Aditi Kainkini Upadhya
Aditi Kaikini Upadhya was born in April 1961 into a family rich in musical tradition. Aditi has received intense training in the traditional paramparic style, characterized by the dedicated and close tutelage of her Guru and father, Pandit Dinkar Kaikini, himself a grand and renowned gavaiyya of the Agra Gharana, and her mother, Shashikala Kaikini, respected radio vocalist and current Principal of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's Music School in Bombay.
It was from the same school that Aditi received her academic degree in music, the Sangeet Visharad, in 1982. A worthy spokeswoman of her father's powerful but nuanced style of singing, she has also chosen to highlight her lighter musical side, following training under Smt. Shobha Gurtu, known for her unparalleled mastery of Dadra, Thumri and Hori.
Aditi is an able composer, carrying on her Guru's work in pioneering and innovative choral presentations and stage-work. Her brainchild, "Chatur Sujaan Dinarang Ek Parampara," a large-scale choral and theatrical production, tells the fascinating story of her grand Parampara. She led the conceptualization and execution of "Bhavayatra," which relates the stories of Krishna through music, and "Raagkatha," which traces the evolution of music from Vedic periods to modern-day.
Basavaraj Rajguru (August 24, 1917-1991) was born in a village near Dharwad, Karnataka. He was a leading Hindustani vocal musician of the Kirana gharana. Due perhaps to his aversion for publicity and his simple and scholarly lifestyle, he never achieved the level of fame of his contemporaries Bhimsen Joshi and Gangubai Hangal of the same gharana. He received many awards, including the Padma Bhushan.
Born into a family of scholars, astrologers and musicians, Basavraj was initiated into classical music at an early age by his father, who was himself a renowned Carnatic musician trained in Tanjavur.
Besides being a great classicalist, Rajguru was adept at composing and singing vachanas (devotional songs in the Kannada language). Basavaraj was fond of music from a very young age. He would try to persuade drama producers and actors to let him sing in their plays, and first became known while singing for Vamanrao Master's traveling drama company. When he was 13 years old, he lost his father. By a fortuitous stroke of fate, the blind Ganayogi Panchakshari Gawai discovered Basavraj and took the lad into his tutelage. Panchakshari Gawai gave all his musical knowledge to Basavraj and other students who were not in a position to pay gurudakshina to their guru. He mastered several Ragas and styles.
After the passing away of Panchakshari Gawai in 1944, Basavraj had the chance to learn from the legendary Kirana musician and teacher Sawai Gandharva and later from Sureshbabu Mane. Post that he also learnt from Ustad Waheed khan, Gawai's guru and Ustad Latif Khan.
His repertoire ranged from the pure classical, Dhrupad to Vachanas, Natyageet, Thumri, and Ghazal spanning eight languages. He knew more than forty types of raga and he would sing them one after another right then and there.
The Government of India bestowed upon him the Padma Shri in 1975 and the Padma Bhushan in 1991. He also received Sangeet Natak Akademi awards from central and state governments. He was also awarded with prestigious titles by various organizations and an honorary doctorate by the Karnataka University, Dharwad.
Basavraj Rajguru died in July 1991.
Attendence of a concert at seven years of age, which gave a rare opportunity of hearing three greats of a Golden Age in Hindustani Sangeet: Ustad Alladiya Khan, Ustad Faiyaaz Khan, and Ustad Abdul Karim Khan was a life changing event for Pandit Dinkar Kaikini.
Panditji began his training with Pandit Omkarnath Thakur, but soon after joined Marris College, Lucknow, where he received taleem from Pandit S.N. Ratanjankar. Panditji spent his formative years receiving rigorous training in the lineage of Pandit Vishnu Narayan Bhatkande, renowned musicologist and father of the modern day Hindustani music system. Upon his performance for his final examination, he was awarded the Bhatkande gold mdedal for khayal singing.
His performing career has flourished and received the highest honors throughout India and abroad. In India, he has been awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, the Tansen Award, Sangeet Ratna (Swar Sadhana Samitee, Mumbai), Sharangdev Award (Sur Singar Samsad), ITC Award, just to name a few. In 1974, he was selected by the Government of India to represent the Hindustani classical music tradition in the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and East Germany, where he gave performances and lecture demonstrations at Universities and cultural centers.
He held the post of Producer for All India Radio, and Assistant Director for the Directorate, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. This was followed by his long tenure as Principal at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's "Sangeet aur Nartan Shikshapeeth"
Throughout his entire life, Panditji has also established himself as a prolific composer, having composed hundreds of compositions in all styles (khayal, dhrupad, dhamar, thumri, bhajan), as well as several new raags that he has conceived. His compositions have also been pioneering; he has composed for large choruses, and set music for films and the ballet production "Discovery of India" with Pandit Ravi Shankar.
On September 30, 1919, Faredoon Bezanji Dastur was born in a Parsi family to Bezan Homi Dastur and Gool Comisariat. As he entered his acting and singing career, Faredoon changed his name to the more commonly known Firoz Bezanji Dastur. The youngest of five brothers, Firoz had an affinity for music and singing, which was fostered by his father's great love for Indian music.
A friend of Bezan Dastur was impressed by Firoz's singing and requested him to sing four songs in the film Lal-E-Yaman. Bezan Dastur permitted his son to sing in the film, which was a great success and played to packed houses throughout its run. Firoz enjoyed singing and acting and his career as an actor took off at the young age of 13. In the late 1940's Firoz Dastur began to invest more time and energy into the study of classical Hindustani music. He received encouragement from the elderly music-lovers at his father's billiard club, and support from his father, who arranged for the young Firoz's training.
His first teacher, Krishnarao Jaokar, a distinguished musician was engaged to give him lessons in tala. Jaokar was a disciple of Khan Saheb Abdul Karim Khan, famous for the Kirana Gharana style of music. Once Jaokar realized Dastur's talent, he suggested he arrange a consultation with Khan Saheb. After hearing him, he recommended Dastur take lessons from his renowned pupil, Sawai Gandharva. Dastur demonstrated his vocal abilities by singing Bhairavi at his audition by Sawai Gandharva, which surprised him pleasantly. Thus began his journey with the Kirana Gharana. After the passing of Sawai Gandharva, Dastur studied under Kapleshwari Buwa, another pupil of Khan Saheb.
In 1969, he joined the University of Bombay's brand new music department, and was Professor of Hindustani Classical Music for 35 years. Some of Dastur's most noted disciples include Sudha Divekar, Usha Kallianpurkar, Girish Sanzgiri, Shrikant Deshpande (grandson of Sawai Gandharva), Milind Chittal, Achyut Abhyankar and many more.
Dastur's musical career spanned almost eight decades, and inspired audiences in India and abroad. The Federation of Parsi Zoroastrian Anjumans of India awarded him the Jimmy and Shirin Guzder Trust Award, and in 1987, he received the National Sangeet Natak Academy Award. His honorary Doctorate and Pandit title was conferred by the South Gujarat University and the Maharastra State Gaurav Puraskar and awarded by the Maharastra Government in 1988.
Pandit Gajananbua Joshi was one of the most distinguished musicians who made his mark as a violinist and vocalist and earned wide acclaim equally as violinist and vocalist.
Despite having a sound training in Gwalior gayaki from his father Pandit Anant Manohar Joshi, his quest for knowledge spurred him to learn from stalwarts like Balkrishnabua Ichalkaranjikar, Ustad Vilayat Hussain Khan of the Agra Gharana and Ustad Bhurji Khan of the Attrauli-Jaipur Gharana.
Pandit Gajananbua Joshi was a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademy Award in 1972 and Tansen Award. He held responsible positions in All India Radio as Sangeet Salahgar.
Disciples of Pt. Gajananbua Joshi are Pt. Suresh Talwalkar and Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar.
Gayanacharya Balkrishnabua Ichalkaranjikar
Gayanacharya Balkrishnabua Ichalkaranjikar was the first to bring Gwalior style of singing to western India and popularising it. He travelled to Gwalior to learn from Pandit Vasudeorao Joshi, who belonged to the school of Haddu-Hassu Khan. After his training in Gwalior, Balkrishnabua came to Mumbai and then Miraj. Balkrishnabua's fame began to draw disciples from surrounding places. His disciples included Gundubua Ingale, Vishnu Digambar Paluskar, Anant Manohar Joshi, Nilkanthabua Jangam, Vamanbua Chaphekar, his son Annabua Ichalkaranjikar, Mirashi bua etc. His style of singing was a purely Gwalior one and of Haddu Hassu Khan vintage type. His contribution in bringing the Gwalior gayaki to Maharashtra and popularising it was remarkable.
Girija Devi (born in 1929) is an Indian classical singer of the Banaras gharana. Girija Devi was born in Varanasi, India. Her father played the harmonium and taught music, and had Devi take lessons in singing khyal and tappa from vocalist and sarangi player Sarju Prasad Misra starting at the age of five. She starred in the movie Yaad rahe aged nine and continued her studies under Sri Chand Misra in a variety of styles.
Devi sings in the Banaras gharana and performs the purabi ang thumri style whose status she helped elevate. Her repertoire includes the semi-classical genres kajri, chaiti, and hori and she sings khyal, Indian folk music and tappa. Her semi-classical singing combines her classical training with the regional characteristics of the songs of Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh.
She worked as a faculty member of the ITC Sangeet Research Academy in Kolkata in the 1980s and of the Banaras Hindu University during the early 1990s, and taught several students to preserve her musical heritage.
Devi was awarded the Padma Shri in 1972 and the Padma Bhushan in 1989, and received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1977.
Smt Hirabai Barodekar was one of the most important female vocalists of 20th century.Hirabai Barodekar was born as Champakali into a musical family in 1905.
Her mother was Tarabai Mane and father was the legendary Kirana master Ustad Abdul Karim Khan. Tarabai Mane was the niece of the Rajmata of Baroda state. Abdul Karim Khan was the court musician there and used to teach Tarabai Mane. When they decided to get married, both of them were ousted from the state. They had to come to Bombay to settle down. The couple had three daughters: Hirabai Barodekar (Chempakali), Kamalabai Barodekar (Gulab) and Sarswati Rane (Sakina or Chotutai) and two sons: Suresh Babu Mane (Abdul Rehman) and Papa (Abdual Hamid or Krishna Rao Mane).
Hirabai Barodekar had her initial training from her elder brother Suresh Babu Mane and doyen of Kirana Gharana Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan, who was a cousin of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan. In 1922, as her mother separated from her father, Hirabai got only limited guidance from her father Ustad Abdul Karim Khan.
Hirabai had a very successful career in music. Her sweet and melodious voice was much appreciated. She was an expert in khayal, thumri, marathi natyageet and bhajan. She was the popular face of classical music and credited with having popularized classical music among the masses. She was even chosen to sing 'Vande Mataram' from the Red Fort on Independence Day, in 1947. She started the Nutan Sangeet Vidyalaya for teaching music to girls from respectable families and staged several plays through the platform of this school. She also acted in several films. She became a recording artist quite early in her career. As was the norm in those days, recording companies changed the name of the artist to make it more appealing. That is how Champakali became Hirabai Barodekar.
Hirabai received several awards including the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1955 and the Padma Bhushan in 1970. She visited China and the East African countries as part of the Indian delegation in 1953. She also trained a number of students such as Saraswati Rane, Prabha Atre, Malati Pande, Janaki Iyer, Shaila Pandit, Suvarna Chandrashekharan.
Hirabai passed away at the age of eighty-four, on 20 November 1989.
Kankana Bannerjee was born in Kolkata in a business family. She inherited a keen sense of music from her very childhood and had early lessons of Classical Hindusthani Music from her mother who was a disciple of Late Tarapada Chakravarty of Kolkata and Late Pdt. Ratan Jhankar of Lucknow.
Early in 1955, when Kankana was a child, she had the privilege to be introduced to Late Ustad Amir Khan of Indore. In a very informal gathering, the Late Maestro discovered an in-born musical talent, and a seven year old Kankana won his heart by skilfull attachment to the masterly tune of the Maestro. From Usdtad Amir Khan she learnt the intricacies of the Indore gharana. At the tender age of fourteen, Kankana (Mohua, as she was lovingly called), gave her first public performance. Kankana was subsequently guided by Pdt. Pratap Narain, of the Mewati Gharana.
Today she has to her credit regular performances on a global platform. She is the recipient of the Kala Saraswati, Andhra Ratna Award which is one of the most prestigious awards from the Government of Andhra Pradesh.
Kishori Amonkar (born in 1932) is a stalwart of Hindustani classical music. She performs the classical genre khyal and the light classical genres thumri and bhajan. Amonkar trained under her mother, classical singer Mogubai Kurdikar of the Jaipur gharana, but experimented with a variety of vocal styles in her career. She is considered one of the prominent representatives of Hindustani classical music.
In the early 1940s, Amonkar began to receive vocal lessons in Hindustani classical music from her mother Mogubai Kurdikar and later received training from tutors of several gharanas. Amonkar became interested in film music and sang playback for the movie Geet Gaya Pattharon Ne, but returned to classical music because of bad experiences in the movie industry. Amonkar lost her voice for two years in the late 1950s for unknown reasons.
Amonkar's work in light music has influenced her classical singing and she modified her Jaipur gharana performance style by applying features from other gharanas. She has created many compositions for a number of ragas.
Amonkar's students include Shivraj Shitole, Manik Bhide, Meena Joshi, Suhasini Mulgaonkar, Mira Panshikar, Arun Dravid, Raghunandan Panshikar, Nandini Bedekar, and her granddaughter Tejashree Amonkar.
Amonkar received the national awards Padma Bhushan in 1987 and Padma Vibhushan in 2002. She was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 1985 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship for 2009.
Lakshmi Shankar (born 1926) is a Hindustani classical vocalist of the Patiala Gharana. She is known for her performances of khyal, thumri, and bhajans.
Lakshmi started her career in dancing. However, due to a period of illness, Lakshmi had to give up dancing, and already having had a background of Carnatic music, she undertook learning Hindustani classical music for many years under Ustad Abdul Rehman Khan. Later, she also trained under B.R.Deodhar and with Ravi Shankar, the sitar maestro.
Around 1946 to 1947, she worked on the historic adaptation of Pandit Nehru's Discovery of India, a work that prompted Nehru to say, "The ballet's better than my book." Shankar toured America with Ravi Shankar and George Harrison in 1974.
