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Auckland is all set to witness a musical extravaganza as two stalwarts of Hindustani classical music, Arati Ankalikar-Tikekar and Jayateerth Mevundi, are scheduled to perform two separate concerts in the city’s Chinmaya Nikunj in Mangere on 17 and 18 March respectively.

Both the vocalists are known for their soulful renditions and versatility in singing various genres of Indian classical music. Both artistes are on their respective Australia-New Zealand concert tours and Arati Ankalikar-Tikekar performed last weekend at the Indian High Commission’s auditorium in Wellington and a venue in Christchurch, where she also celebrated International Women’s Day with the Christchurch community.

Arati Ankalikar-Tikekar is a disciple of the renowned vocalist Kishori Amonkar. She is known for her mastery over various genres of Indian classical music, including khayal, thumri, and bhajan. Ankalikar-Tikekar has performed extensively in India and abroad and has received several awards and honours for her contribution to Indian classical music. In February this year she was conferred the Sangeet Natak Akademi award at the hands of Indian President Droupadi Murmu. She has also been conferred the Padma Shri, and the Maharashtra State Award for Music.

Apart from her classical music performances, Ankalikar-Tikekar has also collaborated with several renowned musicians from different genres. She has lent her voice to Marathi and Hindi films, and has worked as a playback singer for some of the most famous music composers in the industry.

This is her first visit to NZ. Speaking to Indian Weekender she said she was excited to be in the country whose beauty she’d heard so much about and was looking forward to see it for herself. She said she had students in NZ and had also heard about the dedicated following that classical music had in NZ.

Jayateerth Mevundi is a renowned vocalist from Karnataka. Mevundi is a protégé of the legendary Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, and has been trained in the Kirana gharana. He is known for his melodious voice and versatile singing style, which has earned him critical acclaim and a huge fan following across the globe. Mevundi has performed in many prestigious concerts and music festivals in India and abroad, and has received numerous accolades and awards for his contribution to Indian classical music. He has received numerous accolades and awards for his contribution to Indian classical music. Some notable ones include the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2017, the Kumar Gandharva National Award in 2015, and the Pt. Bhimsen Joshi Award in 2012.

Both concerts promise to be an enchanting experience for music lovers in Auckland. The performances will showcase the rich cultural heritage of Indian classical music, and highlight the unique singing styles of these two talented vocalists. The concerts are expected to draw a large and diverse audience, including classical music enthusiasts, students, and people from various cultural backgrounds. These concerts are definitely not to be missed, as they offer a rare opportunity to witness the magic of Indian classical music in all its glory.

Both stalwarts will be accompanied by local NZ-based artistes. While Samir Bhalodkar will accompany both on the samvadini, Sanjay Dixit will accompany Arati Ankalikar-Tikekar on tabla while Basant Madhur will do so for Jayateerth Mevundi. Ankalikar-Tikekar’s NZ-based student Kishori Telang will provide her guru vocal support.

The Arati Ankalikar-Tikekar concert is hosted by the Migrant Heritage Charitable Trust Inc (MigHTi) and the New Zealand Kannada Koota is hosting the Jayateerth Mevundi concert. Both concerts are supported by the Centre for Indian Performing Arts (CIPA) and the Mohan Nadkarni Foundation.

What: Hindustani classical music concerts
Where: Chinmaya Nikunj, 63, McKenzie Road, Mangere
When: Friday, 17 March 7pm Arati Akalikar-Tikekar; Saturday, 18 March 6pm Jayateerth Mevundi
Tickets: for concert of 17 March ($30); for concert of 18 March ($25)

Article first appeared in Indian Weekender of 9 March 2023