Shrikant Deshpande*, the 62-year-old noted Kirana Gharana vocalist and grandson of the legendary Sawai Gandharva, passed away in Pune on Saturday January 29 2011 due to cancer. A disciple of the late Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Deshpande had given his last public concert at the Sawai Smarak in Shivajinagar last Sunday. (Source: http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_grandson-of-sawai-gandharva-passes-away_1500892)
Deshpande was born into a family of musicians. He was the son of Pramila, the daughter of Rambhau Kundgolkar alias Sawai Gandharva, an exponent of the kirana gharana. He was initiated into music by his father Nanasaheb Deshpande, a disciple of Sawai Gandharva. He learned music under Mohammad Hussain Khansaheb and Saraswatibai Rane.
Shrikant Deshpande was a noted classical singer and the secretary of Arya Sangeet Prasarak Mandal, the organising body behind the Sawai Gandharva Music Festival. He had also taken lessons in classical music from Pandit Firoz Dastur. He was gifted with a mellifluous voice. He began training under Pt Bhimsen Joshi from 1980.The Ragamala Performing Arts, Canada and the Indian Council of Cultural Relations organised his musical tour in the United States and Canada. He also conducted a workshop on Indian classical music in the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg in Canada. He had music concerts for the Maharashtra Mandal in Dubai and the United Kingdom.
Deshpande organised music festivals in Hyderabad Aurangabad, Udgir, Mumbai, Belgaum and Baroda to promote young artists. He worked as advisor with the Lalit Kala Kendra at the University of Pune.He has featured in the Gharana Sammelan in Mumbai and has had the opportunity of singing in prestigious festivals like Tansen Sangeet Samaroha in Gwalior, SPICMACAY and Sawai Gandharva Music Festival in Pune. (Source: http://www.punemirror.in)
* Photo courtesy: Nilesh Walimbe http://www.flickr.com/people/25365312@N08/