Malini Rajurkar (born in 1941) is a noted Hindustani classical singer of Gwalior Gharana.
She grew up in the state of Rajasthan in India. For three years she taught mathematics at the Savitri Girls' High School & College, Ajmer, where she had graduated in the same subject. Then she finished her Sangeet Nipun from the Ajmer Music College, studying music under the guidance of Govindrao Rajurkar and his nephew, who was to become her future husband, Vasantrao Rajurkar.
Malini has performed in major music festivals in India, including Gunidas Sammelan (Mumbai), Tansen Samaroh (Gwalior), Sawai Gandharva Festival (Pune), and Shankar Lal Festival (Delhi).
Malini is noted especially for her command over the Tappa genre. She has also sung lighter music. Her renditions of two Marathi natyageete, pandu-nrupati janak jaya and naravar krishnasamaan, have been particularly popular.
Mallikarjun Bheemarayappa Mansur (December 31, 1910-1992) was a renowned Indian classical singer from the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana. Born in Dharwad, Karnataka, he had his initial training in Carnatic music under Appaya Swamy, and in Hindustani music under Nilkanth Bua Alurmath of Miraj who belonged to the Gwalior Gharana. However, the biggest influences on his singing were his gurus Manji Khan and Bhurji Khan who were the sons of Alladiya Khan of the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana.
Mansur was well known for his khayal gayaki and for his command over a large number of rare (aprachalit) ragas such as Shuddh Nat, Asa Jogiya, Hem Nat, Lachchhasakh, Khat, Shivmat Bhairav, Bihari, Sampoorna Malkauns, Lajawanti, Adambari Kedar and Bahaduri Todi. He sang for more than sixty years.
Mansur wrote an autobiographical book titled Nanna Rasayatre in Kannada, which has been translated into English as a book titled My Journey in Music by his son, Rajshekhar Mansur. "Mrutyunjaya", his home in Dharwad was converted into a memorial museum.
He received the three national Padma Awards: Padma Shri in 1970, Padma Bhushan in 1976, and Padma Vibhushan in 1992.
Padmashree Manik Varma (1920 - November 10, 1996) from the Kirana Gharana excelled in classical, semi-classical and light music like Thumri, Marathi Natya Sangeet, Bhavgeet and Bhakti geet (Devotional Music). She was a discple of Hirabai Barodekar, daughter of Abdul Karim Khan, the founder of the Kirana Gharana.
In April 1955, her songs became part of the Geet Ramayan, a presentation of songs on Ramayana, a weekly, year-long programme by All India Radio (AIR), Pune, along with artists like Lata Mangeshkar, Yogini Joglekar, Babanrao Navdikar and Sudhir Phadke.
A number of renowned artists including Asha Khadilkar trained under her.
She received the prestigious Padma Shri award from the Government of India in 1974, followed by the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1986. In her memory Manik Varma Pratishthan was established in Mumbai.
Miyan Tansen (1506-1589) is considered the one of the greatest classical vocalist and composer of all times. He was one among the 'Navratnas'(nine jewels) in Emperor Akbar's court. Almost all gharanas of Hindustani classical music claim some connection with the Tansen lineage. Tansen as a child was a very good imitator of sounds of animals and birds. He was then rigorously trained in classical music by Swami Haridas of Vrindavan. It is also believed that Sufi saint Muhammad Ghaus who also taught him music, was Tansen's spriritual mentor. Tansen was not only a very good exponent of Dhrupad Gayaki but was also a good composer. He then joined the court of Raja Ramachandra of Rewa. He earned himself a very good name due to which Emporer Akbar using his influence called him to Agra and included him in his Navratnas. It is Akbar who conferred him with the title Miyan. Tansen holds the credit of composing some of the most melodious and beautiful Ragas in Indian music which include Darbari Kanada, Miyan ki Todi, Mand, Miya Malhar, Miyan ki Sarang, Rageshri. He also authored some important musical literary works 'Sangeet Sar' and 'Rajmala'. Tansen also popularized and improved the musical instrument Rabab. According to a popular legend, Tansen ignited fire by his rendition of Raag Deepak. Tansen's musical legacy was carried forward by his daughter Saraswati Devi and Bilas Khan (the composer of the Raag Bilakhani Todi). To celebrate this great musician, Tansen Sangeet Samaraoh is held every year in Gwalior, the place where his tomb lies alongside the tomb of his spiritual mentor Muhammad Ghaus.
Born in 1912, Pandit Nivruttibua Sarnaik had his musical training initially under Govind Vithal Bhave and then his famed uncle, Shankar Rao Sarnaik, followed by Rajab Ali Khan and Sawai Gandharva. His final grooming was under the direct tutelage of Alladiya Khan of Jaipur gharana, whose gayaki he adopted and developed.
The recipient of innumerable honours, including the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1980, Buaji`s rhythmically complex and articulate taan patterns had a unique charm. He also had a huge fund of exotic Ragas and compositions.
Nivruttibua was a veteran concert artiste and broadcaster and had the honour of being the Durbar Gayak of Kolhapur State. He was Professor of Music at Bombay University during the 70s and in 1978, he moved to Kolkata to join the ITC Sangeet Research Academy as a resident Guru.
Nivruttibua passed away on February 16, 1994.
Pandit Bhaskarbua Bakhale
Pandit Bhaskarbua Bakhale (1869-1922) A famous exponent of the Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana, Pandit Bhaskarbua Bakhale began learning music from Vishnubua Pingle and then Ustad Maula Baksh. He worked in Kirloskar theatrical company in Maharashtra for some time where he also enacted Manthara in the drama Ram-Rajya-Viyog. After that, he resumed his music study under the guidance of Ustad Faiz Mahmed Khan of Baroda. He also learnt from Ustad Nathhan Khan and from Ustad Alladiya Khan, both of whom were stalwarts of Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana. Bakhle was a widely acclaimed and popular musician. He composed the tunes of some musical plays in Marathi like Swayamwar, Vidyaharan and Draupadi and they are immortal in the memory of audience. He holds the credit for popularising obscure ragas like Shyam Kalyan, Bihagada, Suhagkanda, Gouri, Patabihag, Khokar and Savani Nat. He is still remembered in the world of music with great respect. His chief disciples were Master Krishnarao Phulambrikar, Balgandharva and others.
Pandit Digambar Vishnu Paluskar
Pandit Digambar Vishnu Paluskar (1921-1955)
Son of the well-known Hindustani vocalist Vishnu Digambar Paluskar, D V Paluskar was a child prodigy. He received his vocal training from his gurus Pandit Vinayakrao Patwardhan and Narayanrao Vyas. He was also trained by Pandit Chintamanrao Paluskar and Pandit Mirashi Buwa. He gave his debut performance at Harivallabh Sangeet Sammelan in Punjab at the age of fourteen. Although he belonged to the Gwalior Gharana tradition, he was always open to adopting aesthetic features of other gharanas and styles. He had a very sweet and melodious voice. His aalap clearly outlined the raga he sang; this was followed by the bandish embellished by beautiful taans in an effortless enchanting style. He was a master at presenting an attractive and comprehensive picture of a raga ina very short duration. He was a member of the Indian cultural delegation which visited China in 1955. A great bhajan singer, he introduced the famous bhajan "Payoji Maine Ram Ratan Dhan Payo" to the modern generation. He is also famous for an unforgettable duet with Ustad Amir Khan in the film Baiju Bawra.
