On 13 December 2009 in the China Friendship Center in Dhaka, Bangladesh, a historic concert was performed celebrating the music of Sri Chinmoy and Rabindranath Tagore, two of the greatest Bangla composers. In preparation for this historic concert, the Gandharva Loka Orchestra has taught the music of Sri Chinmoy to the students of Shurer Dhara; and the students of Shurer Dhara have taught the music of Rabindranath Tagore to the Gandharva Loka Orchestra. Together the Artistic Directors of both have worked side by side to arrange an extraordinary rendition of the works of the two great Bengali composers. The music team, comprising both musical groups, listened to, discussed, learned and sang a roster of songs, and then agreed with tremendous excitement to perform seventeen songs together as one ensemble – thirteen of Sri Chinmoy’s compositions arranged by Panchajanya Burri and four Tagore songs arranged by a musical team comprising the Artistic Directors of Shurer Dhara and Gandharva Loka. Interwoven into these grand choral arrangements were three of Sri Chinmoy’s compositions dedicated to Bangladesh sung in unison by all without arrangement and, in addition, to highlight the purity of the composers’ music, four Tagore songs and four of Sri Chinmoy’s songs were sung in solo by Rezwana Choudhury Bannya.
Sri Chinmoy and Rabindranath Tagore both sought to combine the very best elements of the East with the West. Similarly, the concert transformed the creations of Sri Chinmoy and Rabindranath Tagore’s into a journey through a vast landscape of musical expression – classical and modern, Eastern and Western, tranquil and fast-paced, contemplative and joyful. Some of the Bangla compositions were well known to the Bangladesh pubic; others were discovered for the very first time.
Sri Chinmoy said: “Music has to play a most important role in bringing about world oneness for music is the connecting link between the One and the many and between the many and the One.”
Rabindranath Tagore said: “We still believe that the world has a deeper meaning than what is apparent, and that therein the human soul finds its ultimate harmony and peace. We still know that only in spiritual wealth does civilization attain its end, not in a prolific production of materials, and not in the competition of intemperate power with power.”