7 November 2022 /
VIDUSHI SUMITRA GUHA/ MUSICIAN /
Renowned Musician Vidushi Sumitra Guha is a highly acclaimed hindustani classical and devotional vocalist. She has performed extensively and held workshops and lecture-cum-demonstrations all over India and abroad.
She is a Padma Shri awardee, a Senior Top Grade artist of All India Radio and an outstanding artist of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR). Her rich career spans over more than four decades.
With an initial training in Carnatic music in her early years she boldly shifted to the Hindustani Classical form past her graduation from Visva Bharati University, Shantiniketan and was trained by Pandit A. Kanan and Vidushi Malabika Kanan. She is now one of the foremost exponents of the Kirana Gharana.
Sumitra Guha has travelled abroad widely giving performance and holding workshops in many countries including the USA, Canada, Mauritius, West Asia, South East Asia, Russia, Algeria, Ukraine, France, Itali, Germany, Yugoslavia, Holland and the UK.
Her notable performances abroad include the Musée Guimet (Paris), Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (UK), Kennedy Center (Washington DC), Kabir Cultural Organization (Montreal), ICMDS (Raleigh), Ustad Ali Akbar Khan School of Music USA and some prestigious universities like Southeast Missouri State, MIT (Boston); Duke; Harvard; University of Massachusetts, large world festivals as IL SACRO ATTRAVERSO L’ORDINARIO, Turin (Italy); Harborfront Festival (Toronto) and World Music Festival, Istanbul (Turkey).
Her albums have been released internationally by Indian Archives in New York, MMY Music Foundation, ARC Music (U.K.), RJ International, etc.,
In her pursuit of the extraordinaire, she is one of the rare vocalists who besides being a lyricist and a composer, has mastered rare and ancient ragas like Malayamarutham and Suhag. She also belongs to the rare breed who sings Carnatic ragas like Simhendra Madhyamam and Vachaspathi in Hindustani style.
Sumitra Guha is the founder President of Sumadhur Hansadhwani, an NGO founded for the promotion of art and culture in 1997.
She has been working tirelessly to propagate the art and culture of our country. During the pandemic she conducted several online workshops and encouraged the upcoming artists by giving them a stage to perform through the Threads of Love concert series.
In her project, Gondwana Dawn with double Grammy awardee Robin Hogarth, she gave stage to underprivileged children from Africa who came to Delhi to be a part of the music album and concert. This project got together the ancient and connected cultures of Africa and India and was released worldwide by ARC Music UK.
This project still continues as she teaches the underprivileged children in NCR.
“Gondwana refers to the ancient geographical area that included Africa and India. ‘Gondwana Dawn’ combines the ancient hymns of the Veda and the ancient spirituality of Africa, the cradle of Humankind.
The main theme of the album relates to the modern day representations of these cultures – Ahimsa as practiced by Mahatma Gandhi and ‘Ubuntu’, the brotherhood representing the ethos of Nelson Mandela. The two cultures have many parallels going back into ancient history and the music symbolises the fusion of spiritual elements of history and the hope for a better world to come,” Sumitra Guha, the internationally acclaimed artist shares the experience and her association with this unique Project which was conceptualised and created by Rubin Hogarth, a double Grammy award winning producer, composer and specialist in African music.
Yet another special project Omkara, which was nominated in the world music category in last year’s Hollywood Music in Media Awards. Her voice has brought out the connection of the seven chakras of the human body with her classical notes, thus bringing out the healing qualities of the divine vibrations. This has huge applications in the field of music therapy and this project is being used in various places in the USA.
Sumitra Guha has also been a part of the documentary, ‘One little finger’ which describes the abilities of the specially abled.
Furthermore, the ALBUM- AUM, the Divine Sound was appreciated worldwide.
Her ongoing projects on Women Empowerment- MEERA and SCIENCE, MUSIC AND SPIRITUALITY have been received with great applause. It was first presented on stage in 2019 and also on Doordarshan in March, 2021.
At present, she is working on the integration between the two Classical Music forms in India- Hindustani Classical Music and Carnatic Music.
Sumitra Guha is also working on another interesting project with Oscar nominee Dr. Rupam Sarmah.
Vidushi Sumitra Guha participated in several chain concerts, Radio Sangeet Sammelans and National Programmes of AIR and Doordarshan. Her notable concerts across India includes Sri Baba Harballabh Sangeet Samaroh; Saptak; Times Music Festival, All Bengal Music Conference – Kolkata; Maharana Kumbha Festival; Delhi International Arts Festival, Ganga Mahotsav, Konark Dance and Music Festival, Sawai Gandharva Festival, Soorya Festival, Champaran Festival, Kumbh Mela, International Geeta Mahotsav and Malhar Utsav.
She has also recorded for the Sangeet Natak Akademi and the national channels of AIR. Her music albums have been distributed by the Atlantis Co., HMV, Masters’ Music Co. (MMC), G M Records, Bihaan Music, etc.
Vidushi Sumitra Guha has taken up the onerous and noble cause of creating a centre of excellence dedicated to Saint Surdas in Faridabad to promote and propagate Indian classical music, devotional music and specially the folk music of Haryana along with other forms of art and has inaugurated this concept through a well-publicized and attended in November 2021 where the Chief Guest was Hon’ble Shri Mool Chand Sharma, Minister of Transport, State of Haryana.
Content and Images credit: Vidushi Sumitra Guha