ASHWINI BHIDE DESHPANDE (VOCAL)
AMAAN ALI BANGASH (SAROD)
PT. CHHANNULAL MISHRA (VOCAL)
UMA SHARMA (KATHAK)
PT. ULHAS KASHALKAR (VOCAL)
USTAD AASHISH KHAN (SAROD)
PT. VISHWAMOHAN BHATT (MOHAN VEENA)
SHUBHA MUDGAL (VOCAL)
PT. HARIPRASAD CHAURASIA (FLUTE)
USTAD SHUJAAT KHAN (SITAR)
USTAD AMJAD ALI KHAN (SAROD)
Uma Sharma (Kathak)
Artist Bio
Uma Sharma is a kathak exponent born into a family of litterateurs in Delhi, comprising Acharya Pandit Vasudeva Sharma, Sanskrit vidwan for a father and Ratna Devi for mother.

Uma Sharma received her dance training from Guru Hiralalji and Girvar Dayal of the Jaipur gharana, and subsequently became a student of Pandit Sunder Prasad of the Jaipur gharana who emphasised rhythmic footwork and its permutations, Shambhu Maharaj and Birju Maharaj noted gurus of the Kathak tradition of the Lucknow gharana, known for the art of abhinaya.

From the age of 14, she was invited every year by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to perform at his birthday parties. She was also chosen to perform at Rashtrapati Bhavan for royal visitors including Queen Elizabeth, the Shah & Shah Bano of Iran.

Uma Sharma is not only known for her abhinaya, but is also renowned for her research and innovation, having managed to not only give a new look to the stock repertoire of Kathak, but also bring out the glorious tradition of the Braj Raas of Vrindavan and its relation to Kathak.
"mein jab bhi naachi, doob ke naachi.
Aur logon ko pasand aaya
Whenever I dance, I drowned in it.
My body articulated it and people always liked it."
- Uma Sharma
Ustad Shujaat Khan (Sitar)
Artist Bio
Shujaat Khan is a sitar maestro and seventh generation torchbearer of the embellished legacy of the Imdad gharana that has produced many a virtuoso.

He is the son and disciple of the great sitarist Ustad Vilayat Khan, and his grandfather, Ustad Inayat Khan, his great-grandfather, Ustad Imdad Khan, and his great-great-grandfather, Ustad Sahebdad Khan, were all leading artists of their respective generations. He can trace his lineage all the way back to Mian Tansen, the great court musician in Emperor Akbar's court.

Born the eldest son to not just a master musician, but a temperamental and incorruptible father, Shujaat Khan's musical career began at the age of three when he began practicing on a specially made small sitar. By the age of six, he was recognized as a child prodigy and began giving public performances.

Gifted with an exceptional voice, he's known to be a fearless collaborator with different genres of musicians
"Music is ceaseless. Give your heart and soul to music and leave the rest to destiny."
- Ustad Shujaat Khan
Pt. Ajoy Chakrabarty (Vocal)
Artist Bio
Although considered a scion and doyen of the Patiala-Kasur Gharana (style), primarily representing Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Sahib’s gayaki, he can equally portray even the most subtle features of other major classical gharanas of India like Indore, Delhi, Jaipur, Gwalior, Agra, Kirana, Rampur and even Carnatic music of South India. This is perhaps because of his wide exposure to various genres and their maestros and musicologists besides his own gurus. His father, late Shri Ajit Kumar Chakraborty, Shri Pannalal Samanta and Shri Kanaidas Baigari were the ones, with whom his initial orientation happened, before he was warmly accepted by the ultimate and the greatest Guru of all times, Padmabhushan recipient Pandit Jnan Prakash Ghosh. His training then continued under Ustad Munawar Ali Khan (son of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan).
"Besides that, he has learnt from several other maestros like Ustad Latafat Hussain Khan,
or the finest, vocalist of my generation.
Success is like the morning dew.
Pt. Nibruttibua Sarnaik, Vidushi Hirabai Barodekar and in Carnatic styles from Professor Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna
This kept enriching his musical expression and repertoire"
- PT. AJOY CHAKRABARTY (VOCAL)
Ashwini Bhide Deshpande (Vocal)
Artist Bio
Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, an outstanding vocalist of the famed "Jaipur-Atrauli" Khayal Gayaki tradition, represents the new generation of veterans worthy of wearing the mantle of the old masters.

