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Friday, December 01, 2006

Honour for Ganapati Bhat

Bangalore: Pandit Ganapati Bhat, a leading vocalist belonging to the Kirana Gharana has been awarded the Vatsalabai Bhimsen Joshi Puraskar for 2006, instituted by the Pune-based Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal.

Govind Bedekar, treasurer of the mandal, has communicated this to Pandit Bhat in a letter. Mr. Bhat runs a music school in the gurukula tradition in his native village Hasanagi in Uttara Kannada district.

A committee headed by vocalists Gangubai Hangal, Bhimsen Joshi and Feroz Dastur, selected Pandit Bhat for the puraskar. Kalpanataayi Zokarkar of Indore got the award in 2005. It carries a memento and a cash prize of Rs. 25,000.

The award will be presented to Pandit Bhat on the occasion of 54th Sawai Gandharva Music Festival to be held in Pune from December 7 to 10.

Mr. Bhat has sent a letter to the mandal expressing his happiness and dedicating the award to the great musicians of Karnataka — the late Sawai Gandharva, the late Rajguru Basavaraj, Dr. Hangal, the late Kumar Gandharva, the late Mallikarjun Mansur, Pandit Joshi and Panchakshari Gawai.

Mr. Bhat, who won the Rajyotsava Award in 1993, has performed four times at the prestigious Sawai Gandharva Sammelan, Pune, and it was here that he got recognition. His free gurukul in Hasanagi is known as "Nadagrama". He conducts the music festival "Smruti Sangeet Sammelan" in the village every year in memory of his guru, Pandit Rajguru.

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