Guru Nanak’s Message of Peace through Music

Sun 24 May, 05:00 PM, Royal Festival Hall

Fareed Ayaz, Abu Mohammad Qawwal followed by Aruna Sairam (Carnatic vocal, kirtan, abhangs) accompanied by Jyotsna Shrikanth (violin) and  Patri Satish (mridangam) 

For the first time in the UK, three leading sacred music groups perform at the Royal Festival Hall what is usually only sung at religious places of worship. Immerse yourself into the world of inspired sacred music performed by the finest musicians from India and Pakistan, featuring qawwali from the Sufi tradition, bhajans and abhangs from the Hindu dharam and kirtan from the Sikh dharam. Born in 1469, Guru Nanak provided a pathway to liberation through profound new ideology which sought to break down prejudices such as those based on caste, gender and superfluous religious practices. During his life he wrote nearly 1,000 verses which are included in the sacred scriptures of the Sikhs, the Guru Granth Sahib. Uniquely, the verses have been written to the Indian classical raga and tala system.  

Headline artists 

Bhai Anantvir Singh & Rajwinder Kaur Amritsar (kirtan) 

Anantvir Singh is respected as one of the finest singers of kirtan with his powerful lyrical voice. He is also accompanied by Rajwinder Kaur, a young emerging classical vocalist from Amritsar, Punjab. Both are accompanied by Gurdain Rayatt and Surdarshan Chana, two masters of the tabla. The group will be accompanied by a large chorus of singers to bring the authentic experience of a Sikh gurudwara (temple) into the Royal Festival Hall.


Aruna Sairam (bhajan and abhang)

Aruna Sairam is as lauded for her dynamic vocal abilities as she is for her lyricism and flamboyant performances. She has been bestowed high honours from both the Indian government and music fraternity as a composer and artist, with her fresh takes on Indian ragas in the Carnatic classical tradition (South Indian) and abhang (devotional poetry from North India). She is accompanied by stalwart musicians including, Patri Satish Kumar, quite simply one of the most outstanding performers of our era on the mridangam. Praised for his technique, supreme musicality, passion and effortless virtuosity. 

Fareed Ayaz and Abu Mohammed Qawwal (Sufi qawwali)

Sufi music from Pakistan provides an ecstatic introduction to this anniversary event, weaving rich, mesmeric tapestries of sound. Qawwali is a Sufi devotional form known as the “path of the heart.” Fareed Ayaz, Abu Muhammad Qawwal and Brothers are masters of qawwali Sufi music as well as classical genres such as tarana, thumri, and khayal. They belong to the Qawwal Bachon gharana (school of musical lineage) of Delhi, a music school founded in the 14th century that remains the best-known gharana today. Weaving together devotional and secular traditions, Ayaz and company have been bringing qawwali music to international audiences for over 30 years.


UK launch of ‘The Peace Charter for Forgiveness and Reconciliation’

The concert marks the UK launch of the ‘Peace Charter for Forgiveness and Reconciliation’ which was adopted at the 10th World Assembly of Religions for Peace on 20th August 2019 in Lindau, Germany. The Charter is the founding document aimed at galvanising a global and diverse movement of people working towards forgiveness, reconciliation, justice and sustainable peace.

Support to charities providing langar

Guru Nanak founded the central concept of langar, wholesome vegetarian food freely served in all Sikh gurduwaras, to people of all sexes, caste and religion. In the spirit of this, all profits will be distributed to two charities inspired by Guru Nanak’s message; NishkamSWAT (Charity no 1139600) which provides meals to homeless people in the UK and Zero Hunger with Langar (Charity no 1176308) that supports children with meals in Malawi, Africa. 

Etiquette: in line with religious codes of conduct, kindly cover your head during all performances. As a mark of respect, only water will be allowed into the hall.

Ticket Information


£75, £50, £35, £25


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Founded in 2006, Darbar Arts Culture Heritage Trust (Darbar) believes in the power of Indian classical arts to stir, thrill and inspire. Through digital connectivity, shared experiences and enrichment we ensure that one of the finest art forms reaches the widest possible audience.

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