Indian classical musicians are rejoicing as regular international flights resume from India after a two-year hiatus. With the spring and fall concert seasons disrupted, musicians are now exploring new destinations and alternative routes for their performances. Some are opting for countries like Senegal and Borneo, while others are taking the Pacific route to the US to avoid flying over Europe.

Recently, Pt Tanmoy Bose and Pt Bickram Ghosh traveled to London to perform at the delayed Shankar 100 event, which celebrated Pt Ravi Shankar’s centenary. Anoushka Shankar, the sitar virtuoso, played a prominent role in the event.

Musicians are also busy planning their US tours. Pt Tarun Bhattacharya is set to fly to the US on March 23 for seven concerts. He will travel from Delhi to Tokyo before heading to Los Angeles, opting for the Pacific route instead of flying over Russia. He further mentioned his upcoming US tour in July and September for the Banga Sammelan.

Foreign audiences have begun returning to Indian classical concerts, according to Bhattacharya. However, strict protocols are in place, requiring artists and audience members to undergo an RT-PCR test before the shows. Entry is only allowed when favorable results are received on their phones.

Pt Debashish Bhattacharya is heading to Borneo in Java for the Rainforest Festival in June, along with his daughter Anandi. Additionally, he has two concerts lined up in Canada. However, Bhattacharya expressed concerns about the current situation, as many organizers do not have sufficient budgets. This poses the risk of performers not receiving their proper fees, which also affects young musicians’ ability to ask for their deserved compensation.

Pt Anindo Chatterjee is planning performances in the US and Europe in October, while his son Anubrata is scheduled to perform with Ustad Rashid Khan in Dubai next week. Anubrata will also be heading to Senegal in May for the Taal-India with Lions of Africa project. The percussion project aims to bring together artists from Kerala, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan to collaborate with local drummers in Senegal, with Anubrata’s tabla acting as a bridge between them. He has also signed on to The Koto Tabla Project, where he will perform alongside Japanese Koto player Kumi Kurosawa in San Diego on December 22nd.

By Yasadu