Profile - Vinayak Rao Patwardhan
Vinayakrao was born in Miraj, in what is now Maharashtra, on 22 July 1898 in a well-to-do, middle class family of Dasagranthi Maharashtrian brahmins. He was named Vinayak because he was born on Ganesh Chaturthi
day. Vinayakrao's mother 32 passed away in 1902 and he lost his father, Narayanrao, as well a few months later. His paternal uncle took on the responsibility of bringing him up. Theirs was a joint family which was characterised by religious faith, simplicity and discipline. Vinayakrao imbibed these qualities in full measure and retained them till the end.
Music, however, was not part of the family heritage, although two of his paternal uncles were musicians. One of the uncles, Gurudev Patwardhan, was a pakhawaj player and taught percussion-playing at a school established by Vishnu Digambar Paluskar. The other, Keshavrao Patwardhan, a disciple of Balakrishnabuwa Ichalkaranjikar, taught music at the Ganesh Sangeet Vidyalaya. It was in this school that Vinayakrao started learning music in the year 1905. It was Vinayakrao's good fortune that, about this time, Vishnu Digambar Paluskar was scouting for musically inclined youngsters, who could later help him in his chosen mission of propagating music. His eyes fell on Vinayakrao with whose family he was acquainted. Further, the Patwardhan family was only too happy to send Vinayakrao away from Miraj, which was often scourged by epidemics.