Born into a musical family, Ashwini studied music, and academic subjects with equal fervor. After grasping the rudiments of Hindustani Classical music under the late Pt. Narayanrao Datar, she began imbibing all the traditional aspects of stylized Jaipur Gayaki under the strict tutelage of her mother, mentor and Guru, Smt. Manik Bhide.

Despite her early success and noticeable achievements, including winning the President's Gold Medal at the All India Radio Music Competition in 1977 and performing with Pandit Ravi Shankar, the switch from a career in serious science (Ashwini holds a doctorate in Biochemistry) to full time musician took many years. But when the realization dawned, there was no looking back for Ashwini.

A classicist by temperament and training, Ashwini is equally at ease with lighter varieties like Thumri-dadra and Bhajans/Abhangs. Add to this, her fluency in Sanskrit enriches her repertoire further by inclusion of stotras/stutis.

"I don't know if I am the most successful,
or the finest, vocalist of my generation.
Success is like the morning dew.
It lasts only as long as it lasts.
I am happy with being just a good musician."
- Ashwini Bhide Deshpande
Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia (Flute)
Artist Bio
Hariprasad Chaurasia is an accomplished Indian Classical flautist. Son of a wrestler, Chaurasia began learning vocal music from his neighbor, Pandit Rajaram, as a teenager. Later, he switched to playing the flute under the tutelage of Pandit Bholanath Prasanna of Varanasi for eight years. He joined the All India Radio, Cuttack, Odisha in 1957 and worked as a composer and performer.

Much later, 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 if he switched from right-handed to left-handed playing. Till date, he plays the flute left-handed.

If Chaurasia is more earthly than many of his peers, it is probably down to his background. Indian classical music is a family business: father hands on tradition to son. Chaurasia is a first generation musician with a will of iron to perspire, persist and inspire.

In spite of having achieved so much, the maestro is still giving back to the world through his own music and by nurturing outstanding talent in his school Brindavan, which is based on the gurukul system.

"My religion is my music.
Lord Krishna is my God.
Whenever I want to pray, whenever I want to meditate and concentrate, I take my flute.
I can feel God."
- Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia
Ustad Aashish Khan (Sarod)
Artist Bio
Aashish Khan is considered among the top handful of India's greatest living Sarod players. His pedigree of training and lineage is unquestionable, having descended from the illustrious family of great musicians.

Aashish Khan was initiated into North Indian Classical Music at the age of five by his grandfather, the legendary Acharya Baba Allauddin Khan Sahib, exponent of the Senia Beenkar and Senia Rababiya Gharana founded in the 16th Century by Mian Tansen, court musician to Emperor Akbar. He also learnt music under the guidance of his father, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, and aunt, Smt. Annapurna Devi, leading exponents of the Senia Maihar Gharana, in the Beenkar and Rababiya Anga (style) bearing the Dhrupad style of vocal music.

Aashish, a true believer and follower of the "Guru Shishya Parampara," an age old practice and one of the oldest methods of teaching Indian Classical Music in an oral, practical, theoretical and traditional manner has won the hearts and respect of many disciples and followers all over the world.

Pt. Vishwamohan Bhatt (Mohan Veena)
Artist Bio
Creator of the Mohan Veena and the winner of the Grammy award, Vishwamohan Bhatt is an Indian Classical instrumentalist.

He was born into a musical family in Rajasthan and began his musical training as a Sitar player under his father, who ran a music school. Being the foremost disciple of Pt. Ravi Shankar, Vishwa Mohan belongs to the elite body of musicians which trace its origin to the Mughal emperor Akbar's court musician Tansen and his guru the Hindu Mystic Swami Haridas.

