Hindustani vocalist Lalita Ubhayaker no more

Eminent Hindustani vocalist, Lalita Shivaram Ubhayaker, 84, breathed her last here on Thursday.

Lalita Shivaram UbhayakerIn a musical career that lasted around 70 years, Ubhayaker held sway over the connoisseurs of the music with her unique voice and renditions, growing from being a votary of the impressive Agra Gharana to being a renowned master of the art.

Training

A protege of eminent vocalist, late Rama Rao Naik, she was initially introduced to music and trained by her mother, Parvati Bai Ullal, a veena player.

She was later also trained by Dhrupad masters, Moinuddin and Aminuddin Dagar.

Having got into music at a very tender age, Ubhayaker rose to illustrious heights, winning a special following of her school of music, a career punctuated by several firsts.

Among the many firsts that illuminate her career path, the one closest to her heart was her recital before legendary violinist Yehudi Menuhin. She was one of the first to introduce Indian classical music to Menuhin, who was so pleased with her music that he had requested for another rendition the very next day.

Her first concert was in 1950, through the Bangalore Sangeetha Sabha and she went on to perform in many more, including the Tansen Festival (Kolkata), Gandharva Vidyalaya National Musical Conference (Hyderabad), the national programmes of All India Radio and so on. She was also one of the first women Hindustani classical vocalists to perform in Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden and Italy.

She was also a recipient of several awards, including a citation by the Karnataka Ganakala Parishad for her contribution to music (1990), the Rajyotsava Award (1992) and the Karnataka Sangeetha Nritya Academy Award.

“Bangalore has lost a gem in the world of music,” said Smitha Bellur, a Hindustani vocalist.

Music critic Mysore Subramanya said that she worked tirelessly to propagate all forms of music and art.

Devnandan Ubhayaker Yuva Sangeetotsav, which she started in 1987 in memory of her son Devnandan Ubhayaker and Smrithinandan Cultural Centre have been platforms for various artistes in the last 25 years and the organisation, Ashvasana, worked for the welfare of the elderly, he added.

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