Ustad Qamruddin "Bismillah" Khan referred to by the title Ustad, was an Indian musician credited with popularizing the shehnai, a subcontinental wind instrument of the oboe class. While the shehnai had long held importance as a folk instrument played schooled intraditional ceremonies, Khan is credited with elevating its status and bringing it to the concert stage, he was awarded India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 2001, becoming the third classical musician after M. S. Subbulakshmi and Ravi Shankar to be accorded this distinction. On his 102nd birthday, Google honored Bismillah Khan with a Google doodle. Khan was born on 21 March 1916 into a family of traditional Muslim musicians in Bhirung Raut Ki Gali, Dumraon, in what is now the eastern Indian state of Bihar, as the second son of Paigambar Baksh Khan and Mitthan, his father was a court musician employed in the court of Maharaja Keshav Prasad Singh of Dumraon Estate in Bihar. His grandfather Ustad Salar Hussain Khan and grandfather Rasool Baksh Khan were musicians in the Dumraon palace.
He was named Qamruddin at birth. Upon seeing the new born, his grandfather Rasool Baksh Khan a shehnai player, is said to have exclaimed "Bismillah", or "In the name of Allah", thereafter he came to be known by this name. At the age of six he moved to Varanasi in the state of Uttar Pradesh, to be apprenticed to his maternal uncle, Ali Baksh'Vilayatu' Khan, a shehnai player attached to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple. In 1932, at the age of 16, he entered into an arranged marriage with a cousin. Khan was a pious Muslim, was a symbol of communal harmony. Khan was single-handedly responsible for making the shehnai a famous classical instrument, he brought the Shehnai to the center stage of Indian music with his concert in the Calcutta, known as Kolkata in All India Music Conference in the year 1937. He was credited with having the monopoly over the instrument as he and the shehnai are synonyms. Khan is one of the finest musicians in Indian classical music, he played the shehnai to audiences across the world.
He was known to be so devoted to his art form that he referred to shehnai as his begum after his wife died. On his death, as an honour, his shehnai was buried with him, he was known for his vision of spreading love through music. Khan had the rare honour of performing at Delhi's Red Fort on the eve of India's Independence in 1947, he performed raga Kafi from the Red Fort on the eve of India's first Republic Day ceremony, on 26 January 1950. His recital had become a cultural part of India's Independence Day celebrations, telecast on Doordarshan every year on 15 August. After the prime minister's speech from Lal Qila in Old Delhi, Doordarshan would broadcast a live performance by the shehnai maestro; this tradition dated from the days of Jawaharlal Nehru. Khan had a brief association with movies, he played the shehnai for super star Rajkumar's role of Appanna in the Kannada movie Sanaadi Appanna which became a blockbuster. He provided sound of shehnai in Goonj Uthi Shehnai. Noted director Goutam Ghose directed a documentary about the life of Khan.
In the 1967 film The Graduate, there is a poster advertising "Bismillah Khan and the seven musicians" on a street of Berkeley, California. He as a five year old, played gilli danda near a pond in the ancient estate of Dumraon in Bihar, he would go to the nearby Biharji temple to sing the Bhojpuri'Chaita', at the end of which he would earn a big laddu weighing 1.25kg, a prize given by the local Maharaja. Khan attributed his skill to the blessings of Lord Vishwanath, believed that there was little that he could teach his disciples. Khan accepted students, he thought that if he would be able to share his knowledge it wouldn't be useful as it would only give his students a little knowledge. Some of his followers include S. Ballesh, as well as Khan's own sons, Nazim Hussain and Nayyar Hussain. On 17 August 2006, Bismillah Khan's health deteriorated and he was admitted to the Heritage Hospital, Varanasi for treatment. Ustad's last wish – to perform at India Gate, could not be fulfilled, he wanted to pay tributes to the martyrs.
