SARASWATI MUSIC COLLEGE, the distinguished Music Institute situated in the heart of Delhi at Safdarjung Enclave on completion of its hundred years of existence in Delhi, a two decade of its establishment in Tashkent, Uzbekistan successfully concluded a Cultural cum Excursion Tour to Tashkent from 25th 29th October, 2023. Cultural extravaganza was celebrated on 27th October,2023.
The Institute which was established / founded in 1924 in Lahore by Shri Bansilal Kapoor, moved to Delhi after partition. Since then it has been providing training in Hindustani and Western Music, Indian Dances, Arts and Crafts and is affiliated to Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad and under the aegis of Shri B.R. Saini & Mrs Usha Saini, who took the mantle from founder Shri B.L. Kapoor, the institution has grown and evolved both in size and scope of activities. Under their vision, the institute organized a number of cultural and star-studded events around the world ranging from a BoneyM concert in Delhi to Kishore Kumar concerts in Europe to Jagjit singh Evenings etc. The institute also expanded operations in Tashkent, Uzbekistan with modern facilities and brought forth international fame to Indian Music.
The Uzbek connection-
For over 3000 years Uzbekistan has been a cultural and intellectual crossroads, luring travellers, traders, scholars and conquerors and Tashkent is the city that echoes with the footfalls of history. It holds a special place in the hearts of Indians. Keeping this in view, during the Year 2004, Saraswati Music College opened its branch in Tashkent under the name ‘Sapphire Tashkent International’ and has been actively involved in imparting education in Indian Dance and Music, Yoga etc. and has been instrumental in bringing Indian cultural troops for giving performances in Tashkent.
For ten decades, Saraswati Music College has been one of India’s leaders in musical composition, performance, and education. As it observes its Centenary year, the Institution reaffirming its commitment to leadership in 21″ century musical life converges to celebrate the occasion with pride and privilege. Festivities are scheduled throughout the year and began with a Festival at Tashkent. One day Cultural Festival (highlighting the multi-faceted cultural activities of India and Central Asia ) was celebrated in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on 27th October,2023.
The cultural show, a conglomeration of events drawn from the diverse and rich Indian and Uzbek Cultural heritage was a tribute to Maa Saraswati (the Goddess of knowledge, Music, Arts, Wisdom and learning). The festival which was focussed on the objective of promoting interest in cultural and literary activities turned out to be nothing short of a record breaker and a trend setter. The “Invitation only” event witnessed the presence of around 3000 Indian and Uzbek Guests.
The event that was celebrated at Istiqlol Stadium in Tashkent witnessed the performances by the noted Indian and Uzbek artists. Star performers being the Indi Pop Stars Daler Mehndi and Anamika alongwith the noted Bollywood Star and Hon’ble Member of Parliament Ravi Kishan Shukla who flew in specifically from India to be a part of this glorious 100 years of Journey of Saraswati Music College.
Saraswati Samman- Further, to honour artists and prominent personalities for their “outstanding contribution towards art & culture”, Saraswati Music College had instituted “Saraswati Samman” during the year 1972 and since then this Award has been conferred upon various eminent personalities from diverse fields viz. Padma Vibhushan Pt. Jasraj ji, (who himself was an Alumni of the institute), Padma Vibhushan Dilip Kumar Saheb, Padma Shri. Mohd. Rafi Saheb, Kishore Kumar, Late Shri.Rishi Kapoor, Padma Vibhushan Ustaad Amjad Ali Khan, Poet Padma Shri Ashok Chakradhar, famous Central Asian Artist Ms. Regina and many others.
On this occasion of the centenary year event in Tashkent, this time the Saraswati Samman was conferred upon, Shri. Daler Mehndi, Hona’ble Shri Ravi Kishan Shukla, the Principal of the Institute Mrs.Usha Saini, who is also the Daughter of the Founder Shri B.L.Kapoor and has been leading the institute since 50 years, Pop Singer Anamika, Also an Alumni, and a few others who have been integral part of the institute since decades both in India and Uzbekistan.
The Event also witnessed a Piano performance by Vibhor Saini (Grand Son of the founder and the third generation representative of the institute) along with his daughter Shanaya Saini (4th generation representative of the institute),, playing songs of actor late Shri Rishi Kapoor as a tribute to him, followed by the release of his Album by Tseries, “Singing Strings of Vibhor Saini”.
This ceremony had everything Best of dance music to keep the crowd grooving & the mood swinging & go Bollywood style! Evening commenced with a specially crafted programme “YE MERA INDIA “by renowned Uzbek artists.. Uzbek Dancers performed on Hit Bollywood numbers in their energetic and vibrant style which was very much applauded by the Indian and Uzbek guests. The brilliantly well organized diverse show concluded on a high note, the credit for which goes entirely to Team SMC/ Sapphire Tashkent International. It was but for the efforts of collective Indian and Uzbek team of both the organizations and The officials of Indian Embassy, Uzbekistan that culminated in a very successful and entertaining show. Such a vibrant and amazing night concluded with Mr. B.R. Saini expressing gratitude to the Visiting Artists, Officials of the Indian Embassy in Tashkent and all the guest for making the event a grand success. The guests enjoyed the special Dinner buffet which was a feast of fine Uzbek delicacies specifically crafted for the night.