Sangeet Mela 2016



Sangeet Mela is Australia’s premiere Indian classical music and dance festival featuring both Hindustani and Carnatic styles.  Sangeet Mela 2016 will feature renowned sitar maestro Pt Ravi Shankar’s protégée, Shubhendra Rao and pioneer of the Indian cello Saskia Rao-de Haas in a sensational “East Marries West” performance.

“…String magic puts audience in a trance… immersed in a musical journey too exquisite to put down in words… the intoxication of the music kept the audience riveted to their seats…”
Times of India, Hyderabad

Along with sensational tabla solo, divine Bharat Natyam dance with live ensemble, exquisite Carnatic and Hindustani vocals, gorgeous Mohiniattam dance, and much more, Sangeet Mela is a glorious celebration of the world’s finest performance art forms, Indian classical music and dance.

Tickets: $150 Gold (front row), $100 Silver (second row), $150 Family (2 adults, 2 under 18), $50 General, $45 Concession

Please note that all tickets will be $10 extra if purchased at the door. All general admission seats are unreserved. Gold/Silver seats will be allocated in order of purchase.

Don’t miss out, book your tickets now!



NEW! Sangeet Mela 2016 Workshops – Sun 4 Sep in Oxley


Sangeet Mela 2016 is supported by the Lord Mayor’s Suburban Initiative Fund and The Gabba Ward, and proudly sponsored by Platinum Sponsor SolarSpan, Australia’s favourite all-in-one patio roof, insulation & ceiling, giving superior comfort & style to your outdoor area. Also supported by Supporting Organisation Sahaja Yoga Meditation, Silver Sponsors Homeopathy for Health (Rukmani Paliwal), Sitar Restaurant, Target Travels & ToursYoga With Yolanda, IGA Forest Lake, and Exclusive Media Sponsors Brisbane Indian Times and Australian Indian Radio. Sangeet Mela is organised by Sangeet Premi Club in conjunction with EthnoSuperLounge, and underwritten by a consortium of dedicated Indian classical music lovers including Australia-India Cultural Exchange AssociationTabla Wala Australia, and FinancialFirst.


NEW: See the Sangeet Mela 2016 programme booklet PDF

Afternoon Session: 2:30pm to 4:30pm


Sunset Session: 4:45pm to 6:45pm


Late Session: 7:30pm to 9:30pm


TABLA – Sri Zuheb Ahmed Khan (Delhi), Sri Shen Flindell, Sri Sanjeyan Sivaananthan
MRIDANGAM – Sri Sridhar Chari (Melbourne), Sri Arthavan Selvanathan
VIOLIN – Sri Kranthi Kiran Mudigonda (Sydney)
VOCAL – Smt Susmitha Ravi
NATTHUVANGAM – Smt Usha Chivukula
BANSURI – Sri Murali Ramakrishnan
HARMONIUM – Sri Joseph Abhay Nand

