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Pune: Sawai Gandharva to be held from 7th to 10th Jan 2010

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on January 1, 2010

In a backdrop of swine flu, pune’s most prestigious Sawai Gandharva Sangeet Mahostav has been procrastinated from December to January between 7 to 10 January next year. The announcement came from the organizer of the festival, Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal.

The venue for this festival has also been decided at the New English Medium School., Rambaugh. The Sawai Gandharav is one of the well-known festivals held in Pune which is attended by thousands of the music lovers from all over the world.

This festival is held in the memory of the legendary classical singer of India-Sawai Gandharav. The festival was started by Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi to remember formers’ contribution in the field of classical music.

While talking to media, the organizers of the festival said that they wanted to organize this festival at its usual time in December, but we postponed it so as to avoid the spread of the swine flu due to the crowd that will gather here for the festival.

(Source: 11/2009 – PuneSite.com)

Bhimsen Joshi, Zakir Hussain, Begum Akhtar and many more…

Swai Gandharva Festival on its own…

The Sawai Gandharva Music Festival of Pune, which is celebrating its golden jubilee in December 2002, is perhaps a unique phenomenon in the annals of Hindustani classical music. Over the last 50 years, generations of Pune’s connoisseurs have grown up savouring the unforgettable performances at the Festival by great Hindustai masters. This important event, however, has not yet been properly documented. The need for such documentation is self-evident. First, it is a worthwhile idea for its own sake. Secondly, Pune’s large and ever-increasing Diaspora all over the world undoubtedly comprise a large number of connoisseurs who surely never missed the Festival when they were in Pune, but now that they are away, surely do.

When I thought of developing this website, the first job was to collect the basic year-wise data about the Festival. For this purpose, I approached the Kesari and Sakal news paper libraries. I express my sincere thanks to the staff of both these libraries, and especially Mr Ravindra Lele of Kesari and Mr Suresh Jadhav of Sakal, for readily making their relevant back issues, right from 1962, available to me and permitting me to take notes from them. Yet, some gaps remained. At this point, my friend Mr Shrikant Chaphalkar, who was taking keen interest in my work, introduced me to Mr Govind Bedekar, who, in turn, introduced me to Mr S.V. Gokhale, Secretary of the Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal who helped by readily provided the remaining data (data before 1962 is unfortunately not available anywhere or with anybody). Mr Bedekar also introduced me to Pandit Bhimsen Joshi himself. It was a pleasure to interact with these senior friends, who also made numerous constructive and useful suggestions as my work progressed. I am deeply grateful to them.

I have been able to include the photo gallery entirely because of the kindness and generosity of Mr Satish Paknikar, the ace photographer, who has permitted me use some of the choice photographs from his collection. Similarly, Mr Anand Deshmukh, who has been most ably compering the Festival for well over a decade, was good enough to help me with the video clippings; Ms Avanti Punde helped with designing and Mr Sharad Panse with the text. I express my sincere thanks to all of them.

I should also like to pay my homage here to the memory of another senior friend of mine, Mr Vijay Nene, who suddenly passed away two years ago. I have been fortunate to receive some great audio recordings from his priceless collection, some of which I have used here.

Mr Bhaskar Shere and Mr Sudhakar Dhaigude, who have just written a comprehensive book on the Sawai Gandharva Festival, have appreciated my work and constantly encouraged me, as has Mr Dilip Inamdar in various ways. Mr Shere readily lent me an earlier book on Sawai Gandharva, which proved very useful. Similarly, Mr Sandip Shevde, who taught me web designing in the first place, has helped and guided me in numerous ways. To all of them, I am deeply grateful.

Last but not the least, the ‘Living Legend’ himself. When I called on Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, the revered and beloved Anna to his bhaktas, to tell him about my work, he enthused, encouraged and blessed me with his customary magnanimity and graciousness. It is perhaps not possible to express adequately my gratitude for Bhimsenji; in any case, we all are, and would like to remain, forever in his debt for the joy that he has given us all these decades and, indeed, continues to give even today.

Finally, it is my pleasant duty to express my sincere gratitude to my parents for their constant encouragement and support and invaluable blessings, not to mention their boundless love, for me– although I know for a fact that they would not exactly like this formality on my part.

(Source: 11/2009 – sawaigandharvasangeetmahotsav.com)

Programme on 7th January 2010…

  • Pramod Gaikwad

Coming from a third generation musician, Pramod Gaikwad is the grandson of renowned Shehnai Samrat Pt. Shankarraoji Gaikwad and son of Surmani Pt. Prabhashankar Gaikwad, he learnt Shehnai/Sundri from them from the early age of seven years.
In his quest for excellence, Pramod is currently receiving pure “Banarasi Style Shehnai Vadan” guidance from his Guru and father in law Pt.Anant Lal ji and Pt. Dayashankar,who are Shehnai Maestros.

  • Nagnath Wodeyar

Pt. Nagnath Wodeyar is a well known Hindustani vocalist of Karnataka. This gem of a musician was born at Bakapur, (Dharwad District)in 1944. He was fascinated by music right from his childhood. He began his intial riyaz under the careful guidance of Lae Shri V.H. Inamdar in the year 1955-56. He passed the Sangeet Visharada Cousre at Gandharva Maha Vidyalaya with distinction. He has completed Karnatak Government’s VIDVAT examination in First Class. After many years of rigorous training under his primary guruji, he was fortunate enough to get introduced by his uncle Late Shri Raghvendra Chavate a distinguished sculptor to Padmavibhushan Dr. Gangubai Hangal, the doyen of Kirana Gharana , to honing himself to the perfection under the inimitable.
After another 15 years of tireless Riyaz from Dr. Gangubai Hangal his unmatchable performances began broadcasting from All India Radio from 1974. He has given Chain Booking programs in the States of Maharashtra and Goa namely, in the cities of Pune, Aurangabad, Nagpur and Panaji and also splendid performances across the country, prominent among them are Mumbai, Hyderabad, Madras, Bangalore, etc .

  • Devaki Pandit

Shrimati Devaki Pandit is a maharashtrian performer of classical, semi-classical, light and devotional music India.
She received her initial music training from her mother Smt. Usha Pandit. She then trained under Vasantrao Kulkarni, Kishori Amonkar, Jitendra Abhisheki. Devakitai is currently receiving instruction from Babanrao Haldankar. In light music, she counts poet-composer Sudhir Moghe among her gurus.
She started performing at the age of nine and did her first recording at the age of twelve, but came into the limelight when she was given a break by Hridaynath Mangeshkar in a programme on doordarshan. A highly talented singer, she has not only given performances in India, but has undertaken concert tours all over the world at the invitation of prestigious institutions. She has also sung for various films, with renowned music directors. However, her focus remains on Hindustani classical music. She has been also being honored as one of the judges in the very famous Marathi Programme called Idea SaReGaMaPa on Zee Marathi, along with Avadhut Gupte

  • Tarun Bhattacharya

For Maestro Pt Tarun Bhattacharya Indian classical music was running deep in his genes as he inherited it from his father Late Pt. Robi Bhattacharya, who is not only Pt. Tarun Bhattacharya’s first Guru but also has been a Guru to hundreds of students, having set up a Music Institution, one of the first in West Bengal. Pt. Tarun’s late mother and two sisters, all are sitar players.
Maestro Pt Tarun Bhattacharya was initiated into music at the tender ago of four by his father and later he was under the talim of Pt. Dulal Roy.
Maestro Pt Tarun Bhattacharya ultimate evolution as a musician happened when his talents were honed and nurtured by none other than the legendary music wizard Bharat Ratna Pt. Ravi Shankar, under whose tutelage (since 1982) Pt Tarun’s ‘baaj1 (style of play) as in the  Maihar Gharana attained perfection, poise and style and his technique reached its zenith.

