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ITC Sangeet Research Academy: Vidushi Malabika Kanan passes away

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on February 18, 2009

Vidushi Malabika Kanan passes away

Around 12.30pm on Tvidushi_malabika_kanan-022009-1uesday 17th February, 2009, Hindustani classical vocalist and ITC SRA guru, Vidushi Malabika Kanan passed away at Mohan Clinic, Mudiali, Kolkata. Born on 27th December 1930 in Lucknow, the graceful, beautiful and talented Malabika was one of the foremost women khayal exponents of the country.

Well known for her distinctive ability to maintain both the traditional purity of the khayal form and the aesthetic beauty of a raga, she had a rich repertoire of current as well as ragas and bandishes. An extremely tuneful voice, a rich, structured and dignified style in the slow ‘Khayals’ and ‘alaaps’, and ease and variety in ‘taans‘ are some of the qualities that made Malabika an outstanding musician. The timbre of her voice has sweetness, accuracy, pliability, a wide range and ‘Taiyari’.

vidushi_malabika_kanan-022009-2Malabika started her musical training when she was four years old. Her first guru was her father, the late Rabindralal Roy, a well-known musicologist and a disciple of Pandit Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande. She received systematic training from him in dhrupad, dhamar and khayal for a number of years. She also learnt Rabindrasangeet from Santidev Ghosh and Suchitra Mitra.

Travelling to many parts of the country with her father, Malabika had the advantage of living with, and learning from him. At 15, she gave her first performance on All India Radio (AIR), singing Raga Ramkali and she went on to become a regular broadcaster. She was 16 when she gave her first performance at the Tansen Sangeet Samaroh. From then on, she participated in many prestigious national concerts, conferences, National Programmes and Radio Sangeet Sammelans.

vidushi_malabika_kanan-022009-3She married the noted singer, Pandit A. Kanan on 28th Feb. 1958 and from this association, Malabika’s style gained a new dimension. She assimilated many features from her husband’s Kirana style and also learnt Thumri from him. She sang bhajans with equal élan and was a great lover of D V Paluskar’s music.

Following in her husband’s footsteps, she became a guru of the ITC Sangeet Research Academy on 2nd July, 1979 and was also on its Experts Committee for many years. Among the numerous honours she received were the ITC Award for 1995 and the highly coveted Sangeet Natak Akademy Award for the year 1999-2000.

loudspeaker-symbol-2005-2-green Raga Khamaj

(Source: 02/2009 – ITC Sangeet Research Academy)

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