Abhijith Shenoy K
At the age of 5 years, Abhijith used to listen to and repeat songs he heard on television / radio. It was on a ‘Talents day’ at his school (Sri Aurobindo Memorial School, Bangalore), when he sang Pt Bhimsen Joshi ji's portion of 'Mile Sur Mera Tumhara', that it was noted by the school's Principal and Manager (Ms Aditi Vasisht and her brother Sri Raj Vasisht-a student of Pt A Kanan). They sent a letter home, asking his parents, Smt Shwetha Shenoy K and Sri Satish Shenoy K, to have him pursue Hindustani Classical Vocal.
His grandmother Smt Radha Shenoy spared no effort in the search for a Guru, whom she found in Pt D B Harindra - of the Gwalior Gharana; one of the leading vocalists in Bangalore; one of the founders of Hindustani Sangeet Kalakara Mandali; one among the first to propagate Hindustani Classical Vocal in Bangalore.read more
Pt. D B Harindra
“A veteran musician, a walking encyclopedia, a writer, a teacher par excellence.”read more
A name synonymous with discipline and integrity among the music fraternity, he was much revered for his simplicity and modesty. Pt. Harindra was among the first few musicians to bring Hindustani music to the city of Bangalore.
Pt. Ramchandra Janthalli
Pandit Ramchandra Janthalli was born on 10th December, 1923 in Sheshgiri village of Hangal taluk.read more
His father, Gayanacharya Pt. Shankar Dixit Janthalli, a disciple of Pt.Bhaskar Bua Bakhle and Pt.Balkrishna Bua Ichalkaranjikar, was one of the early propogators of Hindustani Classical Muisc in the Dharwad district. On Pt.Panchakshari Gawai's advice, Shankarji shifted from Hangal to Hubli in 1939 and started the 'Sri Shankar Sangeet Vidyalaya' at Bakhle galli.
Smt. Aditi Upadhya kaikini
Aditi Kaikini Upadhya, one of India's most dynamic young Hindustani vocalists, was born in April 1961 into a family rich in musical tradition and artistic example.read more
Abhijith’s grandfather, Sri Karki Gopal Shenoy was into drama, where he played the tabla and leg harmonium. His father, an avid listener of Hindustani Classical Music and singing film songs, used to record live concerts / collect lp's and cassettes. His mother, in her childhood days at Kundapur, learnt Hindustani Classical Vocal and Harmonium for 3 years under Pt Govardhan Shanbhag. But till date, no one in the family had pursued music professionally.
And so, it was in April 1987 that Abhijith’s first classes began.
He found his true 'Saath' in his younger brother - Adarsh, always told that he would accompany his elder brother’s singing, took to tabla, under the able guidance of Sri Nagraj Gaekwaad. Later, he went on to learn under Pt Rajgopal Kallurkar. He also studied the nuances of the carnatic taal system under Vidwan Anoor Ananta Krishna Sharma. Presently, he is learning from Pt Yogesh Samshi. Thus, they embarked together on this never-ending journey of Sur and Laya, aiding each other's understanding of the art.
The usual difficult phase of the boy's voice breaking was very successfully accommodated by guruji's guidance in Swar Sadhana (voice culture). After which, the concepts of Raag Vistaar and Vilambit were unravelled to Abhijith. What followed was a period of very rigorous training and riyaaz, each class well over 4-5 hours, with emphasis on methodical exploration of a raag and finding the perfection of swar. As guruji would say - "No raag can be fully sung; No raag is a closed chapter. Even a child may sing a phrase you would never have imagined in all your years of riyaaz. So, always look for something new, something different, without transgressing raag-niyam. A raag is a personality - it will reveal itself to you in layers, provided you look for it."
Abhijith also had the good fortune of studying from his guruji's sister and brother-in-law in Hubli – Smt Vasanta Janthalli and Pt Ramchandra Janthalli. This was where he learnt one of the most important lessons for life. Pt Janthalli had recently suffered a paralytic attack and the entire left side of his body was immobile. Yet, this did not deter him from waking Abhijith up at 5.30 am for riyaaz. Abhijith recounts – “The scene of Pt Janthalli playing the harmonium with his good hand and Smt Vasanta aiding him on the bellows, will always flash before my eyes. The 'Seekh' - All problems/ailments I faced or am to face seem trivial in the face of 'Will'.
Concerts happened and they found the encouragement and good advice from all senior artists in the city.
Hindustani Classical Vocal and Bhajan/Dasavani Concerts rendered at the following Prestigious Platforms:
• Sangeeta Krupa Kuteera, Bangalore.
