide, including Mira Nair's Kamasutra. In 1999, he completed a background track for the Discovery Channel program on tigers titled "Tracking a Legend". On my hear vocal presentations which at times accompany his sitar recitals. His style and presence on stage lead the audience to be enraptured with his performance. Hidayat takes keen interest in teaching music to interested students.

Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcFSB9_HogU


Enayet was born into a musical family, his grandfather, the late great Ustad Kader Buksh was acknowledged as one of India’s foremost musicologist/musician. Enayet learned the tabla from his father, Ustad Hamid Hossain, a very well known Indian music teacher and musician based in the United States.  Enayet was born in Bangladesh and raised in the United States and represents a new breed of musicians who received their musical training outside of India.  Enayet is a versatile performer of tabla. He is at ease with accompaniment with North Indian classical music, instrumental music, light and semi classical music including thumri, ghazal, dadra etc… as well as giving solo performances. Enayet has over 30 compact disc recordings available where he is featured.

Enayet started accompanying India’s top musicians from an early age. While only 17, he accompanied Aftab-E-Sitar Ustad Vilayat Khan on several concerts. He has since accompanied artists like Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, Pandit Jasraj, Budhaditya Mukherjee, Shujaat Khan, Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan and countless others. Enayet, who grew up in the United States since the age of 4 represents a new breed of musicians who have learned the art of music in outside of India. He has been featured in many newspapers as a leading artist. He also received many citations from the state of Maryland for his outstanding contributions to the propagation of Indian music and its synthesis in American society. He has also received a grant from the Governor of Maryland as an artist in residence.

Enayet along with another close associate of his, Anjan Chattopadhyay together thought that the next release should be a comprehensive multimedia encyclopedia of Indian music; something that would facilitate further interest in Indian music.  Sangeetpedia was born, and will undoubtedly become something that the future generations can use to gain a greater understanding of Indian music and its intricacies.  Enayet is not only a musician par excellence, but also someone who is in a position to combine technology with traditional music. Not to fuse it with another form of music or dilute it in any way, but to propagate it in its original form; the only difference being that the presentation is facilitated in an easier package that makes today’s generation able to access and learn from it.

Enayet is also the founding member of Melodic Intersect, a world fusion group bringing together internationally renowned musicians throughout the world.  Melodic Intersect has already published four CDs, of which Inner Vision and Global Vision was entered for the 57th Annual Grammy Awards.  Inner Vision went on to get the nomination for the Independent Music Awards in 2015.  Enayet is also one of a selective group of musicians who are voting members with the Recording Academy and votes actively for the Grammy Awards every year.

Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRnGBz1dhsc


Born into a musical family, Monir Hossain is the grandson of renowned North Indian Classical musicologist and musician Ustad Kader Buksh of West Bengal, India.   Born in Bangladesh, Monir Hossain got his initial talim in Tabla from his father Ustad Hafiz Hossain and uncle Ustad Hamid Hossain.   Monir pursued Tabla passionately ever since and has been under the tutelage of famous tabla maestro Pandit Samar Saha of Calcutta for many years.   Monir also received talim and had been mentored by various contemporary tabla maestros such as Pt. Anindo Chatterjee, Pt. Nayan Ghosh and Pt. Anup Ghosh.   

Monir Hossain, a talented and sought after tabla accompanist has performed throughout North America, Canada India and Bangladesh.  Some of the legendary musicians he has accompanied includes, Ustad Vilayat Khan, Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pt. Debasish Bhattacharya, Ustad Shahid Parvez, Ustad Imrat Khan, Pt. Budhadev Das Gupta and numerous notable others.   Some of the important venues include Washington Conservatory of Music, the Peabody Institute, the Smithsonian Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Columbia University, The Public Library of Toronto and many others.  He is an accomplished Tabal soloist, an accompanist, as well as a teacher, having taught at University of Pennsylvania (U Penn) and currently at India School in Bethesda.    He has released CDs with Ustad Shahid Parvez, Pt. Budhadev Das Gupta and Pt. Debojyoti Bose.    Monir has scored music in American Chai and leveraging his engineering background, developed and deployed an innovative Indian Classical Music software known as Saath Sangeet, for which he has and continue to  receive accolades all over the world.  Recently in August of 2017, Monir Hossain was presented with special citation at Uttam Manch in Calcutta, by prestigious music institute, Sangeet Piyasi, for his accompaniment with sarangi maestros Ustad Sarwar Khan and Ustad Allah Rakha Kalawant as well as for his exemplary contribution for promoting Indian Classical Music here in the United States.

Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZidqCfmrOw