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COVER STORY <br/> DANCE SEASON 2014-15: Uneven performances, priorities <br/> V.V. RAMANICOVER STORY
DANCE SEASON 2014-15: Uneven performances, priorities
V.V. RAMANI

December 2014.  The air was filled with excitement as the cultural season breezed in, but it breezed out quietly without any ripples. The season had its usual spate of star performers with their routine fare and talented youngsters aspiring to climb up the..., Read more

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Ashwini Bhide-Deshpande
Ashwini Bhide-Deshpande Ashwini ..., Read more

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M.L. Vasanthakumari (1940 - 1990)
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SRUTI BLOG

Udupi Laxminarayan passes away

Well known Bharatanatyam guru Udupi Laxminarayan passed away in the early hours of 17 March 2015 in Chennai. He was 88. He was well versed in Sanskrit, classical music, Bharatanatyam, and the theory o...,  Read more


SPOTLIGHT

MEET THE ARTIST
Name :

Ashwini Bhide-Deshpande

Description :

Ashwini Bhide-Deshpande

Ashwini Bhide-Deshpande is an accomplished Hindustani classical singer of the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana, but that is not her only accomplishment. She has a Post-Graduate degree in Microbiology from Bombay University as well as a Doctoral Degree for her research in Biochemistry from the prestigious Bhabha Atomic Research Centre.

Although she hails from a strong musically inclined family, her plunge into professional singing came much after her academic accolades. Blessed with a sweet voice, she successfully completed the Sangeeta Visarak at the age of 16 from the Gandharva Vidyalaya. In 1977 she won the President’s Gold Medal at the All India Radio Music Competition. In later years Dr. Bhide-Deshpande has honed her skills under the tutelage of her mother, Manik Bhide, herself an accomplished classical singer, learning the nuances of the Jaipur-Autrali Khayal Gayaki tradition. 

The quality of her singing is characterised by emotion, vitality and a complete understanding of the raga structure. Her unerring grasp of the grammar of a raga does not take away the tonal sweetness and soulfulness of her voice. Although a pure classicist by virtue of her training and temperament, she is fluent with the thumri-dadra and the bhajan-abhang styles; her fluency in Sanskrit has further enriched her repertoire with the inclusion of srutis and slokas. She has scored the music for many of her devotional presentations.

This wide mastery has enabled her to create her own vocal style weaving the culture and aesthetics representative of the gharana style of Hindustani classical music. She credits the two legends Pandit Ravi Shankar and Kumar Gandharva as being great influences in her singing career. But the greatest guidance she received came from Pandit Ratnakar Pai, one of the greatest stalwarts of the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana, till his death in 2009 and she represents a new generation of veterans considered worthy of donning the mantle of the old maestros.

Her live concerts are acclaimed for the aesthetic quality of her music and her sheer persona and live-wire performances. Ashwini Bhide is a ‘top grade’ artiste of Akashwani (Radio) and Doordarshan (National TV), and has been an intrinsic part of several sangeet sammelans. She takes great pleasure in giving lecture-demonstrations in various schools, colleges and education programmes that encourage the participation of young people here and abroad and enlighten them on the finer aspects of Hindustani classical music.

Her thorough knowledge and understanding of Bandish has enabled her to create many of her own bandishes. A first compilation of these were published in her book Raag Rachananjali in 2004, a sequel containing 98 more was published in 2010.

Dr.Bhide-Deshpande has performed at several national and international platforms and her concerts are hugely popular, critically acclaimed by music connoisseurs the world over. However, her stupendous success as a professional musician has not made her complacent and as she remarks, “competition is a reality and good for everyone’. Her continuing contribution to Hindustani classical vocal music has brought her several awards and accoldares. In 2005, she became the first female Hindustani vocalist to be decorated with the presitigious Rashtriya Kumar Gandharva Samman.


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