He waited in vain till his last rites He died after four days on 21 August 2006 because of a cardiac arrest. He is survived by five daughters, three sons and a large number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, his adopted daughter Soma Ghosh; the Government of India declared a day of national mourning on his death. His body along with a Shehnai was buried at Fatemaan burial ground of old Varanasi under a neem tree with a 21-gun salute from the Indian Army. Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, instituted the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar in 2007, in his honour, it is given to young artists in the field of music and dance. Bismillah Khan was commemorated on his 102nd birth anniversary by Search Engine Google which showed a special doodle on its Indian home page for him on 21 March 2018; the Government of Bihar has proposed setting up of a museum, a town hall-cum-library and installation of a life-size statue at his birthplace in Dumraon. In the film, Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars, Clapton cites Bismillah Khan as an influence and how he tried to use his guitar to imitate the music of Khan's woodwind instrument.
Bharat Ratna. Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi. Tahar Mausique from Republic of Iran. Padma Vibhushan Padma Bhushan Padma Shri Sangeet Natak Akademi Award Tansen Award by Govt. of Madhya Pradesh. Three medals in All India Music Conference, Calcutta
Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna was an Indian Carnatic vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, playback singer and character actor. He was awarded the Madras Music Academy's Sangeetha Kalanidhi in 1978, he has garnered two National Film Awards, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1975, the Padma Vibhushan, India's second-highest civilian honor in 1991, for his contribution towards arts, the Mahatma Gandhi Silver Medal from UNESCO in 1995, the Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government in 2005, the Sangeetha Kalanidhi by Madras Music Academy, the Sangeetha Kalasikhamani in 1991, by the Fine Arts Society, Chennai to name a few. Balamuralikrishna started his career at the age of six. Up to the present time, he has given over 25,000 concerts worldwide, he accompanied Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, gave jugalbandi concerts with Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty and Kishori Amonkar, among others. He is known for popularizing the compositions of Sri Bhadrachala Ramadasu and Sri Annamacharya.
Balamuralikrishna's concerts combine sophisticated vocal skills and rhythmic patterns of classical music with the popular demand for entertainment value. Balamuralikrishna has been invited to give concerts in many countries, including the US, Canada, UK, France, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Middle East and many more. Apart from his native tongue, his works include ones in other languages like Kannada, Tamil, Hindi and Punjabi, he appeared as featured soloist with an award-winning British choir, performing the "Gitanjali Suite" with words from Rabindranath Tagore's Nobel Prize-winning poetry and music by "Dr. Joel", the noted UK-based Goan composer, his clear diction in several languages prompted an invitation to record Tagore's entire Rabindra Sangeet compositions in Bengali, preserving them for posterity. He has sung in French, ventured into jazz fusion, collaborating with the top Carnatic percussion teacher, Sri T. H. Subash Chandran, in a concert for Malaysian royalty. In February 2010, he did a three-day concert in Visakhapatnam.
Balamuralikrishna was born in Madras Presidency. His father was a well known musician and his mother was a veena player. Balamuralikrishna's mother died when he was raised by his father. Observing his interest in music, his father put him under the tutelage of Parupalli Ramakrishnayya Pantulu, a direct descendant of the shishya parampara of Tyagaraja. Under his guidance, the young Balamuralikrishna learned Carnatic music. At the age of eight, he gave his first full-fledged concert at a Thyagaraja Aradhana in Vijayawada. Musunuri Suryanarayana Murty Bhagavatar, a Harikatha performer, saw the musical talent in him and gave the prefix "Bala" to the young Balamuralikrishna. Balamuralikrishna thus began his musical career at a young age. By the age of fifteen he had mastered all the 72 melakartha ragas and had composed krithis in the same; the Janaka Raga Manjari was published in 1952 and recorded as Raagaanga Ravali in a nine-volume series by the Sangeeta Recording Company. Not content with his fame as a Carnatic vocalist soon started playing the kanjira, mridangam and violin.
