September 17, 2019

Sawai Gandharva

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SAWAI GANDHARVA

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SAWAI GANDHARVA

Sawai Gandharva

Rambhau Kundgolkar, popularly known as Sawai Gandharva (1886 – September 12, 1952), was a well known Hindustani vocalist. He was a disciple of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan and helped popularize the Kirana Gharana. Sawai Gandharwa was born in Kundgol, twenty km south of Hubli, in Karnataka in 1886. Although not from a musical family, he developed a keen interest in music. He started his training in classical music under the tutelage of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan.

Rambhau did not complete his musical education. Against the wishes of his teacher, he joined a drama company and became popular as a singer in Marathi theatre. [5] He worked for Govindrao Tembe’s Shivraj Natak Mandali for some time, becoming famous for playing female roles. Although he became a well known classical vocalist, his most enduring legacy is that he trained great artists who would carry on the name of the Kirana Gharana, like Gangubai Hangal, Bhimsen Joshi, and Feroze Dastur. Bhimsen Joshi holds the annual Sawai Gandharva Music Festival in Pune, in memory of his guru Sawai Gandharva. The festival was held on a modest scale for first two decades. In 1970s and 1980s, its popularity skyrocketed.

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