Core Group : Anand Thakore
Anand Thakore Audio Excerpts   Video Excerpts Sri Anand Thakore is a talented and creative Hindustani vocalist on the contemporary scene. He received his early training from Ustad Aslam Khan of the Atrauli Gharana. Most of his training, over the years, has been under Pandit Satyasheel Deshpande, foremost disciple of the legendary singer-composer Pandit Kumar Gandharva. Anandji has also received musical guidance for several years from Pandit Baban Haldankar of the Agra Gharana. He gave his first professional concert at the ‘Vitaan festival’ organized by the Sheriff of Mumbai, in ’89.and has been performing regularly since then, in various parts of the country. Now in his thirties, he has matured into a musician with a distinct sense of his own aesthetics.
Encouraged by Satyasheelji, who has exposed him to various styles of Hindustani music, Anandji has been evolving his own unique musical blend. His performances are noted for their emotive content and his capacity to develop a khayal in the bol-ang, laying a simultaneous emphasis on musical and poetic content. Gifted with a broad and voluminous voice that spans three octaves, his music is characterized by swift and energetic taans, and complex sargam-patterns. He also has a strong penchant for the Nom-tom style of alaap, for the development of a raga with pure syllables and without any metrical arrangement, a mode of ‘badhat’, which he has imbibed from the Agra gharana and which connects for him, with a more expansive view of the passage of time. He has been composing his own bandish-es since his teens, and has shown considerable structural imagination in this area, as well as a mature taste for braj-poetry.

His most recent concerts in 2006 include a performance in the Pandit Paluskar Samaroha ( Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, Vashi.)at the Juhu Hamara Festival’06 and a recital on TV .He also performed in ‘Akath Katha (NCPA, Mumbai) singing Kabir-bhajans in the tradition of Pandit Kumar Gandharva, and has been performing and recording experimental concerts, in London, on a Charles Wallace Grant, in collaboration with western musicians like classical guitarist and composer Pete Wyer , and soprano Evelyn Beech.

Born in Mumbai in 1971, his exposure to Hindustani music began with his father, Sandip Thakore, who is a sitarist and a disciple of the maestro Ustad Mohammed Khan Beenkar. In 1979 his family shifted to The U.K. for 3 years, during which period he studied western violin and basic musical theory. He also sang soprano in the Solihull Chapel Choir. Anandji has been deeply involved in the musicological research activities at the Samvaad Foundation, run by Pandit Satyasheel Deshpande. Satyasheelji encouraged him to comparatively study the music of the various stalwarts who were recorded at the foundation. He has thus experienced at close quarters, and been creatively influenced by, the music of such maestros as Ustad Salamat Ali, Pandit K,G. Ginde, Ustad Niyaz Ahmed and Pandit Kumar Gandharva. This exposure has added various dimensions to his own music

In 1994 he received a scholarship from the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Central Govt. , to study music full-time. He spent the next three years learning form Pandit Baban Haldankar of the Agra Gharana. From Babanji, Anand has learnt numerous traditional compositions of the Agra Gharana and imbibed various aspects of Agra Gayaki which he has eclectically merged into his own style.

In addition to being a classical singer, Anandji, is also a serious poet who writes in English. His work has been published extensively in Anthologies, in India, the UK and the US. His first book of verse, entitled ‘Waking in December’ received the ‘Best English Book of the Year’ award in 2001 and won him considerable critical acclaim He lives in Mumbai, where he teaches music privately in the guru-shishya parampara.

