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Music of remembrance: Classical music vocalist Madhup Mudgal's tribute to Kumar Gandharva

Listening to vocalist Kumar Gandharva an influence on classical music stalwart, Madhup Mudgal, who was very young when Gandharva’s music fell upon his ears.

Published: 18th August 2019 10:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th August 2019 10:27 AM   |  A+A-

Classical music vocalist, Madhup Mudgal will dole purist-style classical renditions at the August 18 show celebrating poet, theatre critic and editor Nemi Chandra Jain 

Classical music vocalist, Madhup Mudgal will dole purist-style classical renditions at the August 18 show celebrating poet, theatre critic and editor Nemi Chandra Jain 

Some memories have a haunting quality. Strains of emotions felt during the time of the experience stay as indelible marks of reminiscence.

Listening to vocalist Kumar Gandharva had that influence on classical music stalwart, Madhup Mudgal, who was very young when Gandharva’s music fell upon his ears.

But as he matured, both in the arts and life, he understood its power.

Performing at a classical musical evening, Raag Sandhya, organised by Natarang Pratishthan that is celebrating the birth centenary of the poet, theatre critic and editor Nemi Chandra Jain, Mudgal will pay tribute to the doyens of the music world like Jain and Gandharva who have framed India’s art and culture trajectory.  

Mudgal looks for occasions such as these that sanctifies our classical inheritance. “What are we? Just a sum total of our values. As teachers, we must keep them safe and by respecting and remembering them, we do that,” he says. Preceding Mudgal’s offering to Jain, a lecture by the eminent historian Dr Romila Thapar on Presence of The Other: Religion and Society in Early North India took place.

There was also a dramatic presentation, Sakshatkar Adhura Hai, based on the poetry and life of Nemi Chandra Jain by theatre director Bansi Kaul. 

The finale will see Mudgal with his purist-style classical renditions in his signature old-school seriousness. 

“This to me is very important. It’s what my guru, Gandharvaji, maintained. The purity of Raag was very important to him. Oftentimes, people viewed him as a rebel but he wasn’t that.

All he was, was a stickler for correctness and I am just like that,” says Mudgal, who shares the same values with his students at the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya of which he is the principal.

He is also the conductor of the well-received Gandharva Choir. In addition to musical excellence, he also gained some important life values from his guru.

Responsibility towards the civic duties of one’s country helms as non-negotiable.

To cast your vote, pay income tax, and singing the national anthem in tune, are some of the things he assimilated. 

“My guru said, you can do whatever you want once you leave my precincts but till you are here, you follow what I say,” says Mudgal, adding, “I adhere to that unfailingly.

There was a time when different cultures were easily distinctive based on their innate values. The French, for example, stood out in their way of being, but today, they look like everybody else.

We need to protect our identity.” And Mudgal tries to do that by safeguarding his art. 

WHAT: Madhup Mudgal to perform at Raag Sandhya event  by Natarang Pratishthan 

WHEN: August 18, 6:30 pm, AT: Triveni Kala Sangam, 205, Tansen Marg, Mandi House  


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