  • Pt. Jasraj

Pandit Jasraj was born to Pandit Motiramji, a classical exponent, in Hissar, Haryana to a musical family.
His family is well known for singing in the Mewati Gharana style. Pandit Motiramji died when Jasrajji was only four, on the day he was going to be appointed as the state musician in the court of the Last Nizam.

Programme on 8th January 2010…

  • Rajendra Kandalgaonkar

Born in 1959. Mr. Rajendra Kandalgaonkar is a well-known Vocalist of Indian classical Music. Most renowned gurus have trained Rajendra. At the young age of seven, he began his basic training in Vocal Music from Pandit Vishnu A. Ghag of Gwalior Gharana from 1967 to 1984. Since 1980, he has the good fortune of being trained by Pandit Bhimsen Joshi of Kirana Gharana. Mr. Rajendra has topped the “Sangeet Alankar” in 1978 – 79 in the Akhil Bhartiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal, Miraj.
Mr. Rajendra is an A Grade Artist of A.I.R. Since 1997. He has performed Various A.I.R. Stations in all over India. Mr. Rajendra has also performed on Mumbai Doordarshan.

  • Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia

Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, the internationally renowned exponent of the bansuri or bamboo flute, surprisingly does not come from a long lineage of flautists. His father was a famous wrestler who had aspirations of his son following in his footsteps.
The younger Chaurasia had an early love of music, however, and by the age of 15 was taking his first steps toward a lifetime as a performer by studying classical vocal with Pandit Raja Ram of Benares.
Soon after, he heard a flute recital by Pandit Bholanath and was so impressed he changed his focus to studying the flute. When he was just 19, he got a job playing for All India Radio, Cuttack, Orissa, and within five years he was transferred to their headquarters in Bombay. There he got the additional exposure of performing in one of India’s cultural centers and also studied with Shrimati Annapurna Devi, daughter of Ustaad Allauddin Khan of the Maihar School of Music.

  • Shrinivas Joshi

Blessed with being born in a home where music was breathe, Shrinivas Joshi took to music naturally. Son of Hindustani classical music maestro Pandit Bhimsen Joshi. Shrinivas drew inspiration from his parents. After completing B.Tech from IIT, Delhi his decision to make music a career was conscious one. Shrinivas started serious pursuit of music in a traditional Gurukul System under his father and mother late. Smt. Vatsalabai Joshi.
He is a highly original vocalist with the most authentic voice. In addition to his mastery over pure classical Khyal music, he also renders semi-classical Thumri, devotional compositions and other forms. Shriniva’s devotion, sensitivity and integrity are clearly reflected in his music, translating it into a complete and enriching experience.

  • Smt. Malini Rajurkar

Smt Malini Rajurkar is one of the most well known vocalists of her generation.
Malini Rajurkar was born in 1941. She grew up in Rajasthan, finishing her Sangeet Nipun from Ajmer Music College. She studied music under the guidance of Govindrao Rajurkar and Vasantrao Rajurkar. She was influenced by musicologist K.G.Ginde, Jitendra Abhisheki and Kumar Gandharva. Thus, she is not a pure Gwalior gharana follower.
Her concert career started in 1964. Ever since then, she has been a regular on the Indian concert circuit. She also had successful tours of the US (1980) and UK (1984). Since 1970s she has settled down in Hyderabad. Malini Rajurkar sings khayal in the slow tempo, like in Kirana gharana. She is the acknowledged master of Tappa, a composition with fast phrases.
Malini Rajurkar has received several awards, including the prestigious Sangeet Natak Academy awards in 2001.