He accompanied various musicians in violin and is noted to give solo viola concerts. Characteristic of Balamuralikrishna's musical journey has been his non-conformism, spirit of experimentation and boundless creativity. Balamuralikrishna has experimented with Carnatic music system by keeping its rich tradition untouched. Ragas like Ganapathi, Mahati, Lavangi etc. are credited to him. The ragas which he invented represent his quest for new frontiers. Ragas like Lavangi are set to four notes in ascending and descending scale. Ragas created by him, like Mahathi, Sidhdhi, Sumukham have only four notes, he innovated the tala system. He has incorporated "gati bhEdam" in the "sashabda kriya" part of the existing Tala chain, thus throwing open a new chain of Tala system. Saint Arunagirinaadhar used to inject such systems in his famous Thirupugazh, but only as Sandham, while Balamuralikrishna is known to be the pioneer in bringing such Sandhams into a logical rhythm, with Angam and definition. Thri Mukhi, Saptha Mukhi and Nava Mukhi are the basic classifications he has for his New Tala System.
He gave his authorisation to S. Ram Bharati to found "Academy of Performing Arts and Research" in Switzerland and is working on music therapy, he established the'MBK Trust' with the objective of developing art and culture and for carrying out extensive research into music therapy. A dance and music school,'Vipanchee' is a part of this Trust. Balamuralikrishna has over 400 compositions to his credit and is one of the few people to have composed in all the 72 Melakarta Ragas and has created several ragas, with 4 notes and 3 notes and has invented a new Tala system, his compositions encompass every facet in Carnatic Music that includes Varnas, Thillanas, Bhavageethas. Balamuralikrishna has sung in several films in Telugu, Sanskrit and Tamil, he made his acting debut with the Telugu film Bhakta Prahlada as Narada, has acted in few films in Telugu and Tamil. Balamuralikrishna died at his residence in Chennai on 22 November 2016, his end came in deep sleep at around five in the evening, due to a cardiac arrest.
He was cremated with full state honours at Besant Nagar Crematoriu
Guntur district is an administrative district in the Coastal Andhra region of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The administrative seat of the district is located at Guntur, the largest city of the district in terms of area and population, it has a coastline of 100 km and is situated on the right bank of Krishna River, that separates it from Krishna district and extends till it empties into the Bay of Bengal. It is bounded on the south on the west by the state of Telangana, it has an area of 11,391 km2 and is the 2nd most populous district in the state, with a population of 4,889,230 as per 2011 census of India. The district is referred to as the Land of Chillies, it is a major centre for agriculture and learning. It exports large quantities of chillies and tobacco. Amaravati, the proposed capital of Andhra Pradesh is situated in Guntur district, on the banks of River Krishna; the district derives its name from Guntur. The original Sanskrit name for Guntur was Garthapuri. The'Agasthyeswara Sivalayam' in the old city of Guntur is an ancient temple for Siva.
It has inscriptions on two stones in'Naga Lipi'. It is said that Agastya built the temple in the last Treta-Yuga around the Swayambhu Linga and hence the name. The'Nagas' were said to have ruled the region; the place of Sitanagaram and the Guthikonda Caves can be traced back to the traditional timescale Treta-Yuga and Dwapara-Yuga. Guntur District is home to the second oldest evidence of human habitation in India, in the form of Palaeolithic implements. Ancient history can be traced from the time of Sala kings who ruled during the 5th century BCE; the earliest reference to Guntur, a variant of Guntur, comes from the Idern plates of Ammaraja I, the Vengi Chalukyan King. Guntur appears in two inscriptions dated 1147 and 1158 CE. Since the beginning of Buddhist time, Guntur stood in the forefront in matters of culture and civilisation. Gautama Buddha preached at Dharanikota/Dhanyakatakam near Guntur and conducted Kalachakra ceremony, which takes its antiquity to 500 BCE. Taranatha, a Buddhist monk writes: "On the full moon of the month Caitra in the year following his enlightenment, at the great stupa of Dhanyakataka, the Buddha emanated the mandala of "The Glorious Lunar Mansions".