Details of Musical Education and Career :
YEAR MUSICAL ACTIVITIES/ MAJOR PERFORMANCES/ TRAINING
2007
  • Performed at PL Deshpande Sabhagriha, Mumbai.
  • Performed at Trinity club, Mumbai.
2006
  • Performed at the ‘Morning Raga-s’ session, as a part of The Juhu Festival, open-air morning concert in Kaifi Azmi Park.
  • Television,Concert, for ‘Music Café’, classical compositions on the theme of Holi
  • Performed at Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, Vashi, Pandit Vihnudigambar Paluskar Samaroh
  • Performed in ‘Akath Katha’, NCPA, Mumbai, singing Kabir Bhajans,as a vocal accompanist to Kathak dancer Samjukta Wagh
  • Has been recording frequently towards the completion of a classical CD to be brought out next year by Underscore records.
  • Received a Charles Wallace Trust grant from ( British Council) to record this year with Pete Wyer in London, improvisations with Hindustani vocal music and classical western guitar. Has recorded experimental improvisations in the UK with jazz-guitar and with classical soprano Evelyne Beech.He has also been working with composer sam Briton, merging his vocal raga-based improvisations with electronic microtonal scores.Also sang for a BBC serial entitled ‘Roman Mysteries’.
2005
  • Collaborated with Pete Wyer, Toby Twining ( microtonal vocalist, USA) Burnhard Finke (pianist, Germany) and The Orchestra of The Swan ( London, UK) in ‘Four Bridges’, an experimental project involving four artists recording themselves improvise at the same time in different countries, on the basis of a partially pre-composed score that was made available on the internet.
  • Provided professional guidance on a regular basis in research project conducted by musicologist and sarangi player Nicholas Magriel, ( SOAS, London) involving i)the annotation of Hindustani compositions recorded by leading vocalists before 1971 ii) the ascertaining of the literary texts of these compositions and their translation from Brajbhasha and other Hindi dialects into English.
  • Has been recording his own live chamber concerts towards the production of a commercially available C.D., to be brought out by Musician’s Guild, Mumbai, in 2007
  • Performed in ‘Mala Umajalele Kumar Gandharva’ organized by ‘Indradhanu’, Thane, where he performed some compositions. by the late Pandit Kumar Gandharva.
2000-2004
  • Directed music for and sang live in Gujarati play – ‘Master Fulmani’
  • Performed at Dilwara Temple, Rajasthan, ( Brahmakumaris festival)
  • Performed at Kalachaya, Pune
  • Founded ‘Kshitij’ in alliance with fellow-artists Sri Krishna Bhat and Sri Kedar Bodas.
  • Performed at numerous privately organized 'mehfils' under the aegis of 'Kshitij'
  • Performed at Nehru Centre, Mumbai
1997-2000
  • Became a formal disciple of Pandit Baban Haldankar of the Agra gharana.
  • Provided vocal accompaniment to Babanji at numerous concerts in various parts of the country. Babanji passed on to him a large number of compositions of the Agra repertoire and trained him in various aspects of the Agra tradition: 'nom-tom alaap',' bol-ang ki layakari,' and 'bol-allapi', to name a fewPerformed at Prithvi Theatre, Mumbai.
  • Composed and directed music for TV serial , Taste of India" Compsed directed and sang for ‘Saare Jahan se acha’ mega-paly by Amir Raza Hussain
  • Performed in Guru Purnima Festival, Santa cruz music circle, Mumbai
  • Performed under the aegis of ' Svaralahiri', New Era School Auditorium, Mumbai.
1995-1997
  • Was awarded a National Scholarship to study music full-time from the Ministry of Human Resource Development , Central Govt.
  • Sang and recorded music for audiovisual show on India produced by Diawelt in Germany
  • Performed on radio, Yuvavani, Akashvani Mumbai Kendra.
  • Performed at the Young Artists Festival, Indian Music Group, Mumbai.
1984-1994
  • Received intensive training from Satyasheelji in vocal technique, raga-shastra and traditional aspects of badhat (raga development) and upaj (spontaneous improvisation), and was familiarized with numerous traditional compositions of various gharana-s (schools)
  • Started composing his own 'bandish'-s in Braj and developed considerable skill in the 'bol-ang' ( text-based improvisation) and 'layakari '( rhythmic interplay). He also developed a taste for Braj-poetry and kathak-dance which has inspired his own compositions.
  • Assisted in The musicological and documentational activities at the Samvaad Foundation for Musical Research, Mumbai. This gave him first-hand exposure to the music of various stalwarts e.g. Ustad Salamat Ali, Pandit K.G.Ginde, Pandit Kumar Gandharva and Pandit Ramashreya Jha, whom he has accompanied and assisted in recording. He was encouraged by his Guruji to comparatively analyse various 'gayaki's (sub-styles) eclectically imbibing those elements that suited his personal sensibility, and gradually evolving his own style of presentation and improvisation.
  • Performed at the Vitaan Winter Festival of Music And Dance, Mumbai(1989), his first large-scale public performance.
1984
  • Became a formal disciple of Pandit Satyasheel Deshpande ( foremost student of Pandit Kumar Gandharva)
  • Gave his first independent baithak, in Mumbai, and began to provide vocal accompaniment to his Guru in public concerts.
1982
  • Studied Hindustani vocal music under Ustad Aslam Khan of the Agra-Atrauli Gharana
1979
  • Studied Western violin and sang soprano in boys chapel choir, Solihull, UK.
1977
  • Received early training in harmonium, tabla, and Hindustani vocal music from Pandit Natvarlal Naik of the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya parampara and began to play sitar with his father Sandip Thakore, student of Ustad Mohammed Khan 'Beenkaar'.
Contact :
anand_thakore@kshitijmusic.org
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