• Sawai Gandharva Festival, Kundugol.
• Karnataka Sangha, Mumbai.
• Gnana Prabhodini School, Pune.
• GSB Samaj, Vadodara.
• Yuva Sangeetotsav, Gururao Deshpande Sangeet Sabha, Bangalore.
• Devnandan Ubhaykar Memorial Concert, Bangalore.
• Sur Sagar, Bangalore.
• Other places – Hubli, Dharwad, Sagar, Sirsi, Shimoga, Siddhapur, Karwar, Yellapur, Honnavar, Goa, Puttur, Mangalore, Kanhangad, Kundapur, etc.
Abhijith and Adarsh soon got their grades at All India Radio - Bangalore Station (presently B-high). Their school (Sri Aurobindo Memorial School, B'lore) and college (Sri Bhagawan Mahaveer Jain College, Bangalore) furthered their art with their encouragement and belief. Abhijith has been the Receipent of Aryabhatta award, Yuva Chandrahaasa Purasakara, of State and Central Gov.t Scholarships in music under the HRD department, of the Sur Sagar Scholarship in music. He trained in chess for 10 years under Prof Simadri. Winner in many intra/inter-school and college chess competitions, he was ranked 3rd in the State-Level ‘Under-17’ category. He was Student Leader of the Hindi Parishad at Sri Bhagawan Mahaveer Jain College and wrote poems and articles for the College Hindi Magazine ‘Parichay’. Abhijith’s ability to express his ideas through prose and poetry in Hindi was first noticed and encouraged by Smt Anuradha K, his Hindi teacher at Sri Aurobindo Memorial School, B'lore. With the blessings of all his Hindi teachers / lecturers in school / college, this ability transformed into classical bandishes. Adarsh concocted his pen-name "ABHIRANG", under which at present, Abhijith has written around 180 bandishes; encompassing vilambits, druts, taranas, thumris and raagmaalikas. He has also created new raags, such as – Raag Hari Abhogi, Raag Jogswaravali, Raag Gorakh Malhar, Raag Shaadav Keervani, Raag Bhoopal Madhyam, Raag Komal Jog, etc.
Pt Harindra's interest and research in reviving aprachalit raags percolated down to Abhijith, who carries on his guruji’s work by researching old music treatises, old recordings - writing compositions in these raags and presenting them in his concerts; and also studying and adopting raags of the Carnatic system of music into Hindustani Vocal. In guruji's words - "All raags come within the gamut of the seven notes. Thus, no raag need be given the tag 'aprachalit', provided an able artist studies and presents them in a Sabha of interested audience. Even one reference / one recording is sufficient to keep alive a raag for the generations to come. And that must be your legacy - Music has given you everything; What can you give back?" (At present, Abhijith is directing a documentary series on 'Bhairav ke Prakaar' for All-India-Radio, B'lore). Abhijith joined back as a Lecturer in Personality Development in his own college (Sri Bhagawan Mahaveer Jain College, Bangalore). Now, under the banner of Human Networking Academy, he conducts classes on Mind Management and Human Values - for students, teachers, parents and corporates. He trained and headed the Jain College Music Group which was awarded the Best Group in the Hindi, Sanskrit and Regional Language categories at the All-India National Level Group Song Competition held at Hissar and Jaipur by the Bharat Vikas Parishad.
Former principal of Jain college and presently the Chief Mentor of Jain University, Prof K S Shantamani imparted valuable life lessons to Abhijith. A Sanskrit scholar, a spiritual sadhika, and a Carnatic vocalist, she always expressed – "What will finally reflect in your music is your own life - your purity, honesty and modesty." Abhijith’s marriage with Krupa K S (a Carnatic Vocalist, student of Smt Janaki and Smt Jambukannan), furthered his interest and understanding in Carnatic Music.