Buddhists established universities in ancient times at Amaravathi. Scores of Buddhist stupas were excavated in the villages of Guntur district. Acharya Nagarjuna, an influential Buddhist philosopher taught at Nagarjunakonda and is said to have discovered Mica in 200 BCE. Chinese traveller and Buddhist monk Hiuen Tsang visited Amaravati in 640 C. E. stayed for sometime and studied'Abhidhammapitakam'. He observed that there were many Viharas and some of them were deserted, which points out that Hinduism was gaining ground at that time. Xuanzang wrote a glorious account of the place and monasteries that existed. Guntur was successively ruled by famous dynasties such as the Satavahanas, Andhra Ikshvakus, Ananda Gotrikas, Kota Vamsa, Cholas, Reddys and Qutb Shahis during ancient and medieval times; the famous battle of Palnadu, enshrined in legend and literature as Palnati Yuddham was fought in Guntur district in 1180 CE. Guntur became part of the Mughal empire in 1687 CE when the emperor Aurangzeb conquered the Qutb Shahi sultanate of Golconda, of which Guntur was a part.
In 1724 CE, Asaf Jah, viceroy of the empire's southern provinces, declared his independence as the Nizam of Hyderabad. The coastal districts of Hyderabad, known as the Northern Circars, were occupied by the French in 1750. Raja Vasireddy Venkatadri Nayudu shifted his capital from Chintapalli in Krishna district to Amaravati across the river Krishna, he built many temples in Guntur region. Guntur was brought under the control of the British East India Company in 1788, became a district of Madras Presidency; the Guntur region played a significant role in the struggle for independence and the formation of Andhra Pradesh. The northern, Telugu- speaking districts of Madras state, including Guntur, advocated to become a separate state after independence; the new state of Andhra Pradesh was created in 1953 from the eleven northern districts of Madras. In 1970, part of Guntur district was split off to become part of the Prakasam district; the district is a part of the Red Corridor. Guntur district occupies an area of 11,391 square kilometres, comparatively equivalent to Indonesia's Bangka Island.
The Krishna River forms the northeastern and eastern boundary of the district, separating Guntur District from Krishna District. The district is bounded on the southeast by the Bay of Bengal, on the south by Prakasam District, on the west by Mahbubnagar District, on the northwest by Nalgonda District. Guntur Coast is located on the south east coast of India. River Krishna merges into Bay of Bengal at the coastal area of Guntur district; the braided stream channels, broad floodplain, extensive sandbars suggest that this part of the Krishna River flows through flat terrain and carries substantial amounts of sediment during the monsoon season. Surya Lanka near Bapatla Bobbara Lanka in Repalle are tourist beaches in Guntur coastline; as of 2011 census of India, the district had a population of 4,887,813 with a density of 193 persons per sq.km. The total population constitute, 2,440,521 males and 2,447,292 females –a ratio of 1003 females per 1000 males; the total urban population is 16,52
Hariprasad Chaurasia is an Indian music director and classical flutist, who plays the bansuri, an Indian bamboo flute, in the Hindustani classical tradition. Chaurasia was born in Prayagraj in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, his mother died when he was 6. He had to learn music without his father's knowledge, he did go to the Akhada and train with his father for some time, although he started learning music and practising at his friend's house. He has stated, I was not any good at wrestling. I went there only to please my father, but maybe because of the strength and stamina I built up I'm able to play the bansuri to this day. Chaurasia started learning vocal music from his neighbour, Rajaram, at the age of 15, he switched to playing the flute under the tutelage of Bholanath Prasanna of Varanasi for eight years. He joined the All India Radio, Odisha in 1957 and worked as a composer and performer. Much while working for All India Radio, he received guidance from the reclusive Annapurna Devi, daughter of Baba Allaudin Khan.
She only agreed to teach him. Another version is that she only agreed to teach him after he took the decision to switch from right-handed to left-handed playing to show her his commitment. In any case Chaurasia plays left-handed to this day. Apart from classical music, Hariprasad has collaborated with Shivkumar Sharma, forming a group called Shiv-Hari; the pair composed music for many popular movies, including Silsila and Chandni, created some popular songs. Pandit Chaurasia collaborated with Odia musician Bhubaneswar Mishra, forming the pair "Bhuban-Hari", the pair composed music for many Odia movies, creating numerous songs that were hugely popular in the state; these include Muje janena kaha baata. Pandit Chaurasia's nephew and pupil Rakesh Chaurasia is a accomplished flutist now, has been performing globally with such eminent maestros as Ustad Zakir Hussain, he serves as the artistic director of the World Music Department at the Rotterdam Music Conservatory in the Netherlands. He was the founder of the Vrindavan Gurukul in Mumbai and Vrindavan Gurukul in Bhubaneshwar.
