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Navras Newsletter, November 2014 , Page 1 of 1 Back

2016-06-30: Vidushi Veena Sahasrabuddhe Passes Away


14 Sep 1948 - 29 June 2016

It is with a profound sense of sadness we inform our listeners and friends of the untimely passing of the great Hindustani Classical vocalist, Vidushi Veena Sahasrabuddhe in Pune, India tonight. Several years back at the prime of her career she was struck down with Parkinson's Disease which steadily took its toll on her. A wonderful singer, very learned in her art form and a great teacher has been taken away from us.

She came from a prominent musical family, brought up in Madhya Pradesh albeit of Maharashtrian origin. Her father, Shankar Shripad Bodas was a disciple of the legendary vocalist Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar. Veenaji began her early musical education under her father and then under her brother Kashinath Shankar Bodas. She also learned Kathak dancing in her childhood. Among her many honours, the more prominent was the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2013.

We all at Navras Records were very privileged to have been associated with her personally and through her concert performances for us and her recordings on our Catalogue. Our condolences to her immediate family and to all her fans. May God grant her soul eternal peace!

We append below an appreciation of her by Martin Clayton, extracted from the sleeve notes of one of her Navras albums, "Sawani". We also present an excerpt of a rare vocal Ragamala from that album.

In Indian Classical Music, a Raagmala is far more frequently performed in Instrumental Music and rather rarely in Vocal Music. Here is a rare such performance - an excerpt of a Raagmala based on Raga Rageshri by one of the foremost vocalists Veena Sahasrabuddhe, from a Navras Records album titled "SAWANI" (NRCD 0167).


Veena Sahasrabuddhe was born in Kanpur in 1948, the daughter of Pandit Shankar Shripad Bodas, who was a disciple of Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar. Her training began with Kathak dance at a young age, something that has helped in the development of her rhythmic sense. She then began to learn singing from her father, continued studying with her elder brother, Pandit Kashinath Shankar Bodas, and has subsequently learnt from a number of eminent musicians including Pandit Vasant Thakar, Pandit Balwantrai Bhatt, and Pandit Gajananbua Joshi.

Veena's background and training identify her as a product of the Gwalior gharana of khyal singing, although in truth she has not been afraid to develop her own individual style, blending elements from a variety of sources. The listener is struck not only by her total command of vocal technique, but also by her musical imagination and sensitivity. An artist who thinks deeply about her music, her presentations are always as meticulously planned as they are inspired. In this she selects from a wide repertoire, including khyals in a variety of taals and tempi (many of which she composes herself), exciting taranas, and traditional bhajans in modern arrangements. It is hardly surprising that since her first major concert in 1984, she has established herself firmly as one of the country's most popular classical musicians. As well as a performer and composer, she is also a fine teacher, and is currently Adjunct Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.

Martin Clayton (2004)

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