Sangeet Mela 2016 programme cover


Pt Shubhendra Rao (sitar) - Composer and performer, Pandit Shubhendra Rao is one of India’s foremost musicians today. Distinguished as a musical bridge to many cultures, he creates an experience for his audience that “is not aimed at titillating the senses, but to seize the soul” (The Hindu, New Delhi). A protégé of world-renowned Sitar maestro, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Shubhendra has established himself […]
Smt Saskia Rao-de Haas (Indian cello) - ‘On January 24, 2003, the Doverlane Music conference, one of the most prestigious annual festivals in North Indian Music, presented a female Western musician playing a western instrument for the first time in its 51-year old history….Saskia Rao-de Haas’ alap exposition was revelatory, with the faster tempo the icing on the cake.’  (Excerpt from the […]
Sri Sayak Bhattacharya (Hindustani vocal) - Based in Australia for over 24 years, Sayak was introduced at an early age into Hindustani Classical Music by his mother Smt. Rina Bhattacharya. Over the past decade, Sayak has spent much of his time in India learning in the traditional guru-shishya parampara style from illustrious Gurus Ustad Rashid Khan, of the Rampur-Sahaswan Gharana, and […]
Sri Zuheb Ahmed Khan (Tabla) - Zuheb Khan, born on 2nd March 1993, belongs to the famous Ajrada Gharana. He is the son of Ustad Naushad Ahmed Khan who is the fourth generation of musicians hailing from the gharana. Zuheb took his training from well known tabla player of Ustad Akram Khan and grand father Ustad Hashmat Ali Khan. Zuheb started his learning when he […]
Ku Janani Ganapathi (Bharat Natyam dance) - Since a tender age, Janani has shown immense interest in Indian Fine Arts and her favorite among them has always been Bharatanatyam. She has learnt to dance in different styles: Tanjore, Pandanallur and Vazhuvur respectively, which have helped her to learn the specialities in the particular styles and improve her knowledge and skills in dance. […]
Sri Arthavan Selvanathan (mridangam) - Arthavan Selvanathan started learning the mridangam at the age of nine from Sri Ananthakrishnan Kailash, affectionately called Madhu. He also received intensive training from Madhu’s Guru, Sri Sriranga Rajapuram Jayaraman, and his son, Sri J Ganesan, in Chennai, India, during his visits to India over the summer holidays for over 6 years. In April 2007, […]
Sri Sanjeyan Sivaananthan (tabla) - Sanjey Sivaananthan began studying tabla in 2007 under Sri Shen Flindell. He attends weekly classes and regular performs at various concerts, e.g. the Annual Ashu Babu Memorial Tabla School Concert and the Woodford Folk Festival. Furthermore, in tandem with weekly classes, Shen organises lessons with other musicians, which enables him to refine the art of accompaniment. Sanjey performs […]
Sri Joseph Abhay Nand (harmonium) - Joseph Abhay Nand is a stalwart participant in the Brisbane Indian classical community. Originally from Fiji, he learnt harmonium from Ustad Mohammed Hussein from Pakistan and Ustad Mehmood Dholpuri from India. He is also accomplished in both tabla and vocal. He learnt tabla from his elder brother Sri Viveka Nand, Ustad Mubarak Khan, Pt Surendra Bhatt and Ustad Hashmat Ali Khan, […]
Smt Usha Chivukula (vocal) - Usha Chivukula is a passionate promoter of the Indian traditional performing arts, and an experienced performer in dance, drama and music herself. She received training in Carnatic and Hindustani vocal music, and also in the veena, for many years in India, before going on to be selected as an All-India radio artist. More recently Usha […]
Smt Charulatha Mani (Carnatic vocal) - Charulatha Mani is an acclaimed singer of Karnatik Music, the Classical music of Southern India. Following a successful Chennai-based career of over two decades, in Karnatik performance, raga research, thematic Isai Payanam curation, and film playback singing, Charulatha Mani took up her Ph.D. at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia, in 2016. Her doctoral work […]
Sri Sridhar Chari (mridangam) - Sridhar Chari has been associated with the Australian music scene for over two decades. He has a rich musical background imbibed through his mother and furthered by many years of musical training when he took up the art of Mridangam playing. Today, he is a leading percussion player for Indian Classical music in Australia and has been performing the […]
Sri Kranthi Kiran Mudigonda (violin) - Kranthi Kiran Mudigonda had his initial training in music with Sri P.S.S.R Jagannatham and Sri N. C. Ramanujam. He had advanced training under eminent vidwan Sri Dwaram Satyanarayana Rao at Hyderabad. He is currently under advanced tutelage in vocal from Hyderabad Brothers and violin from Parur Sri M A Sundareswaran. He has a vast experience […]
Sri Shen Flindell (tabla) - Shen Flindell started learning tabla in Melbourne from Sri Debapriya Bhattacharya in 1994 and soon went to the holy city of Varanasi in India to study under Pt. Kaviraj Ashutosh (“Ashu Babu”) Bhattacharya, a great tabla master of the Benares Gharana. Shen is now mainly based in Brisbane, Australia, but typically spends several months of […]
Sri Murali Ramakrishnan (bansuri) - Murali Ramakrishnan is one of the senior Venu/Bansuri players in Australia. Murali learnt Karnatic (South Indian classical) music under the guidance of Sikkil Sisters Neela and Kunjumani. Murali had his training in Hindustani music from Pandit Krishnanand of Kirana Gharara. Murali draws inspiration from both music styles and creates soulful music that touches the heart. […]
Smt Susmitha Ravi (Carnatic vocal) - A powerful yet melodious voice, evocative method of rendition that reaches out to the audience and music that is the product of intense concentration and dedication are the characteristics that distinguishes Susmitha as a Carnatic Vocalist. Susmitha has, over the years, enthralled Carnatic music lovers with her vocal music performances in various Music Sabhas and […]
Smt Bindu Rajendren (Nattuvangam) - At Sangeet Mela 2019 Bindu Rajendren will give Nattuvangam accompaniment to Smt Sriranjani Chandramouli (Bharatanatyam dance). She performed Mohiniattam dance solo at Sangeet Mela 2016. Bindu Rajendren is a dance performer, researcher and educator who first forayed into the spectacular world of dance at the tender age of four. Dance and spiritual connection through Bhava […]


