Past Fellows - Pt Vasant Thakar Memorial Fellowship


Nirmalaya Dey (2014-2015)
Pt. Nirmalaya Dey is a disciple of the late Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar. Pt. Nirmalaya Dey estabilished his position as performer and teacher of “Dhrupad” in India and abroad . As a long standing master of dhrupad, Pandit Nirmalya Dey has a large number of serious students. When he is not performing he generously devotes himself to teaching at the Dhrupad Gurukul in New Delhi, India. His student Seuly Polley is part recipient of the fellowship.

Pt. Nityanand Haldipur (2015-16)
The talented Nityanand Haldipur – ranked among the country’s leading flautists and a senior disciple of the reclusive genius, Padma Bhushan Smt. Annapurna Devi – represents the pure essence of a highly revered musical heritage. His first guru who initiated him into the art, technique and aesthetics of flute playing was his father, the late Shri Niranjan Haldipur. Over the next two decades, Nityanand’s training continued under the late Pandit Chidanand Nagarkar, and Pandit Devendra Murdeshwar.

Devashish Dey (2016-17)
Devashish Dey is a fine and talented Hindustani Classical Vocalist based in Varanasi. He has received his training under the expert tutelage of Pt. Pashupati Nath Mishra and Pt. Mukund Vishnu Kalvint. He sings different genres of classical music like the Khayal, Thumri, Dadra, Tappa, Chaith, besides Bhajans and Bengali songs.

Partho Sarothy (2017-18)
Born in 1960, Partho Sarothy 's music embodies the true heritage of Hindustani classical music. His virtuosity on the sarod makes his exploration of the raagas an exercise in harmony and tranquility, and his serious meditative approach makes his music literally soar to unscaled heights of fulfillment. Partho, based in Kolkata started his musical training under his father, late Sudhamoy Chowdhury, who was a disciple of Pt. Radhika Mohan Moitra, the great sarod maestro. Then he took lessons for nearly a decade from Ustad Dhyanesh Khan - son and disciple of legendary sarod player Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. Since 1980, Partho was under the direct guidance of Bharat Ratna Pandit Ravi Shankar, India's greatest musician.

Vidushi Lalith J. Rao (2018-19)
The doyenne of the illustrious Agra-Atrauli Gharana. Lalith Rao ji received intensive musical grooming under the gharana maestros Pandit Rama Rao Naik in Bangalore and Padma Bhushan Ustad Khadim Hussain Khan in Bombay, and for a short while from Pandit Dinkar Kaikini in New Delhi. She has been honoured with numerous prestigious Life-Time Achievement Awards from the Governments of Karnataka, Gujarat and Kerala, and several important music organisations. She is currently grooming several talented disciples both in Bangalore and abroad in the authentic Agra-Atrauli tradition, many of whom are already accomplished performing artistes. She is particularly noted for giving erudite Lec Dems and her innovative musical projects are events eagerly looked forward to by discerning music aficionados.

Vinayak Torvi (2019-20)
A product of Dharwad, disciple of GayanacharyaGururao Deshpande (the doyen of Gwalior Gharana) and Bharat RatnaPt.Bhimsen Joshi, Pt Vinayak Torvi has had a rigorous training for 20 years under Gurukul system. Born on the auspicious day of Ganesh Chaturthi in a Harikatha Vidwan’s family, Torvi ji did his post-graduation in Music from Karnataka University, Dharwad under the able guidance of Pt. Mallikarjun Mansoor, Pt. Basavaraj Rajguru and PadmavibhushanDr.GangubaiHangal.Pandit ji’s style of singing is a beautiful blend of Gwalior and Kirana gharana and has a strong impact of Jaipur and Agra gharana. His contribution to light music – Hindi Bhajans, Kannada Devaranama and Vachana gayan, Marathi abhangs, is enormous.

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