It all started on a sudden impulse in the year 1952 when a few music lovers of Dover Lane and adjoining localities of southern part of Kolkata city with relentless effort and dedication staged a three night cultural program, which included drama, songs and music both classical and light, thereby laying the foundation of the present day The Dover Lane Music Conference. Today, The Dover Lane Music Conference, a voluntary and non-profit organization, has grown up over the years with the active support of the cultural fraternity of Kolkata.
There is hardly any maestros of Indian Classical Music, either living or dead, who had not performed here. The list includes: D. V. Paluskar, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Tarapada Chakraborty, Chinmoy Lahiry Amir Khan, Bhimsen Joshi, Balmurali Krishna, , Nazakat & Salmat Khan (Pakistan), Nisar Hussain Khan, Manas Chakraborty, Ajoy Chakraborty, Rashid Khan, Gangubai Hangal Hirabhai Barodkar, Kesarbai Kerkar, Sarswati Rane, Naina Devi, Kishori Amankar, Parween Sultana, Bismillah Khan, Ali Akbar Khan, Ravi Shankar, Vilayat Khan, Nikhil Banerjee,, M.S. Gopalkrishnan, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Shiv Kumar Sharma and many more to name.
To name a few Percussionists who participated in various music sessions in the conference are: Samta Prasad, Keramatullah Khan, Anokhilal, Kanthe Maharaj, Kishen Maharaj, Allara Khan, Shankar Ghosh, Swapan Chowdhury, Zakir Hussain and a band of great Tabla Maestros of Kolkata and other parts of the country.
The annual music conference has become for Kolkata at least , the musical event of the year surpassing all similar efforts in scope and scale.
Recognized as the premier organization of its kind in Eastern India, its annual program of Indian classical music, usually held in the third week of January, draws a music-loving crowd of more than 4,000 every night of performance and they come from all over Kolkata, its neighborhood, even from different parts of the country and abroad.
Apart from organizing the annual music conference every year in the third week of January The Dover lane Music Conference is deeply involved in organizing few events throughout the year:
At least four periodic music sessions are held every year where young and promising talents are invited to perform their renditions. Several organizers of classical music organizations and lovers of Indian classical music attend these sessions to enjoy their renditions.
The Dover Lane Music Conference also organize a Classical Dance Festival annually (now merged with the Annual Conference). Eminent performers like Roshan Kumari, Chitra Visheswaran, Sanjukta Panigrahi, Sonal Man Singh, Leela Shyamson, Shovana Narayan, Sutapa Talukdar, Birju Maharaj, Kelucharan Mahapatra, Chitresh Das and most of the leading dancers of Kolkata and other parts of India have performed here. Even dancers from tinsel town also participated here, namely Vaijayantimala, Asha Parekh, Hema Malini, Vani Ganapathy, Sudha Chandran, Shobna etc.
The Dover Lane Music conference organize a yearly Talent Search Contest in the month of November-December for teens and young adults of the age group between 16 to 24 years in Kheyal, Bhajan, Thumri, Ragpradhan, Sitar, Sarod category, and between 16 to 22 years in the categories of Bharatnatyam, Kathak, Odissi and Tabla. About 300 participants join the contest every year.
The Dover Lane Music Conference runs a training academy at its own office premises, where Vocal, Kathak and Tabla classes (Kathak and Tabla temporarily closed) and lecture demonstrations are being organised by eminent teachers.