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R.I.P. … Sitar maestro Pandit Amarnath Mishra (Varansi, 1943-2015) is no more.

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on March 19, 2015

Sitar maestro Pandit Amarnath Mishra (Varansi, 1943-2015)

Sitar maestro Pandit Amarnath Mishra (Varansi, 1943-2015)

Today we received the sad news from Varanasi that Sitar maestro Amarnath Mishra is no more… the global community of musical friends of Indian classics and Sitar is mourning.. as one of the great maestros on Indian lute is gone at the age of 72.

Our condolences by heart go to the family, to Prem Kishore Mishra (sitar player himself (born 1969) and assistant Professor for Sitar at Banares Hindu University), Neeraj Misra (Sitar), Pandit Kishore Kumar Mishra (born 1954) who accompanied Amarnath over many years and all closer friends, e.g. Shawn Mativetsky (tabla player, Montreal) and others… R.I.P.

Pandit Amarnath Mishra was born in 1943 in Kabir Chaura, a famous place in Varanasi (also known as Benares), the holy city on the banks of Ganges in federal state Uttar Pradesh.

CD Raga Vachaspati (India Music Archive - IAM 1050)

CD Raga Vachaspati (India Music Archive – IAM 1050)

Amarnath himself belonged to a family of musicians who are counted as typical representatives of Banares Gharana, one of different “music schools” (styles) in Indian classical music. He first studied Sarangi and Tabla before choosing the Sitar, and was guided by his uncle and father Pandit Shrikant Mishra, who was sitar player himself and vocalist of Indian light classics (Thumri style).
Amarnath’sfather is known as excellent Thumri singer along with vocalist Girja Devi (born 1929), who bcame on her own a legendary representative of Banares Gharana and titled in India as “Queen of Thumri“.

Pt. Amarnath Mishra's sitar performance, accompanied by Kuber Nath Mishra at BHU (2009) - Tks to Shawn Mativetsky for the photo.

Pt. Amarnath Mishra’s sitar performance, accompanied by Kuber Nath Mishra at BHU (2009) – Tks to Shawn Mativetsky for the photo.

It is reported that Amarnath was impressed and influence mostly by the virtuosity of two sitar players, legends on their own: Pandit Ravi Shankar (1920-2012) and Ustad Vilayat Khan (1928-2004). Amarnath’s style is lyrical and an excellent example of Benares Gharana (you can listen from the videos in the bottom).

The virtuosity of Pt. Amarnath Mishra was honored with multiple awards. Amarnath Mishra spent his time between concerts, he gave in India and abroad and teaching in master classes (especially in Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Israel and the United States). The virtuosity of Pt. Amarnath Mishra was honored with multiple awards.

We are remembering well the beautiful recording of Amarnath Mishra (on 9th Febr 1994 in Matridham Ashram/Benares ) who was joined for by Prof J. Massey on Tabla (born 1939 in Kanpur) and lately being published as CD Raga Vachaspati in 2001/2002 by the New York label India Archive Music (IAM)… with South India Raga Vachaspati (night raga), Raga Khamaj (evening raga) and Raga Bhairavi (morning raga).

Raga Madhuvanti (p 1/5) by Amarnath Mishra & Sanjay K. Banik (Tabla) in 2008…

Raga Tilak Kalyan (Sitar Recital) by Amarnath Mishra, Neeraj Misra (Sitar) & Uddhav Praveen (Tabla)…

Raga Bageshri by Amarnath Mishra (Sitar) & Edward Feldman (Tabla)…

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