Vishwamohan Bhatt has attracted International attention by Indianizing the Hawaiian Guitar with perfect assimilation of the Sitar, Sarod and Veena techniques, by giving it a revolutionary design and shape by adding 14 additional strings. With blinding speed and faultless legato, Bhatt is undoubtedly one of the most expressive, versatile and greatest slide players of the world.

His latest creation is a new instrument, the Vishwa Veena, which has 35 strings.

"Music is the language of god created for the benefit of mankind.
To me, music is the medium to talk to god.""
- Pt. Vishwamohan Bhatt
Pt. Chhannulal Mishra (Vocal)
Artist Bio
Pandit Chhannulal Mishra is a Hindustani classical singer from Banaras, a noted exponent of the Kirana gharana and especially the Khayal and the 'Purab Ang' - Thumri.

His first lessons of classical music were from his father, late Pt. Badri Prasad Mishra. Having been initiated into the nuances of music by his father, he moved from his place of birth to learn music at the feet of Ustad Abdul Ghani Khan of the Kirana gharana until the renowned musicologist, the late Padmabhushan Thakur Jaidev Singh offered to groom his adolescent prodigy into the subtleties of Indian Classical music.

Although Mishra ji evolved a eclectic vocal style, blending the ecstatic Kirana Badhat and the highly embellished features of the Patiala Gharana, his classical pieces reveal a fascinating harmony of Punjab, Purab and Gaya Styles. He has transcended the confines of gharana styles and has brought a streak of spirituality into his singing.

"The patience and the motivation which I get from my audience encourage me to sing.
When they applaud my performance I feel alive.
- Tujhe aitbaar e ulfat..
Jo na ho saka abhi tak..
To main samajh gaya yakinan abhi mujh mein kuch kami hai."
- Pt. Chhannulal Mishra
Smt. Anoushka Shankar (Sitar)
Artist Bio
Sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar is one of the leading figures in World Music today. She is deeply rooted in the Indian classical music she studied exclusively from the age of nine under her father and guru, the legendary Ravi Shankar. In her twenties, after establishing herself as one of the foremost classical sitarists on the world’s stage, she began thriving as a composer, exploring fertile ground in the crossover between Indian music and a variety of genres including flamenco, jazz, electronica and Western classical music. Among various accolades she has been thrice nominated for a Grammy® Award and was the youngest, and first female, recipient of a House of Commons Shield from the British House of Parliament in 1999.

As a classical sitarist Anoushka Shankar debuted professionally at the age of thirteen and has performed in prestigious venues such as the Royal Albert Hall and Carnegie Hall (over a dozen times), and championed her father’s orchestral works with the world’s leading orchestras under conductors such as Zubin Mehta. Before turning twenty she made three classical sitar records for Angel/EMI under the guidance of her father, and received her first Grammy® nomination, thereby becoming the first Indian female and youngest-ever nominee in the World Music category.

Ustad Amjad Ali Khan (Sarod)
Artist Bio
He was all of 6 years old when Amjad Ali Khan gave his first Sarod recital. It was the beginning of yet another glorious chapter in the history of Indian classical music. Taught by his father Haafiz Ali Khan Amjad Ali Khan was born to the illustrious Bangash lineage rooted in the Senia Bangash School of music. Today he shoulders the sixth generation of inheritance in this legendary lineage.

After his debut, the career graph of this musical legend took the speed of light, and on its way the Indian classical music scene was witness to regular and scintillating bursts of Raga supernovas. Thus, the world saw the Sarod being given a new and yet timeless interpretation by Amjad Ali Khan. Khan is one of the few maestros who consider his audience to be the soul of his motivation. In his case, the term 'beauty of the Ragas' acquires a special meaning as he has to his credit the distinction of having created many new Ragas. It is love for music and his belief in his music that has enabled him to interpret traditional notions of music in a new refreshing way, reiterating the challenge of innovation and yet respecting the timelessness of tradition.

