PANDIT JITENDRA ABHISHEKI
Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki (Devanagari: पंडित जितेंद्र अभिषेकी; 21 September 1929 – 7 November 1998) was an Indian vocalist, composer and scholar of classical, semi-classical, and devotional music. While he distinguished himself in Hindustani music, he was singlehandedly responsible for the revival of the Marathi musical theatre in the 1960s with his beautiful compositions. Abhisheki was born in a priestly Padye brahmin family in Mangeshi, Goa. His family was traditionally attached to the Mangeshi Shrine of Lord Shiva in Goa. His father, Balawantrao aka Bikambhat, was a nephew and a disciple of Master Deenanath Mangeshkar, and the temple priest and a Kirtankar. Balawantrao taught Jitendra the basic principles of Hindustani classical music. Abhisheki then went to Mumbai and sought advanced training in vocal music from Pandit Jagannathbua Purohit and Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan of Agra Gharana, and Gulubhai Jasdanwala of Jaipur Gharana. He developed a distinct style of rendering khayal, and was also well-known for his renditions of Marathi Natyasangeet and devotional songs.
After a degree in Sanskrit literature, Abhisheki joined All India Radio (AIR) at Mumbai for a brief period, when he came in contact with several musicians and also got an opportunity to display his musical talents by composing several pieces for some radio programs.
Around this time, Abhisheki received a scholarship from the Indian Government for advanced training in Hindustani classical music under Ustad Azmat Hussain Khan. He composed vocal as well as background scores for 25 Marathi plays. After receiving a Homi Bhabha fellowship in the late sixties, he taught at a music school run in the USA by sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar. Abhisheki maintained his ties to his homeland of Goa through his association with the Kala Academy, counseling and guiding students from that state.
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