Sarod maestro set to perform in city today

Pandit Rajeev Taranath, 86, is a disciple of the legendary Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.

Sarod maestro Rajeev Taranath, now a Padma Shri, is performing in Bengaluru on Saturday.

A longtime resident of Bengaluru, he now lives in Mysuru, playing, performing and teaching at 86.

Pundit Parameshwara Hegde, Sangeeta Sambhrama and Sahiti mathu Kalavidara Vedike is honouring the sarod maestro at an event upon him receiving the ‘Padma Shri’ title, with I M Vittal Murthy, Ustad Fayaz Khan and C Chandrashekar as guests.

An inheritor of multiple cultures, he privileges honesty, compassion and secularism as the most enabling values in life.

Taranath inhabits the Kannada world acquired from his illustrious father, the multi-faceted Pandit Taranath who shaped the Kannada consciousness in the early 20th century.

He has absorbed the richness of Tamil culture endowed by his mother Sumathi Bai, a brilliant orator in English, and a writer who championed the cause of women.

Taranath is no less the son of the legendary Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, his guru, whom he Eeverentially acknowledges as “my own soul and body, my playing fingers and my music”.

Taranath quit an illustrious career in the academic world and committed himself to a lifetime with the  sarod and Ali Akbar’s music. The Maihar gharana taught music with a rare openness, unlike other gharanas that chose to remain private and closed-door. 

The Paramahamsa-like saint-musician Baba Allauddin Khan nurtured diverse talents like Nikhil Banerjee, Ravishankar, Pannalal Ghosh, V G Jog and his own children Annapoorna Devi and Ali Akbar Khan.

Taranath’s musical personality evolved in that liberal world, sailing through the tough formative years, and under the motherly care of Annapoorna Devi and the guidance of Ravishankar.

Taranath says of his guru Ali Akbar, “The distinct contribution of Khansaab was his extreme sensitivity to melody. He sucked the juice out of every note and every movement. When he came and stayed on a note, quite often one felt, ‘That’s it’. It was so delicate and so pure.” He observed the note changed tone depending on the raga.

Taranath’s music has over the years acquired a dignity and charm that results from consistent and rigorous sadhane alone. The melancholic meditation he infuses into his exploration of ragas like Basant Mukhari or Ahir Bhairav is marked by an intense combination of musical intellect and emotion. Rare ragas like Gaurimanjari, Madhumalathi and rare ragamalas and scintillating compositions of the Maihar gharana unfold in his concerts showcasing pristine beauty and rhythmic freshness along a dramatic journey.

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Sarod maestro set to perform in city today

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