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Radhika Budhkar [Gwalior Gharana]

Born in a family of musicians, Radhika is the grand daughter of late Pt. Balabhau Umdekar popularly known as “Kundal Guru”, a great exponent of Gwalior Gharana of Hindustani classical music. Ranked as a “High” Grade artist, Radhika is the disciple of her father Shri Shriram Umdekar, a well known ‘Sitar’, Surbahar’ and Rudra Veena artist.

The third in the generation of musician Radhika started her musical journey by playing Sitar. Fascinated to do something different and a passion to save an extinct instrument inspired Radhika to pursue Vichitraveena at a very early age of eight years.

Academically she has got to her credit ‘kovid’ in Sitar Vadan and Masters Degree in Sitar, both with Gold Medal. Ph.D.in Indian classical music .

The Instrument and the music style:

A rare and difficult instrument to play Vichitraveena does not have frets, hence notes have to be produced by sheer dint of practice in tandem with a pair of well tuned ears. Notes in the instrument are produced in a unique way by pressing the open strings with a “Shaligrama”. Radhika has made a few changes in the instrument which allows her to produce sound effects of contemporary stringed instrument which is not attempted by any other player of Vichitraveena. Radhika plays both “Gatkari” as well as “Dhrupad” anga on Vichitraveena.

Achievements:

  • Honoured by the title of “TOYI” (Ten Outstanding Young Indian) by Indian Jaycees.
  • Honoured by the title of “Surmani” by Sursingar sansad Mumbai 2002.
  • Honoured by the title of “Gwalior Ratna” by Gwalior Jaycees.
  • Honoured by the title of “Sangeet Kala Ratna” by Matru Udbodhan Ashram, Patna.
  • Honoured by the title of “Nadsadhak” by Nad Sadhna Samiti, Agra.
  • Awarded National Talent search Scholarship by centre for cultural resources and training, New Delhi.
  • Awarded Durlabh sangeet shaily scholarship by Ustad Alauddin khan sangeet Academy Bhopal.
  • Awarded Scholarship by Ministry of tourism & culture, Govt. of India for Vichitraveena.
  • Gold Medal at 13th Yuva Sangeet Nritya Mahotsav organized by south central zone cultural in 2000.
  • She participated at the All India Radio music competition held by Akashvani was given special award and Gold medal and recognition as approved artist of all India Radio.
  • Bronze Medal at National Youth Festival Calcutta in 1997.
  • Appreciated by Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and Violin maestro Late Pt. V.G. Jog while performing at Hafiz Ali Khan trust in 1998.
  • Smt. Usha Rammurti late Pt. Gopal shankar Mishra Ustad Shmim Ahmad and Pt. Giriraj appreciated the immense talent in the “Vichitraveena”.
  • CD released by Musician’s guild Mumbai.

Performances:

Radhika has performed in various prestigious music conferences successfully which includes Tansen sangeet Samaroh, Gwalior, Uttaradhikar at Bharat Bhavan Bhopal, Swarna Sangeet Pratibha Utsav (oraganised by Sangeet Natak Academy) , Jaipur, Kirti Kala Mandir Nashik, Deshpande Auditorium Nagpur , Shani Mandir, Indore, Kal Ke Kalakar Sangeet Sammelen, Haridas Sangeet Sammelan Mumbai, Durlabh Vadhya Vinod in Bharat Bhavan, Bhopal, Chandigarh Sangeet Sammelan, Dhrupad Mela, Banaras Dhrupad Samaroh Jaipur, Dhrupad Virasat Samaroh Jaipur,Swayamsiddha etc.

She regularly performs Vichitra Veena for AIR and T.V.