This year on, Sawai will be Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav

The Sawai Gandharva Mahotsav will now be known as the Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav. The Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal announced the renaming of the classical music fest at a press conference on Friday. The 59th Sawai fest will see 26 artists perform over a period of five days, starting December 7 at the New English School, Raman Baug.

Started by Panditji in 1952 as a tribute to his guru Sawai Gandharva, this is the first Sawai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav after Panditji's demise in January. "Panditji credited every honour bestowed upon him to his guru. The Mahotsav was started and nurtured by him throughout. To appreciate the five decade-long devotion he had towards his guru, it was appropriate to include his name," said Shrinivas Joshi, executive president of the Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal and son of Pandit Joshi.

"The fest which grew out of real passion to promote love for Indian classical music attracts audience from all over the world now," Joshi added. Anchor Anand Deshmukh has been compering the Sawai Gandharva Mahotsav for the past 24 years. "I am thrilled with the renaming. It is the first Sawai fest without Pandit Bhimsen Joshi. Though he did not perform for the past few years, he would always be present in the audience. Panditji will now be omnipresent."

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