Pandit Jasraj (born 28 January 1930) is the foremost exponent of the Mewati Gharana of Hindustani classical music.
Pandit Jasraj was born in Hissar, Haryana in an orthodox brahmin family to Pandit Motiramji, a classical exponent. His family is well known for singing in the Mewati gharana style. Motiramji died when Jasrajji was only four years old.
Jasraj was initiated into vocal music by his father. He also received training from his elder brother, Pandit Maniramji, and later from Maharaja Jaywant Singhji Waghela. In 1960, when Jasraj went to visit Bade Ghulam Ali Khan in hospital, Khan asked him to become his disciple, but Jasraj declined saying that he could not accept Khan's tutelage since he was already Maniramji's disciple.
Jasraj's vocal range extends across three-and-a-half octaves. His vocalizing is in perfect diction and clarity, a trademark of the Mewati Gharana's style of Khayal. He has also done extensive research in Haveli Sangeet under Baba Shyam Manohar Goswami Maharaj to create numerous innovative bandish (composition).
His greatest contribution to Indian classical music is his conception of a unique and novel jugalbandi, styled on the ancient system of Moorchana, between a male and a female vocalist, each singing in their respective scales and different ragas at the same time. In his honor, this legendary jugalbandi is known as The Jasrangi.
Jasraj has many students who are successfully carrying forward the tradition. Amongst his flag-bearing disciples are Rattan Mohan Sharma, Sanjeev Abhyankar, Ramesh Narayan, Suman Ghosh, Tripti Mukherjee, Radharaman Kirtane, Pritam Bhattacharjee, Gargi Siddhant and Kala Ramnath. Sadhana Sargam, a well-known Bollywood singer, is one of his disciples.
Pandit Jasraj has a son, Sarang Dev, and a daughter, Durga Jasraj & music composers Jatin-Lalit are his nephews.
- Padma Vibhushan in 2000
- Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1987
- Sangeet Kala Ratna
- Master Dinanath Mangeshkar Award
- Lata Mangeshkar Puraskar
- Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar
- Surer Guru
- Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship (2010)
- Marwar Sangeet Ratna Award
Pandit Ramakrishnabua Vaze
Pandit Ramakrishnabua Vaze (1871-1945)
Vazebua was a renowned vocalist and composer of the Gwalior Gharana. Born in a poor family of a small town in Maharashtra, Vaze bua was passionate about music since childhood and learnt music from several music teachers during his early years. His interest in music took him to Gwalior, the musical capital of India in those times. He suffered great hardships to learn music. At Gwalior, he learnt classical music from Ustad Nissar Hussain Khan as well as many other musicians of note, thus building up a formidable repertoire. A highly gifted musician, he could play a number of instruments. He sang Dhrupad, khayal as well as thumri forms with a good command. His performances were always lively and intellectually stimulating. His layakari was flawless, his taans had clarity and force and he would leave the audience spellbound. He was responsible for bringing many little known ragas to light and as a composer, his specialty being fast tempo bandishes. Although Ramkrishnabua Vaze was formally trained in the Gwalior tradition he did not adhere to pure traditions - he developed his own style of singing. He was the court musician of Maharaja Yashwant Rao Pawar of Dhar in Madhya Pradesh, and authored the double-volumed "Sangeet Kala Prakash". Regarded as a fine composer of Marathi theatre arena, he composed music for the sangeet natak 'Sanyast Khadag' and 'Ranadumdubhi' and his compositions are admired even today. He shaped a number of students including Dinananth Mangeshkar, Keshavrao Bhosale and Vinayakrao Patwardhan who later did great work in the field of music.
Pandit Ratnakar Pai
Pandit Ratnakar Pai (born on 13 April, 1928) was a Hindustani classical music vocalist of the Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana.
Pt. Pai received musical training from two erudite teachers, Pt. Mohanrao Palekar and Utd. Gulubhai Jasdanwalla. Pt. Pai's was regarded as the foremost authority on the Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana because he represented a union of the two sub-streams of the Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana, having learnt from descendants of the gharana founder Utd. Alladiya Khan and from the foremost, non-blood-related disciples of the Ustad. Pt. Pai was instrumental in clarifying the differences and enhancing the wholesomeness of the gharana's ideology.
Although Pt. Pai did not take to a full-fledged performance career, Pt. Pai was regarded as an expert on Khayal by musicians and musical connoisseurs. Pt. Pai's primary focus was teaching, where his many successful students are evidence of his musical stature.
Endowed with a sweet voice and an uncanny sense of Laya, Pt. Pai's singing is one of the purest expressions of the traditional Jaipur-Atrauli Gayaki.
"According to Pai-Buwa, our Khayals are not intended, specifically, for performance in any particular Tala or even at a particular tempo. They can be sung in any tala, and at any tempo."
-Smt. Ashwini Bhide-Deshpande
Pt. Pai died on the evening of August 9, 2009.
Pt. Pai has taught many successful musicians, including Pt. Jitendra Abhisheki, Bhalchandra G. Tilak, Dr. Milind Malshe, and Smt. Ashwini Bhide-Deshpande.
Pandit Vinayakrao Patwardhan
Pandit Vinayakrao Patwardhan (1898-1975)
Born at Miraj, he received his initial training from his uncle Keshavrao. Later he went to Lahore on a scholarship by the princely state of Miraj and studied from Pandit VD Paluskar. He developed in an all-round fashion under his tutelage. He also learned from Balkrishnabuwa Ichalkaranjikar in Miraj and Ramkrishnabuwa Vaze in Pune for some years. He established Gandharva Mahavidyalaya in Pune. He trained a number of disciples who became famous singers and teachers in their own right. Notable among them are D.V.Paluskar, S.B.Deshpande, V.R.Athavale, Vishnu Ghag and V.D.Ghate. His singing reflected the simple and straightforward approach to ragas, which is the characteristic of the Gwalior style. As a singer Vinayakrao specialized in taranas, which proved very popular with the audience. He also sang bhajans in a unique style. He authored the book Raag Vigyan (seven volumes), Natya Sangeet Prakash and Maharashtra Sangeet Prakash. Also a very successful actor-singer in Marathi theatre for almost 10 years, he enacted in numerous Marathi musical plays, where he partnered the renowned Balgandharva. He also led the Indian cultural delegation to USSR, Poland and Czechoslovakia. Vinayakrao received a scholarship of the Sangert Natak Akademi (1965) and the Padmabhushan (1972).
Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar
Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar (1872-1931)
Born in Kurundwad, a small town in Maharashtra, he lost his eyesight at an early age. But this handicap did not hold him back and he became an ardent student of classical music, studying under the guidance of Balakrishna Bua Ichalkaranjikar of the Gwalior Gharana for almost 12 years. Paluskar then toured whole of North India and studied the musical traditions of various musicians and Gharanas. He also learnt Dhrupad Gayaki from Pandit Chandan Chaube. In 1901, Paluskar founded the Gandharva Mahavidyala in Lahore, a school to impart formal training in Indian classical music. It was one of the first music schools in India to run on public support and donations rather than royal patronage. In 1908, Paluskar established another branch of the school at Mumbai. Today, this institution started by him has grown as a prominent institution imparting music in India and abroad too. A brilliant composer, Pandit Paluskar also holds the credit of composing the tune of the devotional song 'Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram', which was Mahatma Gandhi's favourite bhajan. Such was his fame that when King George V came to India, Paluskar was asked to perform at the Royal Garden of Lahore. Paluskar brought respect to the profession of classical musicians and took Hindustani classical music out from the traditional Gharana system to the masses of India. He authored the book 'Sangeet Bal Prakash', and also wrote 18 volumes on ragas. His disciples Vinayakrao Patwardhan, Omkarnath Thakur, Narayanrao Vyas, Shankarrao Vyas, and B.R. Deodhar, became renowned classical singers and teachers. His son DV Paluskar was also trained in classical music and carried on the mission of his father.
Dr. Prabha Atre (born on 13 September 1932) was born to Abasaheb and Indirabai Atre in Pune. Dr. Atre learned classical music first from Pandit Sureshbabu Mane, and after his demise in 1952, from Smt. Hirabai Badodekar. Both Sureshbabu and Hirabai were children and disciples of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan. While studying under Hirabai, Prabha accompanied her on her musical concert tours.
Her academic and musical qualifications are:
- Bachelor of Science: Ferguson College, University of Pune.
- Bachelor of Law: Law College, University of Pune.
- Sangeet Alankar (Master of Music): Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal .
- Doctor of Music - research on Sargam pertaining to the use of sol-fa notes in Indian classical music
- Western Music Theory Grade-IV: Trinity College of Music, London .
- Training in North Indian Classical Vocal Music: Traditional 'guru-shishya paramparaa' system: under Shri. Sureshbabu Mane and Smt. Hirabai Badodekar from Kirana gharana . Formal training in Kathak dance-style.
As a brilliant creative thinker, great performing artist, composer, author and teacher of music, Dr. Atre has fetched a distinct place for herself. Along with the khayal, she has equally mastered thumri, dadra, gazal, light music, natya sangeet, bhajan and bhaav sangeet. She has performed a major role in popularizing Indian classical vocal music at a global level. She has widely performed her own compositions.
She has performed many experiments like use of only 'Sthayee' in bandish of khayal, themes of Khayal, about raga samay, about raga names etc. Her experiments on voice movements like changing voice texture and volume have also become the hallmark of Dr. Atre. She has made some new ragas like Apoorva Kalyan, Madhur Kauns, Patdeep-Malhar, Tilang-Bhairav, Bhimkali, Ravi Bhairav etc. She has introduced tappa form in Kirana gharana style. When young she performed as a leading actress in different musical dramas such as Sharada, Vidyaharan, Saushaykallol, Mricchakatik and Lilaav (by M.G Rangnekar), Biraj Bahu etc.
Dr. Atre has authored several books in Marathi and English: Her first book in Marathi, Swaramayee, is a compilation of her essays and articles on music. Her books, Suswaralee, Swaranginee and Swaranjani contain 500 of her compositions in classical and popular music. Her fifth book, Antahswar, contains poems penned by her. Prabha's two books in English Enlightening the Listener and Along the Path of Music help global audiences understand and appreciate Indian music.
Around 1992, Dr. Atre started an annual Pandit Sureshbabu Mane and Hirabai Badodekar Sangeet Sammelan music festival. The festival takes place annually in December in Mumbai. Prabha established some years ago Swaramayee Gurukul in Pune. This institution amalgamates traditional guru-shishya style of teaching music and contemporary classroom teaching.
Prabha's noted disciples include Smt. Sarala Madhusudhan Desai, Dr. Asha Parasnis-Joshi, Smt. Ragini Chakravarthy, Smt. Padmini Rao, Ms. Chetana Banawat, Mrs. Veena Shukla, Ms. Arati Thakur, Smt. Ashvini Modak and shri. Atindra Sarvadikar.
In 1976, Prabha received the 'Acharya Atre' award for music. Jagatguru Shankaracharya conferred the title "Gana Prabha" on her. The Government of India conferred on her "Padma Shree" in 1990 and "Padma Bhushan" in 2002. She received a Sangeet Natak Academy Award in 1991. The other prominent awards on her credit are Giants International Award, Kalidas samman, Dinanath Mangeshkar award, Hafiz Ali Khan Award, Felicitation by Global Action Club International, Govind-Lakshmi award, Godavari Gaurav Puraskar, Dagar Gharana Award, Acharya Pandit Ram Narayan Foundation Award Mumbai, Ustad Faiyyaz Ahmed Khan Memorial Award (Kirana Gharana), 'Kala-Shree 2002', `P.L. Deshpande Bahuroopi Sanman', Sangeet Sadhana Ratna Award, 'Life time achievement' award by the Pune University, Mahim Ratna Award by Shivsena Mumbai, Felicitation by the Mayor of Mumbai.
She was conferred the title "Swaryogini" from admirers and music connoisseurs on the occasion of her 75th birthday celebration function at Pune.
Pandit Anant Keshav alias Rajabhau Kogje was born on 25.2.1926 at Pune.His father Keshav Narayan Kogje was a good singer himself. In order to learn classical music,young Rajabhau was sent to Pandit Govindrao Multapikar in Jabalpur.
He received rigorous training from Pandit Vinayakrao Patwardhan from 1939 to 1947. During this period Rajabhau qualified himself as "Sangeet Alankar" and "Sangeet Praveen" with distinction.
Rajabhau served on All India Radio at Nagpur, and joined Morris College, Nagpur as lecturer in classical music. He was honoured by the governor Dr. Pattabhi Seetaramayya.
With his Guru's permission, Rajabhau learnt the intricacies of Thumri singing under Rasoolanbai of Benaras and Halkaram Bhai. He was gifted with a very tuneful, melodious, pointed and powerful voice.
He retired from Morris College in 1985. His concerts were broadcast on the All India Radio.
Pandit Ram Marathe (23 October 1924 - 4 October 1989) was an outstanding vocalist of rare distinction.
Born in Pune in 1924, Ram Marathe had the proud privilege of receiving extensive training from stalwarts like Pandit Manohar Barve, Pandit Mirashibua, Master Krishna Rao Phulambrikar, Ustad Vilayat Hussain Khan and Pandit Jagannathbua Purohit. Apart from his gurus, he was influenced by Pandit Gajanan Rao Joshi as well, and assimilating the best of Gwalior, Agra and Jaipur Gharanas of Khayal singing, Ram Marathe developed a style of his own.
Ram Marathe was known for his exquisite 'Bandishes' and purity in Raga rendition. He had a rich collection of uncommon Ragas and rare compositions. His performances, always having the traditional flavour, were marked by intricate but clear 'Taans', prolific 'Boltaans' and astounding 'Layakari'.
He was greatly successful in his radio broadcasts, music conferences and concerts all over the country, and was one of the most popular artistes of his time. Ram Marathe received great admiration for his performances on the Marathi stage and in Hindi, Gujrati and Marathi films.
Not only as a popular singer of the Marathi stage, Ram Marathe was also a respected music director, composing for popular plays like Ekach Pyala, Maan Apamaan, Mandarmala and Meghamalhar. His name will certainly go down in the history of Marathi stage along with the famous names of Bal Gandharva, Vinayakrao Patwardhan , Master Krishnarao, Master Dinanath and other Maestros.
