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Chhanda Dhara - Label Discontinued

By Yogendra
(June 2009)

Renowned Indian music label Chhanda Dhara has been discontinued from July 18th onwards. The owners, Bengali couple Gopi and Shefali Nag, retire and move back to India. Chhanda Dhara has been a leading producer of classical Indian music recordings for more than 30 years. In the end they had a backlist of more than 65 titles with masters like Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar Khan, Vilayat Khan, Nikhil Banerjee, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Shivkumar Sharma and many other greats.

IThe story of Chhanda Dhara began in 1971 with the founding of a school for Indian dance in Stuttgart - and the vision of making the best of Indian music and dance available to the public. Hence Chhanda Dhara started organising concerts with great masters and produced the first studio LP recordings. When live recording technology evolved and the CD allowed for longer uninterupted recordings in the 1980s, Chhanda Dhara became a trendsetter by publishing full live recordings. A real highlight of Gopi and Shefali Nag's work were several all-night-concerts between the late 1980s and 2001. Fans from all over Europe streamed to these unique events, which presented one top artist after the other from early evening throughout the whole night until early morning, much like in major festivals in India. In the new millenium Chhanda Dhara stopped organising concerts, but completed another historical task by publishing a series of 11 previously unreleased live recordings of legendary sitar master Nikhil Banerjee, who had passed away prematurely in 1986. The Indian classical music community owes a lot to Gopi and Shefali Nag for their accomplishments.