On the flip of the Indian Independence, a 12-year-old Devabrata Chaudhuri, arrived at Senia gharana legend Ut Mushtaq Ali Khan’s residence in Delhi and requested to be his disciple. The sitar exponent was immediately displeased and refused. One other pupil, Nikhil Banerjee, had just lately left after studying from him for just a few months and moved on to Ut Allauddin Khan of the Maihar gharana.
The rancour surfaced within the voice as he spoke to his spouse — ‘Dekho ek aur Bengali Brahmin aaya hai seekhne (See one other Bengali Brahmin has come to be taught’.
However Chaudhuri was adamant. His starvation for music allowed Ut Mushtaq Ali to offer the younger boy from Bangladesh, not simply the secrets and techniques of the swaras and purity of thought course of but additionally an immersive non secular expertise, turning the younger boy right into a grasp of the instrument, permitting him to make a mark on the planet of sitar amid some very important, profitable and senior musicians of the time akin to Ut Vilayat Khan, Pt Ravi Shankar, Banerjee and Ut Halim Jaffer Khan.
Sitar exponent Pt Devabrata Chaudhuri fondly referred to as Debu Chaudhuri on and off stage and torchbearer of the Jaipur Senia gharana, handed away within the Capital within the wee hours of Saturday attributable to Covid-related issues. He was admitted to GTB Hospital on Thursday after his son, sitar participant Prateek Chaudhuri despatched out a social media put up requesting a mattress for his father.
Chaudhuri was affected by dementia and had a cardiac arrest amid Covid-related points. He can be cremated on Monday after his son, who can also be battling Covid, will get discharged from the identical hospital.
Based on his buddy and Gwalior gharana doyen LK Pandit, “What was fascinating about Debu was that he didn’t include a lineage. His ancestry and inheritance had nothing to do with music. A self-made artiste, the mithas in his sitar won’t ever be forgotten”.
Rising up in Ramgopalpur, a small village Mymensing in what’s now Bangladesh, Chaudhuri was 5 when he encountered sitar classes in class and requested his father about studying the instrument. A hitting and lots of scoldings later, “as a result of mausiqi (music) was thought-about beneath teachers” at residence, a sitar was purchased after Chaudhuri’s mom intervened.
He got here to Kolkata and completed his greater research right here, after which he went to be taught from Ut Mushtaq Ali, who was not only a strict guru, however clear in regards to the purity of the artform. He made certain that sitar was performed with 17 frets and never 19-20 as is common. He was not comfy with the improvements led to by Shankar and others and refused the populist thought of constructing his music relatable.
“Which is why he was referred to as the musician of musicians,” Chaudhuri would say. He additionally made certain his favorite pupil caught to custom. And Chaudhuri did. With reverence. He joined Delhi College in 1971 as Reader and was Dean and Head of Music Division apart from performing usually. As a tribute to his guru, he additionally arrange Ut Mushtaq Ali Khan Centre for Performing Arts. He authored quite a few books on music which can be nonetheless referenced by classical music college students and can also be credited with composing eight authentic ragas. “An excellent musician, his humility was in contrast to anybody else’s,” says sitar participant Shubhendra Rao.
Chaudhuri was awarded the Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to music.