Both of these institutes are schools dedicated to training students in bansuri in the Guru-shishya tradition. He has collaborated with several western musicians, including John McLaughlin, Jan Garbarek, Ken Lauber, has composed music for Indian films. Chaurasia played on The Beatles' 1968 B-side "The Inner Light", written by George Harrison. Chaurasia was married to Anuradha, he has three sons Vinay and Rajiv, five granddaughters and a single grandson. The 2013 documentary film Bansuri Guru features the life and legacy of Chaurasia and was directed by the musician's son Rajeev Chaurasia and produced by the Films Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. Sangeet Natak Academy - 1984 Konark Samman - 1992 Padma Bhushan - 1992 Yash Bharati Samman - 1994 Padma Vibhushan - 2000 Pandit Chatur Lal Excellence Award - 2015 Hafiz Ali Khan Award - 2000 Dinanath Mangeshkar Award - 2000 Pune Pandit Award - 2008, by The Art & Music Foundation, India Akshaya Samman - 2009 Honorary Doctorate, North Orissa University - 2008 Honorary Doctorate, Utkal University - 2011 National Eminence award, NADA VIDYA BHARTI by Visakha Music and Dance Academy, Vizag - 2009 The 25 Greatest Global Living Legends In India by NDTV - 2013 Official biography "Woodwinds of Change" by Surjit Singh - 2008'Hariprasad Chaurasia and the Art of Improvisation', by Henri Tournier These are major albums released by Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia 1967Call of the Valley with Shivkumar Sharma and Brij Bhushan Kabra1978Krishnadhwani 601981Pt.
Hariprasad Chaurasia - Flute1984Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia - Flute 1987Morning to Midnight Ragas - Morning Ragas1988Call of the Valley1989Venu Live in Ahmedabad'891990Immortal Series1991Megh Malhar1992Night Ragas Live in Amsterdam'92 Morning to Midnight Ragas - Afternoon Ragas All time Favourites Live from Sawai Gandharva Music Festival - Video Raga-s DU Nord Et Du Sud Immortal Series - Flute Fantasia1993Indian Classical Masters Daylight Ragas Flute - Hariprasad Chaurasia1994Thumri - The Music of Love In A Mellow Mood Possession Immortal Series - Devine Drupad Classic Greats1 - Ideas on Flute1995In Live Concert Cascades of Hindustani Music Maharishi Gandharva Veda - Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia - 4am to 7am Raga Bhairava: Integration Maharishi Gandharva Veda - Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia - 7am to 10am Raga Gurjari Todi: Compassion Maharishi Gandharva Veda - Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia - 10am to 1pm Raga Vrindavani Saranga: Greater Energy Maharishi Gandharva Veda - Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia - 1pm to 4pm Raga Multani: Affuence Maharishi Gandharva Veda - Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia - 4pm to 7pm Raga Marwa: Coherence Maharishi Gandharva Veda - Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia - 7pm to 10pm Raga Desh: Joy Maharishi Gandharva Veda - Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia - 10pm to 1am Raga Abhogi: Peaceful Slumber Maharishi Gandharva Veda - Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia - 1am to 4am Raga Sindhu Bhairavi: Gentleness Hariprasad Chaurasia - Flute Malhar-Chandrika Music 157 - Live in London Music - Flute Great Jugalbandis Music from the world of OSHO - Above & Beyond Prem Yog Written on the Wind Romantic Themes Saptarishi - Live at Siri Fort The Mystical Flute of Hari Prasad Chaurasia Maestro's Choice Basant Bahar Chaurasia's Choice1996Hari Prasad Chaurasia & his Divine Flute Flute Recital Valley Recalls - In search of Peace and Harmony Krishna's
Tanjore Balasaraswati known as Balasaraswati, was a celebrated Indian dancer, her rendering of Bharatanatyam, a classical dance style originated in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, made this style of dancing well known in different parts of India and many parts of the world. She was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1957 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1977, the third and the second highest civilian honours given by the Government of India. In 1981 she was awarded the Sangeetha Kalasikhamani award of Chennai. Balasaraswati was a seventh generation representative of a traditional matrilineal family of temple musicians and dancers, who have been described as the greatest single repository of the traditional performing arts of music and dance of the southern region of India, her ancestor, was a musician and dancer patronized in the mid-eighteenth century by the court of Thanjavur. Her grandmother, Vina Dhanammal, is considered by many to be the most influential musician of the early twentieth century.
