Renowned Hindustani classical vocalist Kishori Amonkar passed away on Monday at her home in central Mumbai after a brief illness.
She was considered to be one of the foremost singers in the Hindustani tradition and an innovator of the Jaipur gharana, or a community of musicians sharing a distinctive musical style.
Amonkar’s mother was the well-known vocalist Mogubai Kurdikar, who trained under Alladiya Khan Saheb, the doyen of the Jaipur gharana.
Amonkar cultivated a deep understanding of her art, largely through extensive study of the ancient texts on music, and her repertoire was grand in its sweep.
She was known primarily for her skilful singing of classical khayal songs set in the traditional ragas of Hindustani music, but also performed the lighter classical thumri repertoire, bhajan, devotional songs and film music. Regardless of musical genre, her performances were marked by vitality and grace.
Besides being a renowned musician, Amonkar was a popular speaker and travelled throughout India giving lectures, most notably on the theory of rasa (feelings, emotions) in music.
In recognition of her contribution to the arts, she received many awards, including the Padma Bhushan (1987) and Padma Vibhushan (2002), two of India’s top civilian honours.
With PTI Inputs