Shubha Mudgal (born 1949) is a well-known Indian singer of Hindustani classical music, Khayal, Thumri, Dadra, and popular Indian Pop music. She has been awarded the 1996 National Film Award for Best Non-Feature Film Music Direction for ‘Amrit Beej’, the 1998 Gold Plaque Award for Special Achievement in Music, at the 34th Chicago International Film Festival, for her music in the film Dance of the Wind (1997), and the Padma Shri in 2000.
Born in an academic family to Skand and Jaya Gupta in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. Both her parents were professors of English literature at Allahabad University, with deep interest in classical Hindustani music and Kathak. Her paternal grandfather, Prof. P. C. Gupta was also a professor at Allahabad University. She attended St. Mary’s Convent Inter College. As a young girl she started learning Kathak in Allahabad following the foot steps of her sister. She replied once to a dance examiner’s routine query of “Aap kis gharaane ka naachti hain (what gharana (house/style) do you dance from?)” with the retort “Hum apne gharaane ka naachti hain (I dance from my own gharana)” . She later switched to Hindustani classical music as her vocation of choice while maintaining the same individualistic attitude. Her first traditional teacher (guru) was Pandit Ramashreya Jha in Allahabad.
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