Her mother, Jayammal was a singer who encouraged the training of Balasaraswati and was her accompanist. Balasaraswati created a revolution in traditional music and dance for bharata natyam, a combination of the performance arts of music and dance, she learned music within the family from her infancy, her rigorous training in dance was begun when she was four under the distinguished dance teacher K. Kandappan Pillai, a member of the famed Thanjavur Nattuvanar family, her younger brothers were the musicians T. Ranganathan and T. Viswanathan who would both become prominent performers and teachers in India and the United States, her daughter, Lakshmi Knight, became a distinguished performer of her mother's style. Her grandson Aniruddha Knight continues to perform the family style today, is artistic director of Bala Music and Dance Association in the United States and the Balasaraswati School of Dance in India, her son-in-law Douglas M. Knight, Jr. has written her biography with the support of a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Famous Indian film maker Satyajit Ray made a documentary on her works. Balasaraswati's debut took place in 1925, she was the first performer of her traditional style outside of South India, performing first in Calcutta in 1934. As a young teenager, she was seen by choreographer Uday Shankar, who became an ardent promoter of her performances, throughout the 1930s she captured the imagination of audiences across India, she went on to a global career that attracted international critical attention and the respect of dance greats such as Shambhu Maharaj, Dame Margot Fonteyn, Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham. Interest in bharata natyam rebounded in the 1950s as the public became interested in promoting a unique Indian art form. Balasaraswati, encouraged by an administrator at the Music Academy in Madras, established a dance school in association with the institution. There she trained new dancers in bharata natyam as per her vision. In the early 1960s she travelled globally, with performances in East Asia and North America.
That decade, throughout the 1970s, into the early 1980s, she visited the United States and held residencies—as both a teacher and a performer—at Wesleyan University, California Institute of the Arts, Mills College, the University of Washington, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, among other institutions. Through her international engagements as well as her activities in India in Madras, Balasaraswati not only exposed countless audiences to the traditional style of bharata natyam but trained many new practitioners of the art form, she received numerous awards in India, including the President's Award from the Sangeet Natak Akademi, Padma Vibushan from the Government of India for distinguished national service and Sangita Kalanidhi from the Madras Music Academy, South India's highest award for musicians. In a review in 1977, the New York Times dance critic Anna Kisselgoff described her as one of the "supreme performing artists in the world". India Today, one of the leading news magazine of India, based on a survey, classified her as one of the 100 prominent Indians who have shaped the destiny of India.