Shri Ram Marathe was awarded the title of Sangeet Bhushan by the Government of Maharashtra and besides many other honours, he was the recipient of Sangeet Natak Academy Award in 1987.
Ramashraya Jha Ramarang
Ramashreya Jha (August 11, 1928 - January 1, 2009) was a distinguished composer, musician, scholar and teacher of Hindustani Classical music. He is popularly known to musicians, students and music lovers around India by his nom de plume 'Ramrang'.
In 1968, Ramashreya was appointed to the faculty of Allahabad University and later in 1980 promoted to the position of Head of the Music Department. In 2005, he received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.
Among the first to notice Jha-sahab's magnificent compositions was the famous maestro, the late Jitendra Abhisheki, who sang and taught Ramrang's many compositions. His five-volume anthology Abhinava Geetanjali ranks high among the most influential works in Hindustani music. It contains critical analysis of ragas supplemented by numerous traditional and self-conceived compositions.
Among his well-known disciples are Shubha Mudgal and Geeta Banerjee.
The late Pt. Rasiklal Andharia, born on 13.10.1931 came from a music-loving family from Bhavnagar, Gujarat. He was known for his rendition of the khayal of the Kirana gharana.
He was actively encouraged by his father in his musical pursuit and his elder brother, Pandit Babulal Andharia, a scholar-musician gave him the initial lessons in classical music. However, primarily, Rasiklalji, in the manner of a true artiste gifted with talent and genius, can be regarded as a self-taught musician.
Rasiklalji's music bore the impression of the gayaki of the late Ustad Amir Khan. His rich, sonorous voice had an uncanny emotional depth and enduring appeal - all of which often reminded the listener of the great Ustad.
Rasoolan Bai was born in 1902 at Kachhwa Baazar, Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh, in a poor family. She inherited the musical legacy of her mother Adalat. At the age of five, she was sent to learn music from Ustad Shambhy Khan, Ashia Kahn and Ustad Maju Khan.
Rasoolanbai became an expert in Tappa singing as well as Purab Ang, Thumri. Her first performance was held in Dhananjaygarh court, after its success she started getting invitations from local Rajas of the time, thus she went on to dominate the Hindustani classical music genre for next five decades, based in Varanasi and became the doyenne of Benaras gharana.
She used to sing on All India Radio and Doordarshan till 1972. She was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in Hindustani music Vocal in 1957. Despite an illustrious musical career, she died in penury, running a small tea shop next to the radio station where she had often broadcasted from.
Rasoolan Bai died on 15 December 1974.
Sangameshwar Gurav was born on December 7, 1931, and was trained in Hindustani vocal music by his father Ganpatrao. As a boy he was inspired by the music of Abdul Karim Khan.
In 1976 he was offered a position by Mallikarjun Mansur in the faculty of music at Karnatak University in Dharwad. He served there until 1993.
His 2 sons continue the family tradition in music. The elder Nandikeshwar plays the tabla, and the younger Kaivalya Kumar is a vocalist.
Saraswati Abdul Rane (October 4, 1913 - October 10, 2006) also known as Sakina was the youngest daughter of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan, the founder of Kirana Gharana and Tarabai. She got her initial training of vocal music of Kirana Gharana style from her elder brother Sureshbabu Mane and elder sister Hirabai Barodekar, who themselves were the doyen of Indian classical music of their times. Later she also sang along with elder sister, Hirabai Bododekar, especially in jugalbandi style.
To enhance her musical knowledge she also got taleem (training) from ustads of different gharanas like nephew of Alladiya Khan, Ustad Natthan Khan of Jaipur gharana, Prof. B. R. Deodhar and Pandit Master Krishnarao of Gwalior gharana.
Smt. Saraswatibai started her musical career at a very early age of seven years with stage acting in musical dramas like Sangeet Saubhadra, Sangeet Sanshaykallol, Sangeet Ekach Pyala etc. Right from her young age i.e. since 1929 she started acting in major roles with great noted artists like Balgandharva and many such noted artists in thousands of shows all over the country.
She gave her performances in All India Radio as a top grade artist since 1933 till 1990. She was amongst the first ladies to give playback for Hindi and Marathi films. Her first playback was in Marathi film Payachi Dasi, directed by Acharya Atre. Her song from Hindi film Ramrajya`Bina Madhur Madhur Kachu Bol' reached the peak of popularity all over India and she was awarded by HMV for highest sale of gramophone records in those times. She has also given playback for Hindi film, Sargam (1950), and Bhumika (1977). She had an opportunity to sing under the music direction of great music directors like C. Ramchandra, Shankarrao Vyas, K. C. Day, Sudhir Phadke.
Smt. Saraswatibai was invited to participate on the eve of first Independence Day at Delhi. She was also invited to participate in a grand celebration at Shivneri on the first Maharashtra Day.
In the same period she became very popular singer of Marathi light classical songs popularly known as Bhav-geet.
Saraswatibai and her elder sister Smt. Hirabai Barodekar are the first lady pair to start the concept of jugalbandi vocal recital by ladies. Their jugalbandi recital was appreciated all over the world and got an overwhelming response since 1965 to 1980.
Her grand daughter Meena Faterpekar is one of the very few female classical vocalists from Kirana Gharana.
Smt. Saraswatibai Rane died 10 October 2006.
Sarswatibai was awarded: 1. Balgandharva Purskar (Government of Maharashtra, 1966) 2. Balgandharva Gold Medal 3. ITC Sangeet Research Academy Award 4. Yeshwantrao Chavan Puraskar 5. Guru Mahatmya Puraskar (Maharashtra) 6. Ustad Faiyaz Ahmed Khan Memorial Trust (Kirana Gharana Award 1999)
Pandit Sharad Sathe, born on February 18, 1932, began his rigorous formal musical training in 1949 with Pandit D.V. Paluskar, son of the famous missionary-musician Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar. He had the opportunity to travel extensively and perform with his guru at several concerts.
After Pandit Paluskar's premature death in October 1955, Pandit Sathe continued his studentship under Prof. B.R. Deodhar for nearly a decade. A recipient of a Government of India scholarship, Panditji graduated with the Sangeet Visharad degree of the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal in 1961 with honours. It was after 1966, when he became a disciple of Pandit Sharadchandra Arolkar, a veteran vocalist of the Gwalior gharana, that Panditji's talent and musicianship acquired depth, maturity and a new dimension. Pandit Arolkar gave him a new insight into the ideological base of the Gwalior gayaki and handed down to him several rare compositions in khayals, tappas and taranas. Although a follower of the Gwalior gayaki, Panditji has kept his mind and ears open to the best that other gharanas have to offer.
A regular performer over the All India Radio and Television networks, he has been participating in various music conferences and concerts all over the country. In 1972, he was specially invited to sing for the Films Division documentary on Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar. In 1985, he was appointed as a resident professor of vocal music at the London centre of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in 1986-87.
For his contribution to Hindustani vocal music, Pandit Sharad Sathe was honoured by ITC Sangeet Research Academy in 2006 and Pandit Vinayakrao Patwardhan award in 2009.
Shobha Gurtu (1925 - 2004) was an Indian singer in the light Hindustani classical style. Though she had equal command over pure classical style, it was with light classical music that she received her fame, and in time came to be known as the 'Thumri Queen', and for the 'Abhinaya' ang in her full-throated voice.
