Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar

Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar belongs to the illustrious family of Dhrupad musicians who are responsible for saving this ancient and noble art from disappearing. He represents the musical tradition of a family that is believed to have preserved and nurtured Dhrupad music for the last 20 unbroken generations. He was born in Udaipur, Indian, where his father Ustad Ziauddin Khan Dagar was the court musician of the Maharajah of Udaipur. He was taught Dhrupad style of vocal and instrumental (Veena and Sitar) music by his father and later by his elder brother, Late Ustad Zia Mohiuddinn Dagar, who is one of the greatest rudra veena players of our times.

Ustad is responsible to a great extent for popularizing Dhrupad music by his numerous concerts and workshops. He has traveled and performed widely in India and abroad. In recognition of his immense contribution to the classical music of India, Ustad has been bestowed with the most prestigious awards of the country like Tansen Award of M.P. Government, Sangeet Natak Academy Award.

Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar has a remarkable command over microtones (Swara-Bhed ) and various Gamakas, which makes his music very special. His gradual development of Alap through Vilambit, Madhya and Drut Laya adds a very interesting phenomena in his presentation of Dhrupad Music.

Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar

Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar(1929-1990) was the world’s most renowned exponent of India’s Rudra veena , the instrumental ancestor of the Sitar. He was also one of the few masters of Dhrupad , the slow .austere, meditative traditional music still performed as it was centuries ago by Dagar forefathers in the Mughal courts. He was born on 14th march 1929, in the town of Udaipur,Rajasthan. He began his training under the tutelage of his father , Ustad Ziauddin Khan Dagar, court musician for the Maharaj of Udaipur.

He had performed all over the world and also he was affiliated with the American society of eastern arts in Berkeley, California and taught for many years at the university of Washington in Seattle and Rotterdam Music Conservatory in Holland.

In 1990 , Ustad was awarded by Kalidas Samman, one of the most prestigious award of the country , by M.P. Government. He had also received Sangeet Natak Academy Award , Rajasthan Sangeet Natak Academy award, Maharana Kumbha award and many more.

Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar redesigned and innovated the traditional veena .His contribution in improving the sound of Veena is historical. He added more deeper and base sound to the playing of veena. He captured the subtle unique character of each Raga often depends on accentuating the sharp ,flat or very flat qualities of certain notes; and it was the perfect rendering of these subtleties that became a Dagar trademark. In a deliberate and unhurried fashion , he unfolded and revealed each note of the Alap movement , the slow , serene solo exposition of Raga – hypnotically, hauntingly coaxing and stretching the most delicately shaded nuances , the notes between the notes, from the thick bronze strings. Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar died in 1990.

Pandit Shrikant Mishra

Pandit Shrikant Mishra , born in 1952 in Banaras, was a highly acclaimed name in the world of Dhrupad and Pakhawaj . Pandit Shrikant Mishra started studying pakhawaj from the age of 15 with the great master Late Pandit Amarnath Mishra of Varanasi.

Pandit Shrikant Mishra had the great privilege of accompanying all the Dhrupad maestros from Dagar Gharana and Darbhanga style including the late Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar, late Ustad Nasir Aminuddian Dagar, late Pandit Ramchatur Mallik and late Pandit Siyaram Tiwari.

Known for his great sensibility to music and for the sonorous sound and tuning of his Pakhawaj, Pandit Shrikant Mishra participated in many important indian and international music festivals. He performed in Japan, Germany, France, Switzerland, Holland, England and many other countries. Pandit Shrikant Mishra was regarded not only as a perfect accompanist but also as a solo player too. He lived in Varanasi and worked as a pakhawaj artist in the Banaras Hindu University. He passed away on 15th May 2013.

Raja Chhatrapati Singh Ju Deo (Mridangacharya)

Raja Chhatrapati Singh, born in the year 1919, came from the famous lineage of Bijna State. Raja Mukund singh ji his great grand father and Raja Himmat Singhji his father were great connoisseurs of Indian classical music and were patronizing the famous artistes of their days and employing them as court musicians. Raja Chhatrapati Singh went one step further in and he himself started taking interest in Pakhawaj.

While on a pilgrimage tour with his father he met swami Ramdasji in Ayodhya who was a great Pakhawaj exponent, Raja Chhatrapati Singh decided to become his student and taking tuition’s on this instrument .

He was simply fascinated and that too at the tender age of ten -twelve. His teacher Swami Ramdasji was the pupil of Shri Madan Mohanji who was student of great Pakhawaj player Shri Kudau Singhji. Shri Kudau Singhji was very famous Pakhawaj exponent of his time. In 1951 Pandit Omkarnath Thakur bestowed on him the title of ‘Professor of Pakhawaj’ from Banaras Hindu University. He was a top grade artiste of All India Radio. He was also awarded Sangeet Natak Academy Award and Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Natak Academy Award. He has developed a new Tala combination known as a ‘CHATURANG’ consists 4 Taals , ‘VEDANG’ which consists of 6 Talas , “Taal Sagar” having 7 Talas , Taal Mala which consists 108 Talas and Lehras of 108 Ragas . Normally it takes 24 hours to complete the whole ‘Tala Mala’ but it can be completed in 12 or 6 hours also.

He had accompanied also some great masters like Ustad Rahimuddin Dagar , senior Dagar Brothers, Pandit Ramchatur Mallik and more.

He taught and performed at the school of music of the university of Washington during 1975-76. He participated in many international music festivals and has toured several countries like Italy, France, Germany, London in 1964 with famous singers Senior Dagar brothers Ustad Nasir Moinuddin Dagar and Ustad Nasir Aminuddin Dagar, perhaps among the few Indian musicians who performed in the West for the first time.

Apart from music, he was very fond of chess. He wrote a big volume on chess named ‘ Ashwa Nirupan Granth’ in which he has shown five thousand different moves of the knight. Raja Chhatrapati Singh passed away in 1998.