She was the only non-western dancer included in a compilation of the Dance Heritage Coalition, "America's Irreplaceable Dance Treasures: The First 100". Dancing in India Bharatanatyam Mani Madhava Chakyar Bengali film director Satyajit Ray made a documentary film on Balasaraswati named Bala. BALASARASWATI, by Dr. V. K Narayana Menon, Inter-National Culture Center, 16 Hailey Road, New Delhi 1, India India’s 50 Most Illustrious Women by Indra Gupta Balasaraswati: Her Art and Life, by Douglas M. Knight Jr. Wesleyan University Press, ISBN 978-0819569066 Bala, a documentary by Satyajit Ray, online "Hasta As Discourse on Music: T. Balasaraswati and her Art", by Kay Poursine, Dance Research Journal, Vol. 23, No. 2, Autumn, 1991 "Bala in the US", by Kay Poursine, Nartanam - Vol. IX - No. 4 "1918-1984". Balasaraswati.com. Retrieved 2016-11-22. "The Inspiration". Kpoursine.com. Retrieved 2016-11-22. "World Music In the Schools". Center for World Music. Retrieved 2016-11-22
Ilaiyaraaja is an Indian film composer, songwriter, orchestrator, conductor-arranger and lyricist who works in the Indian Film Industry, predominantly in Tamil. Regarded as one of the greatest Indian music composers, he is credited for introducing western musical sensibilities in the Indian musical mainstream. Reputed to be the world's most prolific composer, he has composed over 7000 songs, provided film scores for more than 1000 movies and performed in more than 20,000 concerts. Being the first Asian to compose a full symphony with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London, Ilaiyaraaja is known to have written the entire symphony in just 13 days which has never been done before in the world, he is a gold medalist in classical guitar from Trinity College of Music, Distance Learning Channel. According to Achille Forler, board member of the Indian Performing Right Society, the kind of stellar body of work that Ilaiyaraaja has created in the last 40 years should have placed him among the world's Top 10 richest composers, somewhere between Andrew Lloyd Webber and Mick Jagger.
Ilaiyaraaja is known for integrating Indian folk music and traditional Indian instrumentation with western classical music techniques. His scores are performed by the Budapest Symphony Orchestra, he is a recipient of five Indian National Film Awards – three for Best Music Direction and two for Best Background Score. In 2010, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian honour in India and the Padma Vibhushan in 2018, the second-highest civilian award by the government of India. In 2012, he received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, the highest Indian recognition given to practising artists, for his creative and experimental works in the music field. In 2003, according to an international poll conducted by BBC, more than half-a million people from 165 countries voted his composition Rakkamma Kaiya Thattu from the 1991 film Thalapathi as the fourth in the world's top 10 most popular songs of all time. US-based world cinema portal "Taste of Cinema" placed Ilaiyaraaja at the 9th position in its list of 25 greatest film composers in the history of cinema, thus becoming the only Indian composer to feature in that list.
In a poll conducted by CNN-IBN celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema in 2013, Ilaiyaraaja was voted as the all-time greatest film-music director of India with a maximum of 49%. Winner of numerous accolades, one of his compositions was part of the playlist for the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, directed by acclaimed Oscar-winning filmmaker Danny Boyle of Slumdog Millionaire fame. Ilaiyaraaja was born as Gnanathesikan in 1943 in Theni district, Tamil Nadu, India; when he joined school his father changed his name to "Rajaiya", but his village people used to call him "Raasayya". Ilaiyaraaja joined Dhanraj Master as a student to learn musical instruments and the master renamed and called him just "Raaja". In his first movie Annakili, Tamil film producer Panchu Arunachalam added "Ilaiya" as a prefix in his name Raaja, he named him as "Ilaiyaraaja", because in the 1970s there was one more music director A. M. Rajah, a popular one. Ilaiyaraaja was married to Jeeva and the couple has three children—Karthik Raja, Yuvan Shankar Raja and Bhavatharini—all film composers and singers.
His wife Jeeva died on 31 October 2011. Ilaiyaraaja has a brother. Ilaiyaraaja grew up in a rural area, exposed to a range of Tamil folk music. At the age of 14, he joined a travelling musical troupe headed by his elder brother Pavalar Varadarajan, spent the next decade performing throughout South India. While working with the troupe, he penned his first composition, a musical adaptation of an elegy written by the Tamil poet laureate Kannadasan for Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister. In 1968, Ilaiyaraaja began a music course with Professor Dhanraj in Madras, which included an overview of Western classical music, compositional training in techniques such as counterpoint, study in instrumental performance. Ilaiyaraaja is a gold medalist in classical guitar after completing the course through distance learning channel from Trinity College of Music, London. In the 1970s in Chennai, Ilaiyaraaja played guitar in a band-for-hire, worked as a session guitarist and organist for film music composers and directors such as Salil Chowdhury from West Bengal.
