Mogubai Kurdikar (Marathi: मोगुबाई कुर्डीकर) (July 15, 1904 – February 10, 2001) was a renowned North Indian classical vocalist of the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana. Mogu Kurdikar was born in a “kalāwant” (entertainers) community in the village of Kurdi in the then Portuguese Goa. When she was ten years old, her mother, Jayashreebāi, took her to the temple at Zambavli, and arranged for a wandering holyman to teach music to Mogu for a while. Later she took Mogu to a traveling theater company, the Chandreshwar Bhootnāth Sangeet Mandali, and the company took Mogu in as an actress.
While Mogu was with Chandreshwar Bhootnath Mandali, her mother died. A legend says that on her deathbed the mother told Mogu that her soul would not rest in peace until Mogu became a famous singer. The theater company soon went bankrupt, and the rival Sātārkar Stree Sangeet Mandali hired Mogu. She played commendably the parts such as of Kinkini in the play, Punyaprabhāv, and of the heroine Subhadrā in the play with the same name, Subhadrā. A conflict arose, however, between Mogu and one of the senior women in the theater company, who then expelled Mogu from the company. Mogu moved to Sāngli, and took some music lessons from Ināyat Khān of the Rāmpur-Sahaswan gharānā. For some reason, however, he too soon decided to terminate giving her further lessons. Mogubai trained students such as Padma Talwalkar, Kamal Tambe, Wamanrao Deshpande, Suhasini Mulgaonkar, Babanrao Haldankar, Arun Dravid, and her own daughter, Kishori Amonkar (in a rare instance both daughter and mother have been honored with the Padma Bhushan award for their musical contributions.) Some of Mogubai’s recordings have been reissued as a volume of RPG Music’s Vintage 78 RPM Recordings on CD series (CDNF150596).
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