Blue Planet: Linking Music to Environment


Raag-Mala Toronto is partnering with First Edition Arts (FEA) to present Blue Planet, a four-month digital series of Hindustani and Carnatic raag sangeet starting December 17.

“The series invokes the living ecology of our planet and its beautiful but fragile natural resources,” says Devina Dutt of FEA. “It seeks to draw analogies between the natural world and the ecosystem of the arts, and to suggest that both ecosystems need to be understood, respected and cared for. In harming them we only harm ourselves.”

Nishant Parekh, Raag-Mala’s President, is cautiously optimistic at the prospect of restarting our concert season at the Aga Khan Museum in April 2022. “We have been very successful in pivoting to digital platforms during the pandemic years,” he says. “We hope to continue offering digital concerts even after our regular programming begins next year.”

The Blue Planet series features 21 Carnatic and Hindustani music and dance recitals featuring many of the finest artistes in India. The series begins with the leading Drupad singer Pandit Uday Bhawalkar, and ends on March 27 with the brilliant sitarist Pandit Budhaditya Mukherjee.

Among the other musicians featured in the series are Vidushi Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar, Pandit Venkatesh Kumar, TM Krishna, Abhishek Raghuram, P Unnikrishnan, Ramakrishnan Murthy and the Malladi Brothers. The series also includes a jugalbandi between Ramana Balachandran on veena and Abhishek Borkar on sarod, and two specially commissioned, Carnatic music and Bharatanatyam collaborations between Vignesh Ishwar and Christopher Gurusamy and Rithvik Raja and Shweta Prachande.

“We are delighted to be able to begin our 2022 season early,” says Parekh. “As usual, Raag-Mala benefactors and patrons will have free access.” Full price season pass will be US$200, with single concert tickets ranging from US$25 to US$35 on Concerts can be viewed multiple times until May 31, 2021. For programming details, visit

• Mohamed Khaki is a Raag-Mala Toronto team member.