After being hired as the musical assistant to Legendary Kannada film composer G. K. Venkatesh, he worked on 200 film projects in Kannada cinema; as G. K. Venkatesh's assistant, Ilaiyaraaja would orchestrate the melodic outlines developed by Venkatesh; this is the time Ilaiyaraaja learned most of it about composing under the guidance of G. K. Venkatesh. During this period, Ilaiyaraaja began writing his own scores. To listen to his compositions, he used to persuade Venkatesh's session musicians to play excerpts from his scores during their leisure times. Today Ilaiyaraaja remembers the golden days with his master G. K. Venkatesh. In 1975, film producer Panchu Arunachalam commissioned him to compose the songs and film score for a Tamil-language film called Annakkili. For the soundtrack, Ilaiyaraaja applied the techniques of modern popular film music orchestration to Tamil folk poetry and folk song melodies, which created a fusion of Western and Tamil idioms. Ilaiyaraaja's use of Tamil music in his film scores injected new influence into the Indian film score milieu.
By the mid-1980s Ilaiyaraaja was gaining increasing stature as a film composer and music director in the South Indian film industry. He has worked with Indian poe
Gangubai Hangal was an Indian singer of the khyal genre of Hindustani classical music, known for her deep and powerful voice. Hangal belonged to the Kirana gharana. Gangubai Hangal was born in Dharwad to Chikkurao Nadiger, an agriculturist and Ambabai, a vocalist of Carnatic music. Hangal received only elementary education and her family shifted to Hubli in 1928 so that Gangubai could study Hindustani music, she began to train formally aged 13 with Krishnacharya Hulgur, a kinnari player, studying Hindustani classical music. From Hulgur, Gangubai learned sixty compositions in one year before he stopped teaching her after an argument about his fees, she learned from Dattopant Desai before studying under Sawai Gandharva, a respected guru. Hangal could only study sporadically under Gandharva when he returned to his home, but she received an intensive training of three years after he relocated permanently to Hubli. Hangal's mother's family was considered to be of low social status and for women of her generation singing was not considered appropriate employment.
She performed all over India and for All India Radio stations until 1945. Hangal had performed light classical genres, including bhajan and thumri, but concentrated on khyal. However, she refused to sing light classical, saying she sang only ragas. Hangal served as honorary music professor of the Karnataka University, she gave her last concert in March 2006 to mark her 75th career year. She had overcome bone marrow cancer in 2003, died of cardiac arrest at the age of 96, on 21 July 2009, in Hubli, where she resided, she had her eyes donated to increase awareness for organ donation. Hangal married at age 16 to a Brahmin lawyer, they had two sons, Narayan Rao and Babu Rao, one daughter, who died from cancer in 2004, aged 75. Gangubai Hangal received a number of awards, which include: Karnataka Sangeet Nritya Academy Award, 1962 Padma Bhushan, 1971 Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, 1973 Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship, 1996 Padma Vibhushan, 2002The Karnataka state government declared two days of mourning for Hangal.
A state funeral was announced for 22 July in Hubli by the district commissioner of the Dharwad district. In 2008, The State Government of Karnataka decided to name the proposed Karnataka State Music University, Mysore after Gangubhai Hangal. Subsequently, the Karnataka State Dr. Gangubai Hangal Music and Performing Arts University Act, 2009 has been passed by the State Legislature. Presently the Karnataka State Dr. Gangubhai Hangal Music and Performing Arts University operates from Mysore, Karnataka. Gangothri — the birthplace of Gangubai Hangal — has been converted into a museum by the Government of Karnataka. Dr Gangubai Hangal Gurukul in Hubli trains artists in traditional Guru-Shishya parampara to become performing artists. Nanna Badukina Haadu, as told to Mr. N. K. Kulkarni, translated into English by G. N. Hangal, published by Hubli. Bhimsen Joshi Kundgol Hubli Dharwad Karnataka Gangubai Hangal at AllMusic Gangubai Hangal page at Vijaya Parrikar Library of Indian Classical Music Gangubai Hangal Detailed Biography Gangubai Hangal feted on her 94th birthday Gangubai Hangal auf culturebase.net