‘Music is enlightenment’

Dr Pandit Mrutyunjaya Shettar wears many hats. Some of these are a Hindustani vocalist, a theatre director, actor and is a local legend

Published: 14th March 2018 11:25 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th March 2018 06:19 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Dharwad based Pandit Mrutyunjaya is a gold medalist in Bachelors, Masters in Music, PhD Doctorate, philosophy speaker, and theatre actor. His forte however, lies in singing Thumri, Dadra, Hori, Khajari, Tappa, Chaiti and Jhoola and other vocal forms.

“Music is not just entertainment, but is enlightenment and I cannot consider it as my profession. It’s my passion,” believes Pandit Mrutyunjaya, a representative of Jaipur-Atrori, Kirana and Gwalior gharanas (music ideologies).

Born into a family of of litterateurs, even Shettar’s grandfather Late Prof S S Basavanal was a noted writer, educationalist, multi lingual expert, scholar and one of the founder members of KLE (Karnatak Lingayat Education) Society.

The family’s stature drew famous personalities like poets and writers. Aa Na Kru, Maasti Venkatesh Iyengar, veteran Hindustani vocalist Pandit Mallikarjun Mansur were regular visitors
“Pandit Mansur sang regularly at our place and my grandfather once suggested him to compose music to Vachana Sahitya (compositions of Basavanna and others) as it explains the path towards divinity and better ways to lead a truthful life,” reminisces Shettar.

Influenced by the Pandit’s singing, Shettar gave his first concert at the age of five before getting classically trained. A long list of teachers and influencers, it is Pandit Kulkarni that stands out in his memory.“During my training days, I remember waiting at guru’s place and the very sight of his arrival made me tense. His routine was to remove his black cap and coat before entering the house and that used to make me too nervous to sing even a note. Such was our respect towards him,” he recalled.

A strict teacher, few notes in a particular raag practiced for hours together, failed to satisfy him.  Noting that the children of this generation carry similar passion, he said, “ Lately I have been seeing that kids are showing interest in learning classical music but the sad part is they are in a hurry to give concerts even before learning.”

Talking about the college with a small population of 120, he explained that teaching needs enormous patience and shaping the student’s personality. When he is not teaching, Pandi Shettar is busy conducting concerts across India and the world.  Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, San Francisco, Maryland, New York, Toronto, Montreal, Canada, to name a few. Many art circles and  international clubs have conferred him with awards like Rashtreeya Gaurav Award, Sangeet Ratnakar and more.

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