I came to know Kabir Altaf accidently. I was searching for the present state of hindustani classical music in Pakistan on the internet and I found a few sound clips. When I first heard Kabir sing a Meera bhajan Badal Dekh Daree, I imagined him to be an old and seasoned singer of the past era. But how wrong I was.
A few days after I uploaded these sound clips on my Hindustani.Classical.Music folder at eSnips, I received a message from Kabir himself telling me how happy he was to find those clips on the internet. He is a mere 21 years of age and a student in the U.S. and he is still learning classical music. I was quite taken aback at knowing about his young age and such maturity in his voice. Only one other singer I know, has such a voice quality at an young age, who also had surprised me earlier. That is Moumita Mitra about whom I have written earlier.
Kabir Altaf was born in Karachi, Pakistan on February 3, 1986. At the age of 6, he moved with his family to the United States, where he grew up. Kabir has been learning Hindustani Classical Vocal from Ustad Hamid Hossain (based in Baltimore, Maryland) ever since he was ten years old. He has won several prizes at the Annual Indian Music and Dance Competition hosted by the Academy of Indian Music and Fine Arts and the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.
Kabir is currently a student at The George Washington University in Washington DC, where he is majoring in Music (Western Classical Vocal) and Dramatic Literature. He hopes to have a career that revolves around the performing arts, either as a professional musician or in arts-management.
Listen to this Meera Bhajan by him which he has sung with the maturity of a seasoned artist :
Moumita Mitra, born on 22nd Dec.,1980 is a Hindustani (North Indian) Classical and Semi-Classical Vocalist. She is a disciple of Lt. Pt. A.Kannan and Sri Anjan Majumdar. She stood first in Khayal and Thumri in The DoverLane Music Competition in the years 2001 and 2004 respectively.
Moumita has received the Championship Award from The DoverLane Music Conference Organization in both the years for being the Highest scorer and Best Vocalist. She was given the honour to perform at the inauguration ceremony of DoverLane Music Conference 2002 on its Golden Jubilee celebration.
Moumita is a National (India Government’s Department of Culture) Scholarship holder from the year 2003. She has been conferred the title of “Adwitiya 2004”for becoming the winner in the Classical round of the music competition organized by Anandabazar & Shalimar, all over West Bengal. Second runner’s up in All India based competition organized by Swar Vilas, Vadodara, Gujrat in 2005. Winner of “Gaan Antaheen”, a Music competition in Doordarshan(National Television Network).
She has also performed in various prestigious Concerts in India, some of them are…. The Dover lane Music Conference, Kolkata in August,2002, Swar Vilas Baroda (Gujrat) in 2004 and 2005, The Youth Conference on Indian Classical Vocal Music in Kolkata, 200 3, The Annual Classical Music Conference by “Aanandi” at Kolkata, 200 5, Shalimar “Adwitiya” title giving ceremony at The Science city auditorium, 7th Aug., 2004. She also has a Music Album from HMV(Saregama) to her credit.
“The girl (Moumita Mitra) who sang on stage just now, if she gets the right opportunity, she will sing all over the country sooner or later. She has a flawless voice.”……..quoted by Pt. Jasraj on stage at the inaugural ceremony of 50th year of Doverlane Music Conference. 22nd Jan., 2002.
I myself highly rate this new and upcoming artist and predict, if I may do so, a very bright future for this young girl.
You can listen to one of her rendition, a Thumri in Tilak Kamod – ‘Ab Ke Sawan Ghar Aaja’. I hope you will enjoy as much as I did.