The legends from whom I have learned this art.
Ustad Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan
Padma Bhushan Ustad Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan was born in 1929 in the village of Jawra, Madhya Pradesh. He received his Hindustani music training from his father, Ustad Jaffer Khan of the Bande Ali Gharana of Indore, and began performing on the concert stage at an early age.
From the 1950s to the 1970s, he was one of the established sitar greats and part of the ruling trinity, along with Pandit Ravi Shankar and Ustad Vilayet Khan Saheb.
Ustad Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan was also a researcher of Sitar techniques. In 1976, he founded the Halim Academy of Sitar in Bombay to provide systematic training to younger musicians. He was a well-known broadcaster and had numerous landmark gramophone recordings to his credit. He also composed music for films such as Goonj Uthi Shehnai and Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje.
For his contributions to music, he received several prestigious awards such as the Padma Shri in 1970, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1987, the Gaurav Puraskar of the Government of Maharashtra in 1990, and the Shikhar Samman of the Government of Madhya Pradesh in 1991.
Pandit Harashankar Bhattacharya, my father, was born into a musical family with a musical lineage spanning three generations. His grandfather was the renowned sitarist "Sitariya" Lalmohon Bhattacharya. Pandit Harashankar Bhattacharya started learning the sitar from his father, Late Ganga Shankar Bhattacharya, and later received guidance from the Late Murali Dhar Thakur of Bisnupur Gharana.
In 1968, he went to Mumbai to study under the tutelage of Padma Bhushan Ustad Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan Sahab of Indore Gharana and learned the Beenkar style. Under Ustad Ji's strict guidance, he even stayed with him at his residence to absorb the special Bazz, named Jaffer Khani Bazz.
Pandit Harashankar Bhattacharya is widely regarded as a sitarist par excellence and occupies a preeminent position among the leading sitarists of India. He won several competitions, including the All India Music Competition organized by Prayag Sangeet Samitee, Allahabad, Bharati Bhaban Burnpur, Kulti, Adra, and many others.
Throughout his career, Pandit Harashankar Bhattacharya received numerous awards and accolades. He was honored with the title of "Sur Moni" by the famous organization "Sur Singer Samsad" of Mumbai, and the title of "Sangeet Praveen" by Prayag Sangeet Samity of Allahabad. He is also an empaneled artist of ICCR and has taken part in several classical conferences in India and abroad, including the USSR, Nepal, and Bhutan, where he left a lasting impression on his listeners.
Pandit Harashankar Bhattacharya was a regular artiste of grade "A-TOP" in AIR and TV and worked with Shri Ram Bharatiya Kala Kendra of Delhi. He later moved to Kolkata and worked in the Information and Cultural Affairs of the Government of West Bengal as a senior-most sitarist. He also served as a Music Director in "APNA UTSAV," a festival organized by the Government of West Bengal.
Pandit Harashankar Bhattacharya is a regular examiner of Rabindra Bharati University, Vishwa Bharati University, and several other top-level organizations across India.