Veteran classical singer Kishori Amonkar passed away after a brief illness in Mumbai last night. She was 84. The news of her demise spread like a wildfire with contemporaries expressing their grief. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi mourned her death.Besides being an accomplished musician, Amonkar was also an eloquent speaker and known for her lectures on various
Besides being an accomplished musician, Amonkar was also an eloquent speaker and known for her lectures on various rasas in music.
Here are 10 things you need to know about the Padma Vibhushan-award winning singer.
- Kishori Amonkar was born on April 10, 1932 in Bombay (present day Maharashtra). Her mother Mogubai Kurdikar was a renowned classical vocalist of the Jaipur-Attrauli gharana.
- Like her mother, Kishori was trained under Jaipur gharana. To those not acquainted with music, a gharana is basically a community of singers who follow a distinctive style of music. The Jaipur gharana was founded by Alladiya Khan in the late 19th century.
- Amonkar did not limit herself to Jaipur gharana, but trained under the masters of Bhendi Bazaar gharana, Agra gharana and Gwalior gharana as well.
- She earned accolades for singing classical khayals (repertoire of short songs) which were based on traditional ragas of Hindustani music. Amonkar was also well versed with thumris, bhajans and film music.
- Kishori Amonkar lent her voice in V Shantaram’s 1964 film Geet Gaya Patharon Ne, which featured Jeetendra and the filmmaker’s daughter Rajshree.
- Amonkar also sang for Govind Nihalani’s 1990 film Drishti which featured Dimple Kapadia, Shekhar Kapur and Irrfan Khan in pivotal roles. However, she opted to return to classical music and never sang for films again. In an interview to IANS, she said that for her the language of notes meant more.
- Kishori Amonkar was married to a school teacher named Ravindra Amonkar, who died in 1992. The couple had two sons. Her grand-daughter Tejashree Amonkar is also a classical singer.
- Amonkar never sang for entertainment. In an interview few years ago, she said that people needed to understand that music is not meant for attracting audience and that’s the reason why she never played to the gallery.
- Kishori Amonkar received the Sankeet Natak Akademi Award in 1985, Padma Bhushan in 1987, Padma Vibhushan in 2002 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship in 2009. She was also conferred with the MS Subbulakshmi Award for classical music.
- Kishori Amonkar’s contribution was chronicled in a documentary titled Bhinna Shadja, which was co-directed by renowned actor-filmmaker Amol Palekar. Tabla maestro Zakir Hussain had heaped praises on the vocalist, saying her contributions will be remembered in years to come.
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