“I strongly believe every Bangladeshi loves music. Bangladeshis have an inherent musical soul and sensitivity. Most people have not been initiated into classical music and perhaps don't have ears ready for it but I do believe people appreciate good music.
“I am confident that at least 5,000 of 30,000 people who have registered to attend this festival are true connoisseurs of classical music. But they don't get the opportunity to hear the biggest names in classical music perform live. This is why Bengal Foundation is not selling tickets for this festival. It's free and open to all. Many from Sylhet, Chittagong and other areas of Bangladesh have registered.
“I am hopeful that this festival will be a success.
“I would like to continue this project. We have signed a 15-year contract with ITC-SRA. If others come forward and organise more such festivals, all the better.
“We're holding a Bangladesh Cultural Festival at ITC-SRA in Kolkata next February. This will be an annual event too. ITC-SRA will include Bangladeshi artistes in its events.
“We hope to start our music school in Bangladesh by next year, which will offer vocal and instrumental classical music lessons from ITC-SRA gurus.”
Transcribed by Staff Correspondent