"There is no essential difference between classical and popular music
Music is music.
I want to communicate with the listener who finds Indian classical music remote."
-Ustad Amjad Ali Khan
Amaan Ali Bangash (Sarod)
Artist Bio
A young talent of the 7th generation in an unbroken chain of the Senia Bangash School, Amaan Ali Bangash is the elder son and disciple of the Sarod Maestro Amjad Ali Khan and grandson of Haafiz Ali Khan. Initiated into the fine art of Sarod playing at a very tender age, Amaan began his public performances as early as eight.

Accompanying his father to various music festivals in India and abroad, he has today, carved out a niche for himself. His performances have evoked creditable applause. His precision in tunefulness and his bold and resonant strokes are all pointers to importance of tradition and continuity in Indian Classical Music.

Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar (Vocal)
Artist Bio
Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar was born in a family of musicians, in Maharashtra. He was initiated into music by his father Sri. Nagesh Dattatreya Kashalkar, an Advocate and a musicologist. A gold medalist in postgradutaion in music from Nagpur University , Pt. Ulhas ji received training from Pandit Rajabhau Kogje and Prof. Prabhakar Rao Khardenevadis. Later on he moved to Mumbai for advanced training under Pandit Ram Marathe and Pandit Gajananrao Joshi. Thus, he received training of the highest order in three distinct prominent gharanas - Gwalior, Agra and Jaipur.

His gayakee is especially known for its ingenuity, utmost authenticity and aesthetical rendering of Raagas. His music is an original statement, which exhibits a fine musical mind at work. It has its roots in tradition without being orthodox. It is engaging and absorbing because of its architectural soundness, melodic richness, rhythmic dexterity and the transparency of communicative intent. Above all this, his supreme sense of artistic proportion leaves his listeners craving for more.

Pt. Ulhas ji started his career as a Programme Executive in All India Radio (AIR). He later moved to Kolkata to join the prestigious ITC Sangeet Research Academy (ITC-SRA) as a guru in the year 1992. He has been with the Academy for over twenty years, as one of the most sought after Gurus, producing numerous students of high calibre.

Pt. Ulhas ji is the recipient of several awards such as the Padma Shri, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Basavaraj Rajguru Puraskar and has been bestowed with several titles like Swar-Ratna, Raag-Rishi and Gaan Tapaswi by the revered Jagatguru Shankaracharya.

As a Guru, Pt. Ulhas ji is also teaching students at the Bengal Parampara Sangeetalay, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, from the year 2014. A torchbearer of our pristine tradition, Pt. Ulhas ji continues to enthral and take his audiences on an ecstatic journey through music.

Shubha Mudgal (Vocal)
Artist Bio
Born into a musically dedicated family, Shubha Mudgal has been trained by some of the finest musicians and musicologists in India. Trained by eminent scholar-musician-composer Pandit Ramashreya Jha “Ramrang”, she also received guidance from Pandit Vinaya Chandra Maudgalya and Pandit Vasant Thakar. She later learnt stylistic techniques from well-known maestros Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki and Pandit Kumar Gandharva. She also received training in thumri from Smt. Naina Devi and is thus a versatile and popular performer.

In addition to being a performer, Shubha has also won recognition as a composer. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Padma Shri from the Government of India in the year 2000, the Gold Plaque Award for Special Achievement in Music at the 34th Chicago International Film Festival, 1998, and the Yash Bharati Samman from the Government of Uttar Pradesh in 2015.

She has also been closely involved with several projects related to music education in India. Formerly a member of the Central Advisory Board of Education constituted by the Government of India, Shubha also chaired a focus group discussing the need for introducing an arts education program in mainstream school education during the National Curriculum Framework 2005. Shubha Mudgal was also a Nana Shirgaokar Visiting Research Professor for traditional music at Goa University. Shubha Mudgal along with Aneesh Pradhan has established an online distribution platform for musicians specializing in diverse forms of Indian music through their website www.UnderscoreRecords.com. Among the many projects they have initiated in their efforts to preserve the rich musical heritage of India is www.SangeetKosh.net , an online encyclopedia of Indian Music.

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