Sawai Gandharva

Sawai Gandharva

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Sawai Gandharva

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Rambhau Kundgolkar, popularly known as Pandit Sawai Gandharva (Kannada: ಪಂಡಿತ್ ಸವಾಯಿ ಗಂಧರ್ವ) (Marathi: पंडित सवाई गंधर्व)(January 19, 1886 – September 12, 1952), was a popular Hindustani Classical vocalist and Marathi stage actor of the Kirana Gharana. He was the first and foremost disciple of Utd. Abdul Karim Khan and guru of Bharat Ratna laureate Pt. Bhimsen Joshi. Pt. Gandharva is most well known for popularizing the stylings of the Kirana Gharana through his accomplished disciples, including Pt. Bhimsen Joshi, Dr. Gangubai Hangal, Firoz Dastur, and Pt. Basavaraj Rajguru.

Early life and background

Pt. Gandharva was born in Kundgol, Karnataka. His father, Ganesh Saunshi, was a local clerk employed by Ranganagowda Nadiger, a landlord. Early on, Pt. Gandharva did not show interest in academics but progressed in school through the admiration his teachers had for how "sweetly" he sung poems. Later, he was admitted to Lamington High School in Hubli which he would travel to everyday by train. Pt. Gandharva's father found it increasingly difficult to fund his son's education and eventually his schooling stopped.

Initiation into music

After discontinuing his education, Pt. Gandharva's father put him under the tutelage of Balwantrao Kolhatkar who found himself in Kundgol. From Kolhatkar, Pt. Gandharva learned 75 Dhrupad compositions,...
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