Excitement about the RFPA Collaboration

This is the first time that I am collaborating with RFPA for a digital event. I am looking forward to the experience.

Views on Digital Events

When we asked Padmini Ji how she felt about the digital broadcast of events and music shows, we found she was amazingly open to this new mode of content dissemination.

She personally feels that the digital broadcasting of events during the pandemic certainly helped people to feel connected virtually whilst we were all grappling with the challenges of social isolation, coping with insecurities on various fronts, especially the health of loved ones, and trying to come to terms with an altered reality of a new world.

Padmini Ji says the opportunities to experience Art in its myriad forms, from the comfort and safety of our own homes has lent a new dimension to our lives.

Influences on her musical Journey

It is not possible to single out one person’s name, but some of the artistes whose music has deeply influenced me are Gaana Saraswati Kishori ji Amonkar, Ustad Amir Khan saab, Pt. Nikhil Banerjee, Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan saab and Begum Akhtar Ji.

Padmini Rao in her own words about her background

Early childhood memories are of being steeped in an atmosphere of music all the time. Although I do not come from a family of musicians (my father is a doctor and my mother a teacher), we were blessed to be closely associated with the Dagar family in Chembur-Mumbai, where I spent my growing years.

Weekends were invariably spent at the Dagar residence listening to informal, often impromptu music sessions. I did not realise it then, but the seeds for my chosen career path were probably sowed during those childhood years.

I received my vocal musical initiation at a relatively tender age under the guidance of Pandit Manohar Otavkar. Thereafter, over a period of seven years, I received training in the sitar from Smt. Pramila Dagar.

Discovering that my first love was for vocal music, I reverted to the vocal form, undergoing 11 years of rigorous training in voice culture under the guidance of Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Khan Dagar, the renowned scholar and Dhrupad and Rudra Veena maestro. This would prove to be the turning point in my life. It was the toughest, most challenging and yet the most enriching and exciting phase of my life.

Indian classical music has traditionally been taught in a dedicated environment called the guru-shishya parampara (“teacher-student lineage”) where the shishya or pupil stays at the guru’s residence and undergoes rigorous musical training under the tutelage of an accomplished guru or teacher over a large number of years. In the modern context, however, this has metamorphosed into an intensive and rigorous one-on one training with the Guru.

During this phase, as my interest and understanding flowered under the able guidance of Ustad Z.M. Dagar, I completed my Master’s Degree in Music from the SNDT University under the tutelage of Dr. Prabha Atre. This was to lay the foundation for a long, fruitful, and enriching association with Dr. Atre, which continues to this day.

This wonderful musical voyage has seen me through over three decades of hard training, polishing, and perfection at the hands of my Gurus, who have lovingly and painstakingly molded, guided, shaped and steered me along this path.

What will Padmini Ji perform in e-Swaranubhuti April 2022

In the upcoming e-Swara Anubhuti concert, I will be presenting

  1. Raag Bhairav
  2. Raag Miyan ki Todi
  3. Meera Bhajan in Raag Mishra Khamaj
  4. Shuddha Bhairavi
  5. Concluding with a Purandara Dasa composition in Bhairavi

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