Programme on 9th January 2010

  • Chandrashekhar Waze

Qualifications: Masters of Fine Arts(Music-Vocal) from the University of Mumbai.
Chandrashekhar hails from a family that literally breathes music and art. His maternal grandfather Late Shri Mama Pendse was a revered and highly respected Gurutulya Marathi Stage Artiste. His father Pt. Raghunath Vaze is a gifted Vocalist and a composer,was the first to sow the seeds of swara and laya while nurturing the musical talent so evident in the young Chandrashekhar.
Initially it was Tabla that capture his attention and it was not long before his restless fingers started making rhythmic sense. An arduous grooming under Pt. B.D.Tambe and the Tabla Maestro Pt. Sadashiv Pawar soon bore fruit as young Chandrashekhar began making a mark as an accompanist as well as a soloist.

  • Shrikant Deshpande

Shrikant Deashpande is the grandson of Late Sawai Gandharva ,who was an exponent of the Kirana Gharana and Guru of Pt Bhimsen Joshi. Shrikant was initiated into the intricacies of music by his father, Late Dr. Vasant Deshpande, also a disciple of Sawai Gandharva. Later he was under the tutelage of Mrs Sarswati Rane, Pt Bhimsen Joshi and Pt Feroze Dastur. Gifted with a mellifluous voice marked by depth and range, Shrikant has developed a distinct style of his own. He has performed at a number of prestigious concerts in India as well as in Canada, US, UK and the Far East. Shrikant organizes music festivals in different cities to promote young and talented artists. He is also associated with a number of prestigious organizations including the Sawai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav, in the capacity of an advisor.

  • Biswajit Roy Chowdhury

Notable among today’s matured generation of serious exponents of Hindusthani classical music Biswajit Roy Chowdhury stands out not only for his singular commitment to music, but also for his conscious combination of the best of his varied training and thought.. Biswajit Roy Chowdhury showcases this integration of aesthetics when he plays as varied items as a auchaar and gat in Darbari or Shyamkalyan, a khayal in Bihagda or Shahana, a bandish ki thumri in Khamaj or a tappa in Adana-bahar, on his Sarod. His aesthetics traverses the traditional trajectory of alaap-jod-gat-jhala, or it takes the form of a vilambit and drut khayal played to the accompaniment of a majestic theka on the tabla. All these are equally informed by an acute sense of rag-swara and bhava and the contours of the bandish to be elaborated within the intricate syntax of the taal. The final effect: the listener gets to hear the results of an intricate thought process, executed through superb technical mastery but above all aimed at sharing with the audience the sheer joy of music making.

  • Sanhita Nandi

Sanhita Nandi is an exponent of Hindustani Classical Vocal, Kirana Gharana in the Khayal and Thumri genres. After initial training, Sanhita was later groomed by Late Pandit A. Kanan, the senior most Gurus of the ITC Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata. She got added exposure under Pandit Vinayak Torvi in Kirana and Gwalior traditions. This opened up the large canvas of vilambit to fast tempo tarana gayaki(style) that has been developed over the last 150 years in India by various gharana maestros. After years of practice, and greatly influenced by Gharana maestro’s, she has assimilated the distinctive features of the Kirana Gharana. The central motif of her gayaki is Kirana: the slow tempo of raga development (voice culture, voice throw, and tonal application), ornamented sargams and exposition of “chota Khayal and tarana” with inimitable “taan” patterns. With practice, she has excelled in the exposition and elaboration of ragas with all the variations, modulations and split-second precision. An unmistakable feature of her presentation is blending of the two major wings of Kirana gayaki and bring out ragas in imaginative trajectories of “sur-laya-phirat.” She has won several awards in state and national-level competitions including the prestigious Dover Lane Young Talent search contest in Kolkata, and performed regularly on All India Radio as a graded A.I.R. artist.She performs frequently in India and the U.S. At universities, chamber music series, music festivals and concerts. She also holds a degree in Music and a Masters degree in World History .