Sangeet Premi Rising Star Award 2016 Winners

Ku Oaviya Bavanendrakumar (Carnatic vocal) - Oaviya Bavanendrakumar started learning Carnatic Vocal and Violin under the tutelage of Smt. Manthahini Bogahawatte in 2006 at the age of 7. Since 2009 she has been learning Carnatic Vocal and Violin under the tutelage of Sri B.U. Ganesh Prasad (Chennai, India), taking lessons over Skype regularly, and directly during visits to Chennai in summer holidays. Under her Guru’s […]
Ku Mathuja Bavanendrakumar (Carnatic violin) - Mathuja Bavanendrakumar began learning violin in 2006 under the tutelage of Smt. Manthahini Bogahawatte (Brisbane, Aus). Since 2009 she has been learning under the tutelage of Sri B.U. Ganesh Prasad (Chennai, India)m with lessons taken over Skype regularly, and directly during visits to Chennai in summer holidays. Under her Guru’s guidance she has undertaken the Grade 6 ACMS […]
Sri Hariharan Vaheesan (Miruthangam) - Hariharan Vaheesan has been learning miruthangam under his guru Sri Arthavan Selvanathan since 2007.  He progressed through the basic lessons and simple thaalams quite rapidly. Subsequently he has been focusing on more complex rhythmic aspects, such as Korvais, larger Theermanams and Nadais. Additionally he has gained experience accompanying local vocalists and instrumentalists such as veena players in various concerts in […]
Ku Ananya Muralidharan (Hindustani vocal) - Ananya Muralidharan began her early training in Carnatic music at the age of 5 from Smt. Raji Krishnamoorthy, and Smt. Suma Rudrapatna (2003-2008). Growing up in Adelaide, she was a regular performer at the Shruthi Adelaide (Inc) organisation’s community events. She was a School Choir member during 2007-2008. Decided to withdraw from the choir, since it was […]
Ku Vellantina Ravirajah (Bharatanatyam Dance) - Vellantina Ravirajah has been learning Bharatanatyam Dance from her guru Smt. Chitra Yogi Srikhanta since the age of five. Over the past 11 years she has had the opportunity to perform at various events and programs. In 2014 at the age of 14, she completed her arangeetram under the guidance of her guru. In 2014, Tina had the privileged opportunity to travel […]


As part of Sangeet Mela’s mission to foster Indian classical culture in Brisbane, several young artists will be given the opportunity to perform at the festival and will receive a “Sangeet Premi Rising Star Award”. Each year one or two awards may be given in each of four categories (Vocal, Instrumental, Percussion and Dance), each in the two broad genres of Hindustani and Carnatic Sangeet.

Download the Rising Stars Application Form here. (Instructions on submitting your application are in the form.)


  • Two genres – Hindustani, Carnatic
    Four categories – Vocal, Instrumental, Percussion, Dance.

  • Applications close Friday 22nd July, 2016. Winners will be informed by Friday 5th August, 2016.

    • Winners must be available to present 20 minutes performance (15 minutes for percussion) at Sangeet Mela 2016 on Saturday 3rd September at QLD Multicultural Centre, Kangaroo Point.

    • Open to applicants born after 3rd September 1991 (under 25 years old on the date of Brisbane Sangeet Mela). Previous Sangeet Premi Rising Star Award winners are not eligible. It is expected that applicants will be capable of performing at a high standard approaching professional level. We do not recommend that young children apply unless they are unusually talented.

