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Gundecha Brothers
Gundecha Brothers (2012). Left to right: youngest brother Akhilesh Gundecha (Pakhawaj), younger brother Ramakant Gundecha (Vocal), elder brother Umakant Gundecha (Vocal)
Gundecha Brothers (2012). Left to right: youngest brother Akhilesh Gundecha (Pakhawaj), younger brother Ramakant Gundecha (Vocal), elder brother Umakant Gundecha (Vocal)
Background information
OriginUjjain, India
GenresHindustani classical music, Dagar vani
Occupation(s)Classical Vocalist
Years active1985 – present
LabelsHMV, Music Today
WebsiteOfficial site

The Gundecha Brothers are Indian classical singers of the dhrupad genre of the Dagar vani. From 1985 to 2019 the duo consisted of brothers Umakant Gundecha and Ramakant Gundecha and were awarded the Padma Shri for art for 2012.[1] Following the death of Ramakant Gundecha in 2019, his son Anant began to perform with Umakant in the Gundecha bandhu.[2]

Early life and background

They studied at the local Madhav Music College.[citation needed] Umakant has a post-graduate degree in music and economics and the younger Ramakant in music and commerce.[citation needed]

They moved to Bhopal in 1981 for training in Dhrupad music under Zia Fariduddin Dagar and his brother Zia Mohiuddin Dagar. Both gurus were second cousins of the two major Dhrupad forces in the second half of the 20th century; two duos known as the senior Dagar Brothers (Nasir Moinuddin & Nasir Aminuddin) and the junior Dagar Brothers (Nasir Zahiruddin & Nasir Faiyazuddin) respectively.

Ramakant Gundecha died in Bhopal on 8 November 2019 from a heart attack at the age of 57. He was married and had a son.[3] He was cremated on 9 November 2019 in Bhopal.[3]

Career

Ramakant Gundecha (2012)
Ramakant Gundecha (2012)

After training for four years, they performed in public for the first time in May 1985, at the Uttaradhikar dance and music festival in Bhopal. They have worked to expand the dhrupad repertoire by incorporating texts by Hindi poets such as Tulsidas, Padmakar and Nirala.

The Gundecha Brothers also sing the Dhrupad compositions of India's senior Kathak exponent Mahamahopadhyay Dr. Pandit Puru Dadheech, in particular, his famous Shankar Pralayankar composition.[4]

They have set up a Dhrupad institute outside Bhopal where they teach students from all over the world. They run a music school in the Dhrupad tradition, according to the guru-shishya style of teaching that is prevalent in India for teaching of the arts.[5]

Recordings and fellowships

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Umakant Gundecha (2012). Ramakant Gundecha in background.
Umakant Gundecha (2012). Ramakant Gundecha in background.

They have recorded many cassettes and CDs by H.M.V., Music Today, Rhythm House, IPPNW Concerts Berlin, Navras and Audio Rec London. They have also sung for many television channels in India and have been broadcast on British, U.S., German and French Radio as well. As well as being an integral part of all of India's prestigious music festivals, the brothers have also performed at many important international music festivals and institutions in Europe, U.S.A., Australia, Singapore, Bangladesh, U.A.E. and Hong Kong.

They have received M.P. Govt. Scholarship from 1981 to 1985, National Fellowship from 1987 to '89, Ustad Allauddin Khan Fellowship in 1993, Sanskriti Award in 1994 and Kumar Gandharva Award in 1998 by Govt. of Madhaya Pradesh and Dagar Gharana Award by Mewar Foundation in 2001.[citation needed]

Awards

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Controversy

On 4 September 2020, a student of Dhrupad Sansthan (training school run by Gundecha brothers) accused the late Ramakant Gundecha and Akhilesh Gundecha of sexual abuse. Following this event, several more students came forward with their allegations of abuse in discussions with the media. [6][7][8][9] The school announced Akhilesh Gundecha would be stepping down while the accusations were investigated by the internal committee.[10] [11]

Discography

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Rhythm House (MCs):

Music Today (MCs and CDs)

HMV (MCs and CDs) Naad Sugandh

Raga – Bihag, Night Melody- Raga IPPNW – CONCERTS, Germany −1995

Raga – Komal Rishabh Asawari Sense world Music, UK – 2003

References

  1. ^ "Padma Awards". pib. 27 January 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  2. ^ Shuchita Jha (10 November 2019). "Nephew Anant to sing with Pt Umakant Gundecha". The Times of India. TNN. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Dhrupad maestro Ramakant Gundecha cremated". Yahoo! News. PTI. 9 November 2019. Retrieved 11 November 2019.
  4. ^ Shankar, Vijay (7 November 2018). "Sunil performs 'the Naayak' in Kathak". The Afternoon Despatch Courier. Archived from the original on 11 July 2019. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  5. ^ Biplav, Ankur (13 May 2019). "Gundecha brothers hold a masterclass in Dhrupad". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  6. ^ "Gundecha brothers caught in sexual abuse row, Dhrupad Sansthan probes". The Indian Express. 5 September 2020. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  7. ^ "Two of 3 Gundecha brothers in sexual abuse row in Bhopal". The Times of India. 6 September 2020. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  8. ^ "Bhopal based Dhrupad Sansthan blamed for sexual misconduct". From the world of Indian Classical Dance & Music. 7 September 2020. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  9. ^ Dhillon, Amrit (1 October 2020). "India's classical music and dance 'guru' system hit by abuse allegations". the Guardian. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  10. ^ Yadav, Sidharth (5 September 2020). "Akhilesh Gundecha steps down from Dhrupad Sansthan amid sexual harassment charges". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  11. ^ "Gundecha Brothers: Famous Indian music gurus accused of sexual assault". BBC News. 4 April 2021.