Pandit Kumar Gandharva was an epoch-making musician of the North Indian music tradition of Khayal. He pushed boundaries both within the world of Khayal and beyond it. His Khayal renditions are known for pathbreaking experiments with newer sounds and presentational strategies while retaining the fragrance of traditional ways. At the heart of his stunningly creative output lies his search for, and engagement with, the simplicity and spontaneity of the dhun - a melody, a tune - that is the kernel of every Raga; the dhun also has the power to enrapture and turn into an obsession.
Outside the world of Khayal, his intense engagement with the folk music of Malwa led to curated programmes with that repertoire but also imbued his music with an abandon rarely encountered in the Art Music that is Khayal. His nirguni bhajans have a penetrative impact with an utterly original soundscape he created. He drew from the sound of the wandering minstrels, a sound that he said has an emptiness - sunyata - at its centre. Kumarji’s study of the music of Bal Gandharva from the world of Musical Theatre, his engagement with the poetry of Meera, Surdas and others of the bhakti tradition, his commitment to creating not a Gharana but thinking musicians through his teaching, his deep sensitivity to the beauty and power of the other arts are all celebrated aspects of his persona.
The Performing and Visual Arts division of the School of Arts and Sciences of Ahmedabad University is privileged to offer a tribute to Pandit Kumar Gandharva during his centenary birth year with a year-long series of events. The series is designed to offer a befitting tribute to the master while reflecting the unique vision of the Integrated Arts programme of Ahmedabad University. The events feature artists and scholars from dance, music, architecture, painting, and film offering varied perspectives on his music to benefit students and the larger musical and artistic community.
Ahmedabad University is delighted to invite you to these celebrations.
Schedule of Events*
*The scheduling of the events is subject to change.
Please register here to get updates about the events.