    • Entrants must be Australian citizens or permanent residents for at least 5 years to be eligible.

  • Judging committee may not give an award in some categories if the quality of applications is deemed insufficient. The award may also be granted to any individual deemed worthy by the judging committee, although they may not have officially applied.  In 2016 we hope to award 3-5 awards in the 8 overall categories. 

  • Past/planned study trips to India viewed favourably.

  • Applicants should submit the completed application form along with support material.

  • Compulsory support material – artist photo, biodata, and video file of applicant’s example performance.

  • Optional support material – press reviews, references from guru and/or other respected parties.

  • Entrants from outside the Brisbane region are eligible but must cover their own expenses to participate in the festival.

  • Winners may choose their own accompaniment for the concert, or have accompanists arranged by the Brisbane Sangeet Mela Organising Committee. Please note there is no budget for paying these performers.

It is hoped that these annual awards will encourage young students of Indian classical arts to pursue their practice diligently year by year, practise regularly with other musicians, give classical performances at community events, visit India for the purposes of taleem and riaz, and aim to present themselves as artists with attractive photos, biodata and video. In so doing we hope to foster the development of Indian classical music broadly in the community – those who do not win may benefit more in the long term than those who do!

Requirements for 20 minutes performance (15 mins for percussion)


  • Vocal – minimum 1 Chhota Khyal or Dhrupad bandish; other pieces may be classical or semi-classical.

  • Instrumental – performance of one raga including alap and 1 or 2 gats.

  • Percussion (15 mins) – tabla or pakhawaj lehera accompanied by naghma.

  • Dance – Classical Kathak or Odissi performance including one item for laya component and one item for abhinaya component.  May use live accompaniment or CD, but preparation of live accompaniment will be viewed favourably.


  • Vocal – 2-3 minute raga aalaap, rendition of a kriti, Niraval (2 rounds of slow tempo and 3 rounds of fast tempo and chauka kaalam, if capable) and Kalpana swaram. Optional Thillana to complete 20 minutes.

  • Instrumental – equivalent to Carnatic vocal repertoire above.

  • Percussion (15 mins) – Thani Avarthanam concluding with Farans, Mohora-Korvai and Theermanam

  • Dance – Classical Bharat Natyam, Kuchipudi or Mohiniyattam performance including one item for laya component and one item for abhinaya component.  May use live accompaniment or CD, but preparation of live accompaniment will be viewed favourably.

Video submitted in application should reflect these requirements.

Download the Rising Stars Application Form here.

For further information, please email


Magic Moments from Sangeet Mela 2016 (12/6/2017) - Enjoy the magic moments of Sangeet Mela 2016, with soundtrack by Pt Shubhendra Rao, Smt Saskia Rao-de Haas and Zuheb Ahmed Khan. Please share this video on Facebook too.
Sangeet Mela video playlists (18/4/2017) - We’re very happy to announce that all the performance videos from Sangeet Mela 2016 are now available online on both our Facebook page and Youtube.  Here are the Youtube playlists for each of the past 3 Sangeet Melas:
“A Musical Evening” – Sangeet Mela 2016 in Indian Link (14/10/2016) - via Indian Link magazine… A musical evening   Vish Chilumkurti October 07, 2016 / by Vish Chilumkurti / 0 Comment East marries west at Sangeet Mela 2016 Time flies when you’re having fun! This was an apt adage to apply to Sangeet Mela 2016, which had a highly successful third edition in Brisbane at the […]
Sangeet Mela 2016 – Heaven on Earth for Music Lovers (28/9/2016) - Sangeet Mela, now in its third year, continued its trend of ever more fabulous Indian classical performances on Saturday 3rd September 2016 at Queensland Multicultural Centre. The high quality of each item kept the near capacity audience riveted to their seats, and there was a building sense of anticipation for the final “East Marries West” […]
East Marries West at Sangeet Mela 2016 (8/8/2016) - Back in the sixties, two virtuosos, Ravi Shankar and Yehudi Menuhin brought the music of the East and West together with their historic collaboration titled ‘East Meets West’. Five decades later, Shankar’s protégée, Shubhendra Rao and brilliant Cellist Saskia Rao-de Haas, prove that the music of East and West no longer just meets but are ready […]