Pune, Jan 24 (Calcutta Tube / IBNS) Pandit Bhimsen Gururaj Joshi passed away on Monday, after being actively related with the music scenario of the country’s classical music forms for nearly quarter of a century.
He died at the age of 89 at a hospital in Pune of multiple organ failure due to old age.
[ReviewAZON asin=”B002C8CBMS” display=”inlinepost”]Born in a Kannadiga family on Feb 4, 1922, in Gadag, Dharwad district of Karnataka, Joshi was a leading light of the Keriana gharana
(school) and had been a household name in India for many decades for his melodious voice.
He further enriched the gharana through his distinctive individual style and adaptation of characteristics from other gharanas to create
a unique vocal idiom.
His rendering of the song “Mile Sur Mera Tumhara” on the theme of national integration is etched in the popular consciousness.
For many decades, Pandit Joshi led the renaissance of Hindustani classical music with his unique style and mastery over ragas. He
showed that music knows no linguistic or cultural barriers.
Eldest of 16 children, Joshi displayed his love for music from an early age and participated in Bhajan singing processions with as much zeal as he the notes of the ‘azaan’.
[ReviewAZON asin=”B000EU1L2C” display=”inlinepost”]Joshi trained in the ‘guru-sishya’ (master-disciple) tradition under guru Sawaj Gandharva, who was the chief disciple of Abdul Karim Khan, who along with his cousin Abdul Waheed Khan, was the founder of the Keriana gharana.
He started an annual classical musical festival called the Sawai Gandharva Music Festival in memory of his guru. This festival is held
in Pune every December.
It was a recording of Abdul Karim Khan’s Thumri ‘Piya Bin Nahi Aavat Chain’ in raag Jjinjhoti that inspired Joshi to become a musician.
Joshi’s first live performance was at the age of 19 and at 22, he released his debut album of devotional songs in Kannada and Hindi.
Besides the classical music albums, Joshi also lent his voice to several film songs, doing playback for films such as ‘Basant Baha’
with Manna Dey, ‘Tansen’, ‘Ankahee’ and ‘Birbal My Borther’ with Pandit Jasraj.
Joshi married his cousin Sunanda Katti at an early age as per his family’s wishes. The couple that four children – two sons and two
He later marred Vatsala Mudholkar and the couple had two sons and a daughter.
Both his wives have predeceased Joshi.
Joshi had received several awards and recognitions for his works.
Besides the Bharat Ratna in 2008, he was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, National film award for best male playback singer, Karnataka Ratna and lifetime achievement award by Delhi government.
Joshi’s death has cast a pall of gloom in the nation, especially in the music fraternity.
Generations of listeners were enthralled by Joshi’s mellifluous voice, mastery of rhythm and magnificent renderings of bhajans and khayals.
President of India Pratibha Patil, Vice-President Haimd Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, External Affairs minister SM Krishna and Union Culture minister Kumari Selja have condoled the death of the maestro.