South Asia’s best-known classical guitar festival takes place every December in Kolkata. The biggest names in the international classical guitar world – Grammy winners, legendary composers, celebrated performers – come to the city to give concerts and teach Indian students. Behind this festival is the Indian Guitar Federation (IGF), an association of collectives from across the country, and its director, Veda Aggarwal.
The classical guitar is mostly a solo instrument that lives on the margins of western classical music, sometimes featured in chamber music, and rarely with an orchestra. So, how is there such a high-profile event for a relatively insignificant instrument in India? Who are these students of classical guitar in our country? How did they get introduced to it to begin with? And how has the landscape, for this kind of music, changed over the years?
Veda Aggrawal will address these questions in a talk, along with a performance by Shyamant Behal, a professional classical guitarist based in Goa. She will speak about India’s classical guitar scene, the challenges students and performers face, and how the IGF has promoted the culture that surrounds this ‘lonely’ instrument.
Contribution 200/-. Poster by Pale Blue Dot, Goa