Guruji Pt D B Harindra always professed that - "Every artist is a Gharana in himself / herself. That is why we call it Khayal Sangeet. it is like asking the question - IS RAAG KE BAARE MEIN AAPKA KYA KHAYAL HAI? With the amount of exposure we have to concerts and recordings these days, we are influenced by new ideas / styles from everywhere. But 'what to pick up' has to be a very conscious choice based on one's reasoning and within the raag-niyam. Listen to all artists, pick up -try-adopt ideas; those that challenge yet are conducive for one’s vocal abilities. So, it is very likely one will find shades of various influences.” In his vistaar, one would notice Guru Pt D B Harindra ji's concept of 'Nyaas Vichaar' - taking each swara as the nyaas, approaching it from different viewpoints, thus creating multiple perspectives. Harindra ji always extolled the importance of SUR - "Don't hurt yourself by hurting the swara". So, Abhijith has always paid extra heed to the purity and perfect placement of the individual note pertaining to the raag's requirements. The emphasis has been on vakra taans and sargam patterns, extolling the control of voice to execute any UPAJ with ease. "Do not make the difficult thing easy by diluting the subject matter or simplifying it to suit your weakness. Explore and learn how to handle the most difficult thing with the greatest of ease." If you visit his blog - abhijithshenoyk.blogspot.com, one finds a lot of riyaaz sessions he had with Guruji; most without tabla accompaniment. The reason being - even without the tabla / pakhwaj accompaniment, the artist must be able to convey to the discerning listener the rhythm and flow of the bandish.
To explore and broaden his horizon and expression, Abhijith wished to learn Thumri-Gaayan; leading him to his next Guru - Smt Aditi Upadhya Kaikini (daughter of Pt Dinkar Kaikini 'Dinarang'). Her teachings about swarbhaav, layabhaav, voice modulation and paying heed to the shabd and ras of a bandish, enhanced Abhijith’s perspectives and outlook about music. Both brothers completed their Vidwat exams from the Karnataka State Board and Sangeet Alankaar from Akhila Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, Mumbai. They now plan to enrol for the Sangeetacharya program under Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, Mumbai. Abhijith takes classes in Hindustani Vocal at home, and online classes for students – out-station and abroad. 2 audio cd's- NINAAD (Hindustani Classical Vocal) and NAADAMRITA (Kannada Bhajans) have been released by Lahari Recording Company, Bangalore. As it has been said, "Everything has to come together to bring about an artist - A Guru, the right Family environment and values, a conducive work scenario, and relentlessly striving for near perfection". By god's grace, Abhijith and Adarsh have received all these elements.
Pt. D B Harindra was born in Harihar in 1924. His father was the well-known lexicographer D.K. Bharadwaj. Pt. Harindra’s interest in music was kindled at a young age of five and he took his first steps into the world of music under the guidance of Carnatic vocalist H.K. Sheshagiri Rao.
However his father’s association with Pandit Taranath exposed him to Hindustani music, which would captivate him and would begin the exciting journey into the world of music for young Harindra and would remain a lifelong passion. He found a cogent and impeccable guru in Pandit Shankar Sadashiv Joshi in 1942. Pt. Harindra underwent rigorous training under Pt. Shankar Joshi for 6 years who nurtured young Harindra’s innate talent for music. He further augmented his training with Pt. Shankar Janthali and Pt. Ramarao Naik for another 10 yrs. His disciplined lifestyle helped him achieve his goals soon.
Pt. Harindra‘s keen and creative mind, never content with just faithful reproductions of his guru’s lessons, systematically explored and experimented with various aspects of music. Especially noteworthy was his research on rare aprachalit raags. The outcome of his meticulous research was prolific writings on the topic with contributions to various publications on music and lec-dems to acquaint, the uninitiated and masters of the art alike, with intricate nuances of music.
Some of Pt. Harindra’s outstanding contributions to music literature are his article in ‘Bharatiya Kala Darshan’, his extension lecture on Hindustani Music published by Bangalore University and his paper on ‘The role of Kannada in Hindustani music tomorrow’ at the World Kannada Meet in 1985.The growth of his musical career saw him performing at various prestigious forums. He was an AIR artist for over three decades. He was an examiner for music exams conducted by both State Government and Gandharva Mahavidyalaya of Mumbai. He also served as a member of Audition Board of Akashvani. He had received many awards and honors from the State Government as well as several prestigious cultural organizations for his contributions to music.
A unique feature of Pt. Harindra’s performances was, rendering raags seldom included in most artists’ repertoire. He believed a raag would ‘become rare’ only if not cultivated and made popular by the artist. In Pt. Harindra’s own words, “There is no raag outside the context of the saptaswaras. And as long as a raag is within these seven notes why make a raag rare or common?” Proving his point and with his great affinity for taranas, he published a book ‘Tarana Tarang’ which is a compilation of 101 taranas composed and tuned in 87 raags.
For someone who pursued music with an adventurer’s spirit, Pt. Harindra could never accept singing of a raag could be a ‘closed chapter’ at any time in a musician’s life. Each raag became a personality for Pt. Harindra which revealed a new dimension, quite different from its earlier ones, with every rendition.
