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Arun Kashalkar [Agra-Gwalior Gharana]

Among the leading vocalists of today, one name that prominently features is that of Pandit Arun Kashalkar. For several years Kashalkar ji has mesmerized audiences with his enthralling performances.

He was initiated into the field of Indian classical music by his father, the renowned musicologist and teacher Pt. N.D. Kashalkar, who ensured that he laid a solid foundation on which a magnificent edifice could be created. Kashalkar ji, in the following years, has been blessed with the guidance of many greats of varied gharanas who have molded and shaped his Gayaki. He had the good fortune to learn under Pt. Rajabhau Kogje and Pt. Ram Marathe. Then followed a significant period for Kashalkarji, which took his gayaki to new heights.

The stalwart vocalist and violinist of Gwalior, Jaipur and Agra gharanas, Pt.Gajananrao Joshi, who has guided several of the top vocalists in the country today, took Kashalkarji under his wings and nurtured the inherent qualities that Kashalkarji already possessed. The renowned vocalist of Agra gharana, Pt.Babanrao Haldankar also taught Kashalkarji and helped shape his style towards a more Agra gharana - Oriented one.

Steeped in traditional 'Guru-Shishya' parampara, rigorous riyaz and introspection, Kashalkarji's gayaki is an amalgamation of Gwalior, Jaipur and Agra styles, though the emphasis is more on the lively and rhythm-oriented style of Agra gharanas. Time and again, Kashalkarji has wowed audiences all over India. The 'nomtom', 'bols', 'taans' of great force and boundless creativity generate concerts of such quality as few can surpass. He gives vent to his creativity and love for poetry by composing his own 'bandishes' under the pseudonym of 'Rasdaas'. The sheer poetry and virtuosity of these compositions have helped create a name of Kashalkarji even as a foremost composer.

He has earned his 'Sangeetacharya' from Akhil Bharatiya Gandharv mahavidyalaya mandal, for his research on the Bandishes of Ustad Vilayat Hussain Khan Saheb of Agra Gharana. He has also guided several others in their quest for similar doctorate honours. He was connected with the Kala Academy in Panjim, Goa as a Director for Indian classical Music in the late 90's.

He has naturally been an 'A' grade artist on Akashwani (All India Radio) and a regular on Doordarshan (Television) and featured on National programmes. He has performed at some of the biggest and most prestigious venues as

  • Sawai Gandharv festival, Pune.
  • Alladiya Khan Saheb festival, Mumbai.
  • Fayyaz Khan Saheb festival, Baroda.
  • Dadar Matunga cultural festival, Mumbai.
  • National Centre for performing arts (NCPA)
  • Sangeet research Academy, Kolkata .. the list goes on

He has been invited as a performing expert on 'Gharana Gayaki' in Indian classical music for courses organised under the UGC scheme for music lectures held at Nagpur, Baroda, Shanti Niketan, Indira vishwavidyalaya, Khairagad etc.

Kashalkarji's musical career spans more than 3 decades of hectic schedule of concerts, lecture demonstrations and grooming students in the field of music.