Renowned Indian classical vocalist Kishori Amonkar, 84, died on Monday. According to reports, the noted musician passed away peacefully during her sleep at 9.30 pm after having dinner at home in Mumbai’s Prabhadevi. Amonkar recently gave a performance at the Bhilwara group classical musical festival at Delhi’s Kamani Auditorium.
Considered one of the foremost singers in Hindustani classical tradition, Amonkar is known for her contribution and innovation in the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana of music, and her distinctive style of khayal gayiki as well as thumri and bhajan.
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Amonkar learnt music under the tutelage of her mother, the late, great Mogubai Kurdikar. “Aai was so strict that she would sing the sthayi and antara only twice and not a third time. I had to get every contour of the piece in those two instances. That taught me concentration. The guru needs to be this good,” Amonkar had said in an interview to Indian Express in December 2016.
Apart from training under her mother, Amonkar learnt music from Anwar Hussain Khan of Agra gharana, Anjanibai Malpekar of Bhendi Bazar gharana, Sharadchandra Arolkar of Gwalior gharana and Goa’s stalwart Balkrishnabuwa Parwatkar.
Amonkar died just a week before she would have turned 85 on April 10.
The singer has been awarded the Padma Bhushan (1987) and the Padma Vibhushan (2002) for an exemplary career. She was also a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1985 and the SNA Fellowship for 2009. In 1991, she was awarded the prestigious Dr TMA Pai Outstanding Konkani Award.