Uday Bhawalkar



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Uday Bhawalkar

Uday Bhawalkar is a flagbearer for Dhrupad, and a strong force in its growing recognition and popularity. Uday believes that when immersed in the note and raga, the self disappears and music takes on its own existence; the principle of ‘darshan'. These values are helping him on the path of devotion to Dhrupad. Dhrupad is one of the oldest forms of North Indian classical music and Uday maintains its majesty and subtle nuances.

Uday spent over 12 years studying and living in the traditional guru-shishya parampara with Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar (Vocal) and Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar (Rudra-Veena), the towering pillars of the Dhrupad tradition. During this period there was a simple and complete concentration on the music itself. This intimate relationship, in which the Ustads willingly gave their inner secrets along with Uday's devotion, brought him to a deep sense of completeness and wholeness.

An inspiring, significant moment in this period was when Ustad Nasir Aminuddin Dagar, the eldest of the Dagar family, upon first hearing Uday's performance in 1987, blessed him with a gold medal. Uday has an engaging style and is able to reach out and communicate with audiences of all backgrounds. Since his first performance at Bhopal in 1985, Uday has performed in a number of prestigious festivals and events in India and abroad. Uday has also collaborated with artists from other disciplines and cultures including the contemporary dancer Astad Deboo, Ensemble Modern in Germany and musicians from Spain, Georgia and the USA. Uday has been blessed by Ustad Zakir Hussain who accompanied him on the Pakhawaj at the Prithvi Music Festival, Mumbai. Additionally, Pandit Suresh Talwalkar and Shri Sukhvinder Singh Namdhari have accompanied Uday on the Tabla in a number of concerts. Uday has contributed to the soundtracks of International Art films including Mani Kaul's “Cloud Door”, Aparna Sen's “Mr & Mrs Iyer”, Amol Palekar's “Anahat”, Renuka Shahane's “RITA” and others. Aside from being a performing artist, Uday is a very sensitive teacher and has a devoted following of students committed to pursuing the path of Dhrupad.

His workshops have been hosted by Universities in India, Europe and the USA. His workshops are always stimulating and he is supportive of all participants' efforts whether they are professional musicians or small children. In 2012, Uday became an empanelled Guru at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy in Kolkata. The ITC SRA is one of India's most recognized musical institutions for its contribution to Hindustani Classical musical education. Uday has also received prestigious awards including the Kumar Gandharva Samman given by the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh (2001) and the Raza Foundation Award (2007) given personally by the eminent painter, S.H. Raza.

Uday believes in gaining the state of “sahaj”, being equally at ease in concerts large or small. While teaching, Uday creates a nurturing environment for his students and continues to bring a new life to the ancient tradition of Dhrupad. For Uday, every musical act is a blessing and a stage on his life's journey.


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Tar Shehani

A type of esraj (Indian bowed instrument) that has a similar sound to a violin


The devotional, sacred music of the Sufis (Islamic mystics)

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