Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Pandit Kishan Maharaj 1923-2008

The great Indian tabla player Pandit Kishan Maharaj passed away at Khajuri near Varanasi yesterday at the age of 84. Born in the year 1923 into a family of professional musicians, Kishan Maharaj was initially trained in classical music by his father Pandit Hari Maharaj. After his father's sudden death, his training was taken over by his uncle, Pt. Kanthe Maharaj, one of the great old masters and himself a disciple of Pt. Baldeo Sahai of the Banaras Gharana.
By the time he was eleven, he began performing in concerts. Within a few years, Kishan Maharaj was sharing the stage with stalwarts like Ustad Faiyaz Khan, Pandit Omkarnath Thakur, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Bhimsen Joshi, Vasant Rai, Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar Khan, and many others.

The two late doyens of north indian classical arts Ustad Vilayat Khan (sitar) and Pandit Kishan Maharaj (tabla) playing raag Darbari KanaDa. Both now dearly missed.

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