Bhanumati Shirodkar, as she was formerly called, was born in Belgaum, Karnataka on 25th February, 1925. She was first trained by her mother Menekabai Shirodkar, a professional dancer, and a 'gayaki' disciple of Ustad Alladiya Khan of the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana.
Her formal music training began with Ustad Bhurji Khan, the youngest son of Ustad Alladiya Khan, in Kolhapur, from whom her mother was learning at the time. Her ties with the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana strengthened with teaching from Ustad Alladiya Khan's nephew Ustad Natthan Khan and Ustad Ghamman Khan, who taught her mother thumri-dadra and other semi-classical forms.
Shobha Gurtu specialized in semi classical forms as thumri, dadra, kajri, hori etc., effortlessly adding pure classical passages into her singing, thus creating a new form, and reviving the magic of forms like thumri, of which she became a greatest exponent in time. She was particularly influenced by singer Begum Akhtar and Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan
She also performed music in Marathi and Hindi cinema. As a playback singer, she first worked in Kamaal Amrohi's film, Pakeezah (1972), followed by Phagun (1973), where she sang, 'Bedardi ban gaye koi jaao manaao more saiyyaan'. She earned a Filmfare nomination as Best Female Playback Singer for the song "Saiyyan Rooth Gaye" from the hit film Main Tulsi Tere Aangan Ki (1978). In Marathi cinema she sang for films like Saamna and Lal Mati.
Over the years, she travelled all over the world for concerts and often lent her voice the collaborative jazz albums, of her son Trilok Gurtu.
In 1987, she received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, and later awarded the Lata Mangeshkar Puraskar, Shahu Maharaj Puraskar and the Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar. In 2002, she was awarded the Padma Bhushan.
After reigning over Hindustani classical music genre, for five decades, as the Queen of Thumri, Shobha Gurtu died on 27 September 2004, and was survived by her two sons.
Her son Trilok Gurtu is a famed percussionist. Her other son is Narendra.
Siddheswari Devi (1908-1976) was a Hindustani singer from Varanasi, India, known as Maa (mother). She lost her parents early and was brought up by her aunt, the noted singer Rajeshwari Devi.
Born on 8'th August 1908, in Banaras, Siddheshwari Devi had her initial training in classical music from Pandit Siyaji Maharaj. Later, she also trained under Pandit Bade Ram Dasji of Banaras. Siddheshwari Devi's music represented the Banaras gharana style, which lays more emphasis on the intensity of feelings and expression of emotions through musical notes and voice modulations.
She sang khyal & thumri (her forte) and short classical forms as dadra, chaiti, kajri etc. In thumris she specialized in "Poorabang" thumri, which is also known as the "Bol-Banav-ki thumri". Reliance on ragas was a distinctive feature of Siddheshwaris thumris. She helped in raising thumri to a classical form.
Her daughter,Vidushi Savita Devi has established "Smt Siddheshwari Devi Academy of Indian Music" post her mother passed away.
She won many accolades during her career, including:
" Padma Shri by the Government of India (1966) " Honorary D.Lit. degree by the Ravindra Bharati Vishwavidyalaya in Kolkata (1973) " Deshikottam degree by the Vishwa Bharati Vishwavidyalaya.
A renowned vocalist of the Bhendi Bazar Gharana, Dr. Suhasini Koratkar received her training in music from Late Pt. T. D. Janorikar, eminent exponent of this Gharana. Her singing is characterised by the attractive presentation of the Bandish and Sargam in a distinctive style and vigorous Taans of various patterns.
In addition to classical music, Suhasinitai also excels in presentation of Thumri-Dadra, Bhajans and Ghazals. She has received special guidance of Poorab Anga Thumri from the famous exponent of this style Vidushi Smt. Naina Devi. She also excels in singing Tappa, Marathi stage songs and Bhajans.
Pt. Suhasinitai has composed many attractive Bandishes.
In recognition of her precious contributions to the field of music, she has been felicitated by many Music Organizations.
From: Musicians of India by Amal Das Sharma Sureshbabu Mane (1902-1953), also known as Abdul Rehman Khan, was the first child of Abdul Karim Khan and Tarabai. He is the elder brother of the renowned singer Hirabai Badodekar. He studied under his father and uncle Abdul Waheed Khan. He devoted his life to teaching disciples such as Basavaraj Rajguru, Manik Verma and Dr. Prabha Atre.
Ustad Abdul Karim Khan
Ustad Abdul Karim Khan (1872- 1937)
Born in Kirana (Uttar Pradesh), he trained initially under his father Kale Khan. After his father's untimely demise, he continued learning from his uncle Abdulla Khan and also from Haidar Khan. He was also influenced by Ustad Rahimat Khan of Gwalior Gharana. Apart from classical singing, he was also a good sarangi player and also played the sitar, tabla and veena well. He served the royal court of Baroda. He also performed regularly at the Mysore Darbar where he conferred upon with the title 'Sangeet Ratna'. He was quite influenced by Carnatic Music because of his interaction with those musicians in Mysore. His sargam was in particular, a direct influence of Carnatic music. He also used to visit Dharwad where he trained his disciples Sawai Gandharva and Surashri Kesarbai Kerkar. He also trained his son, Sureshbabu Mane. In 1913, he founded Arya Sangeet Vidyalaya in Pune and trained his students wholeheartedly. He finally settled in Miraj and remained there all the rest of his life. He borrowed Raga Abhogi from Carnatic music and popularised it in North India. He had a very sweet voice and his slow melodic rendition of the Vilambit Khayal was a characteristic aspect of his music. His thumri style was also quite different from the poorab ang or Punjabi ang Thumri. He is considered one of the stalwarts of the Kirana Gharana tradition.
Ustad Amir Khan
Ustad Amir Khan (1912-1974)
Considered as the founder of Indore Gharana, Amir Khan was born in a family of musicians. He was initially trained in Sarangi and then subsequently in vocal music by his father Shahmir Khan, who was a sarangi and veena player of Bhendibazar Gharana serving at the court of the Holkars in Indore. Young Amir listened to numerous artists visiting Indore and he also learnt the basics of Tabla playing from his maternal uncle. All these things helped him evolve as a complete artist. In 1936, he joined the services of Maharaj Chakradhar Singh of Raigadh Sansthan in Madhya Pradesh. After his father's demise in 1937, he lived for some years in Delhi and Calcutta and finally settled in Mumbai after partition. Incorporating the styles of Abdul Waheed Khan (vilambit tempo), Rajab Ali Khan (taans) and Aman Ali Khan (merukhand), Amir Khan developed his own singing style, This unique style, known as the Indore Gharana, blends the spiritual flavour and grandeur of dhrupad with the ornate vividness of khayal. He helped popularize the tarana, as well as khyalnuma compositions in Persian. With the pen-name 'Sur rang', he made numerous compositions. Besides winning the hearts of music lovers in numerous concerts, he also sang classical based songs in films like Baiju Bawra, and Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje. His disciples include Pandit Amarnath, A. Kanan, Srikant Bakre, Singh Brothers, Mukund Goswami, Gajendra Bakshi, Kankana Banerjee, Pradyumna Kumud Mukherjee and Poorabi Mukherjee, Hridaynath Mangeshkar, Akhtar Sadmani, Amarjeet Kaur, Ajit Singh Paintal, Bhimsen Sharma, Munir Khan, and Kamal Bose. Although he referred to his style as the Indore Gharana, he was a firm believer of absorbing elements from various gharanas. He received many awards and recognitions among which Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1967) and Padma Bhushan (1971), Presidential Award (1971) and Swar Vilas from Sur Singar Sansad (1971) are the major ones.
Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan
Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan (1902- 1968)
Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan was an exponent of the Patiala Gharan founded by his father Ustad Ali Baksh Khan, his musical training started at an early age under his uncle Kaale Khan. He was not only a vocalist but also a good Sarangi player. He also trained under his father. His voice had a wide range, spanning three octaves, effortless production, sweetness, flexibility and ease of movement between swaras. He became a great proponent of Thumri and Dadra forms and made certain innovations to Thumri, adding a touch of Punjabi style to it and even today, its popular as Punjab-ang of Thumri. He composed under the pen name Sabarang. His renditions like the 'Hari Om Tatsat' and the Ae Na Balam are world-renowned even now. He has also sung in the film Mughal-e-Azam to represent Tansen in the film. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1962. He was also a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi award. Some of his noted disciples include his son Munnawar Ali Khan, Prasun and Meera Banerjee, Irene Roychowdhuri, Malti Gilani and Sandhya Mukherjee. The 'Sabrang Utsav' is organized every year in his memory.
Ustad Faiyaz Khan
Ustad Faiyaz Khan (1886-1950)
Ustad Faiyaz Khan belonged to a family of great musicians, going back to Haji Sujaan Khan in the court of Emperor Akbar. He was groomed mainly by his maternal grandfather, Ghulam Abbas Khan, and granduncle, Kallan Khan both of whom were eminent singers of the Agra gharana. Faiyaz Khan blended the styles of his different gurus giving the Agra gayaki a new direction. He also included many thumris, dadras, ghazals and qawalis in his repertoire. He was a reputed khayal vocalist of his time. He was a great composer himself, his pen name being 'Prempiya'. His compositions in raga Jaijaiwanti, Jog etc. are admired today also. He served for a long time as the court musician of Baroda, where he was awarded the "Gyan Ratna". The Maharaja of Mysore awarded him the title "Aftab-e-Mousiqui." Faiyaz Khan's specialities were dhrupad and khyal, but he was also capable of singing thumri and ghazal. Some of his prominent students include Ata Hussain Khan, Latafat Hussain Khan, K. L. Saigal, Dipali Nag, Dilip Chandra Vedi, S. N. Ratanjankar, Swami Vallabhdas, Ramrao Naik, and Sharafat Hussain Khan. He is considered one of the most influential vocalists of the 20th century.
Ustad Nazakat Ali Salamat Ali Khan
Popularly known as the Ali brothers, Salamat Ali Khan and Nazakat Ali Khan are the most famous classical singers of Pakistan in the post independence time. They received classical training from their father Ustad Wilayat Ali Khan, the expert of Sham Chaurasi Gharana which is a very old dhrupad gharana going back nearly 500 years.
Although they had their base in Pakistan, the Ali brothers continued to tour India participating in music conferences and giving concerts. Ali brothers own the credit of bringing khayal singing to this gharana. The later years found Salamat Ali take up a solo career.
Ustad Salamat Ali Khan and Ustad Nazakat Ali Khan were born in the heartland of Punjab at Shamchaurasi, district Hoshiarpur. It is claimed that the gharana was founded in the 16th century by Mian Chand Khan and Mian Suraj Khan who were contemporaries of Mian Tansen at the court of Mughal emperor Akbar.
Ustad Rehmat Khan
Ustad Rehmat Khan (1852-1922)
An highly impressive singer, Ustad Rehmat Khan was extolled as 'Bhugandharva' owing to his extremely sweet voice. He was the son of Haddu Khan, the famous vocalist of Gwalior Gharana. After the demise of his father, he travelled around India earning his living as a street musician. After some years he started working as a musician in a circus company and also gave impressive performances at many places. He then received patronage from the princely state of Kurundwad where he settled and spent the rest of his life there. He made numerous records with Gramaphone Co. Ltd. He is said to have liberated the Gwalior style from the methodical form it followed to the emotional style that he preferred.
Veena Sahasrabuddhe (born on September 14, 1948) is a leading Indian vocalist and composer of Hindustani classical music. Her singing style has its roots in Gwalior gharana, but it also borrows from Jaipur and Kirana gharanas. Veena is known as a singer of khyal and bhajan.
Veena was born in a musical family. Her father Shankar Shripad Bodas was a disciple of vocalist Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar. She began her early musical education under her father, and then under her brother Kashinath Shankar Bodas. She also learned Kathak dancing in her childhood.
Veena's musical mentors include Padmashri Balwantrai Bhatt, Pandit Vasant Thakar, and Pandit Gajananrao Joshi.
She has a Master's degree (Sangeet Alankar) in Vocal Performance from A.B.G.M.V. Mandal (1969), and also Master's degree in Sanskrit from Kanpur University (1979). A.B.G.M.V. Mandal conferred on her a doctorate in vocal music (Sangeet Praveen) in 1988. She was the Head of the Department of Music at SNDT Pune campus.
- A prize in Vocal Classical category in a national competition for artists under age 25, conducted by All India Radio (1972) - Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1993)
Pandit Vidyadhar Vyas (born on September 8, 1944) belongs to the prestigious Gwalior gharana and the illustrious lineage of Sangeet Maharshi Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar.
Vidyadhar Vyas was born in Maharashtra to Gayanacharya Pandit Narayanrao Vyas, himself an outstanding disciple of Pandit Paluskar. His khayal, tarana and bhajan gayaki are influenced by his renowned father.
He holds a Master's degree in Sociology from the University of Mumbai and a Doctorate in Hindustani Classical Vocal Music from the Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal, Mumbai.
Gifted with a voice that is mellow and musical, Pandit Vyas presents a unique and pleasing blend of beauty of form and content of khayal.
Pandit Vyas is a popular artiste on All India Radio and is a top-notch concert performer with performances all over the world. He has written several articles for leading music journals and has conceived and presented a variety of programmes on the genesis and evolution of Hindustani Raga Music.
In 1973 he became Principal of the Government Music College (Rajasthan Sangeet Sansthan) at Jaipur. In 1984 he became Head of the Department of Music, University of Mumbai. In February 2004, he became the first duly selected Vice Chancellor of the newly formed Bhatkhande Music Institute Deemed University at Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. In August 2007 he took over as Executive Director of ITC Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata. He was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2007.
Yashwantbua Joshi was born and brought up in Pune. His father although untrained in music, had a lovely voice and sang devotional songs very well. His uncle, Govardhan Buwa Naik, was responsible for pushing him in this direction.
At the age of eight, he started his initial tutelage under Yashwant bua Mirashi. This training continued for 12 years. In order to support himself he started teaching music along with his childhood friend Ram Marathe.
He further learnt music from Jagannath Buwa Purohit, KG Ginde, SCR Bhat, Nivrutti Buwa Sarnaik, Master Krishnarao Phulambrikar, Mallikarjun Mansoor and Chhota Gandharva.