  • Pt. Ulhas Kashakar

In an age when maestros of the older generation express fear of the decadence of Indian musical traditions, Ulhas Kashalkar’s voice and music stands like the Colossus, as it were, an eternal reminder of the strength of this great art.
Ulhas Kashalkar was born in a family of musicians. His father, Shri N.D.Kashalkar, a musician in his own right, initiated him into vocal music. In time, he was accepted as a disciple by such great masters of the art as Pandit Ram Marathe and Pandit Gajananbua Joshi. Thus he received training of the highest order in three distinct prominent gharanas- Gwalior, Agra and Jaipur.
With a blessed voice and the gifted ability to blend the three gayakees with authenticity and aesthetic excellence, he soon emerged to be one of the most formidable vocalists of the country. While his music remains well within the confines of tradition, the listener revels in an experience of listening to a seemingly new gayakee.

Programme on 10th January 2010…

  • Raja Kale

Endowed with a rich heritage of music. Pt. Rajaram aka Raja Kale has developed it further to a class of his own. Initiated by is father Prabhakarrao Kale, he was under the able tutelage of the legendary Pt. Jitendra Abhisheki, a veteran vocalist and a great composer of classical and semi-classical forms. He also received valuable guidance from Pt. C. P. Rele and Pt. Balasaheb Poonchwle of Gwalior Gharana.
Pt. Raja Kale is known as a senior disciple of the versatile Pt. Jitendra Abhishekhi whose complex individulized style arose from a blend of various aspects of the Agra, Jaiupur and Gwalior traditions apart from the obvious influence of his own Guru Pt. Raja Kale has made a studiously analytical and interpretive study of older and contemporary Hindustani composers like Great Ptl S. N. Ratanjankar “Sujaan” Pt. C. R. Vyas and others, all of whose compositions he renders in a manner true to his own imagination and personality while remaining faithful to their original content.

  • Pt. Shahid Parvez

Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan is one of the finest sitar players alive today. His dazzling virtuosity and innovative genius have earned him a legacy as a giant of the sitar. Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan learned his craft from his father, Ustad Aziz Khan, and enjoys an impeccable pedigree. He is a seventh generation heir to the sitar’s first family, the Etawah Gharana. Ustadji’s global reputation as an awe inspiring performer is complemented by another rare gift – his ability to spread his music as a dedicated and loving guru. Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan sums up his mastery of this most intricate art form with a profoundly simple philosophy: “Music is my life”
Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan (b. 14 October, 1955) is a Sitar player of Hindustani Classical Music.[1] He carries on a legacy of sitar playing that goes back seven generations in his family. He is one of India’s more celebrated younger musicians, prized especially for the vocalistic phrasing of his raga improvisations.

  • Smt. Girija Devi

A star, Smt Girija Devi was born on 8th May 1929 in Varanasi. From her childhood she was devoted to music. At the age of Five she started learning music from Late Pt. Sarju Prasad Misra and from Late Sri Chan Misra. She learnt both Shastriya and Upshastriya Sangeet. Two melodies traditiojnal gayaki ang, Saniya Gharana and Benaras Gharana can be found in her gayaki. In Shatriya sangeet, she sings Dhrupad, Kheyal, Tappa, Tarana, Sadara, Thumri and many others. She did specify research in Thumri. In this she pays similar attention to literature and music. In traditional folk music, holi, chaiti, jhula, dadra, kajri, bhajan,etc. makes her music unique and attractive.
In 1949 she sang for All India Radio, Allahbad for the first time. And from 1951, she started giving vocals recitals in many sangeet sammelans.

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Sawai Gandharva Festival (Behind The Scenes)


Jayateerth Mevundi @ Sawai Gandharva Music Festival (2003)


Pt Bhimsen Joshi (Thumri Jogiya) @ Sawai Gandharva Music Festival (1992)

Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma and Ustad Zakir Hussein (Raga Kirwani) – Live @ Pune (1990)


Pt. Jitendra Abhisheki (Raga Anand Bhairav) – Savai Gandharva Music Festival


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