As a teacher Pt. Harindra was an apt role model. His commitment and dedication to teaching was unparalleled.
Many of Pt. Harindra’s students, who are themselves teachers today, fondly remember the lessons they learnt from him, not only about music, but about life as well. As one student recalls, “Guruji was a selfless teacher, he would impart knowledge whole heartedly to the students…constantly gave us tips to improve.”
One recurrent thought that was instilled in all his students was, “Creativity is the basis of one’s growth in music. A blind reproduction of a teacher’s lessons is not enough to become a good artist. It is essential for every musician to develop his own style. They have to experiment and explore the innumerable possibilities of rendering a raag and bring their own personality to the raag. In a way each musician is a Gharana in himself. If my student goes beyond my teaching and develops his own style and brings it back to me in his individual style, I would then consider my teaching as being fruitful.”
Pt. Harindra’s modesty as a guru was exemplary. As another student recounts, “Any time a student would present something new in a raag, Guruji would come home and sit down to practice the same and the next day he would give his perspective and advise us on how to make it better! What set him apart as an exceptional teacher was his ability to teach and simplify a delicate or difficult topic without diluting the subject matter.” With his creative teaching methods, he instilled in his students, an undying interest and an eternal thirst for music.
Pandit Ramchandra Janthalli was born on 10th December, 1923 in Sheshgiri village of Hangal taluk.
His father, Gayanacharya Pt. Shankar Dixit Janthalli, a disciple of Pt.Bhaskar Bua Bakhle and Pt.Balkrishna Bua Ichalkaranjikar, was one of the early propogators of Hindustani Classical music in the Dharwad district. On Pt.Panchakshari Gawai's advice, Shankarji shifted from Hangal to Hubli in 1939 and started the 'Sri Shankar Sangeet Vidyalaya' at Bakhle galli.
Ramchandraji's lessons in music started at a very young age under the able guidance of his father.
On finishing his graduation, he joined for a job at Indian Railways.
Captivated by the essence of Raag Sangeet, he used to say "A job for earning a living and a tanpura for life." Assisting his father in running 'Sri Shankar Sangeet Vidyalaya', he enthused many youngsters to gain interest in and take up classical music. His singing clearly highlighed the specialities of the Gwalior Gharana gayaki. He carried with him a goal of compiling and presenting the best Bandishes in any raag. In 1950, Dharwad Akashvani broadcasted his recital. An LP recording was initiated by the HMV company.
Ramchandraji's wife, Smt.Vasanta Devi, daughter of Sri D K Bharadwaj (known for his Kannada-English dictionary ), was proficient in Hindustani Vocal, Carnatic Vocal and Veena. Together, they carried forward Shankarji's work through the 'Sri Shankar Sangeet Vidyalaya' and the 'Sri Shankar Dixit Art Circle.'
Numerous awards and accolades were showered on Ramchandraji for his unparalleled work in promoting HCM, such as the 'Karnataka Kala Tilaka' by the Sangeeta Nritya Academy, the 'Gangubai Hangal Award', etc.
Ramchandraji taught many disciples, some of whom are renowned performers today, like - Anuradha Dhareshwar, Sheshgiri Gudi, Raghavendra Gudi, Sarojini Chandavarkar, Indumati Tamhankar, Yamuna Tembe, Suman Nagarkatti, Veena Shirali, Kusuma Kulkarni, Radhika Bhat, Shyamala Kulkarni, etc.
Pt. Ramchandra Janthalli passed away on July 17th, 1999, his musical legacy - a vast treasure trove of Hindustani Classical Music to be explored, learnt from and imbibed.
Aditi Kaikini Upadhya, one of India's most dynamic young Hindustani vocalists, was born in April 1961 into a family rich in musical tradition and artistic example. She 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 Upadhya is an original and vibrantly creative musician. She has been hosted by reputed presenters in India and abroad, including the National Centre for Performing Arts, Mumbai; Bhatkhande Sangeet Mahotsav, Mumbai; India International Centre, Delhi; Theatre de la Ville, Paris; Saaz, UK; National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bangalore; Bangalore Sangeet Sabha; Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bangalore; Ganjam Nagappa & Sons, Bangalore; and Dadar Matunga Music Circle, to name a few. Aditi Upadhya is also 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. Her work in theater with M.S. Satyu has been immensely popular and received critical praise. She frequently gives lecture demonstrations and workshops on Indian classical music to both novices and connoisseurs. She has been regularly called upon to speak for audiences of intellectuals, theoreticians and scientists at Bangalore's National Institute for Advanced Studies.