|This article does not cite any references or sources. (April 2010)|
1 January 1942|
|Died||March 26, 2010(aged 68)|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, Teacher, Institution Builder|
Shri Nandan Mehta occupied a very special place in the cultural landscape of Ahmedabad. As a musician, a guru and an institution builder he made a significant impact in creating a musical heritage in the city. Born into an eminent family in Gujarat known for its scholarship, public awareness and cultural contribution, Nandan Mehta chose to devote his life to music. His grandfather Shri Narmadashanker Mehta was a great vedant scholar and his work on Indian philosophy ranks on par with the best in the country. His father Shri Yashodhar Mehta was a prolific writer and a legal luminary. His mother Vasumatiben daughter of Late Sir Chinubhai Baronet was a painter of note in her hey days.
Nandan Mehta was an outstanding exponent of the Benaras Gharana of Tabla trained under Padma Vibhushan Pt.Kishan Maharaj. He was the senior most student of Pt. Kishan Maharaj and was also a Senior A Grade artist of AIR and Doordarshan. Nandan Mehta's performances have won enormous acclaim. He followed the traditional Banaras style of tabla playing and his art combined all the features and nuances of the Banaras gharana. He performed extensively in the country and participated in the AIR National programme as well as the Akashvani Sangeet Sammelan. He gave his services to AIR on their Staff Selection Committee Ahmedabad and also served on their Music Audition Board.
All through Nandan Mehta's various activities, he saw to it that the stature of the noble art of Indian Classicial Music was never compromised. Whether it was chamber concerts or a large public concert, he ensured that the dignity of the art as well as the artists was deeply respected and up held. "Musicians are artistes and not entertainers" - this notion was drilled by him into the minds of the people at large.
All this was done in a completely self-effacing manner. Even in the hugely successful series of Saptak Annual Festivals, he was hardly to be seen on the stage except as an artist occasionally. There are no ceremonies. There are no photo sessions with the VIP’s or star artists. There are no big speeches. His constant concern was to ensure that the best creative music flows between the artistes and the audience. After his death, his children, students and colleagues will carry forward this wonderful legacy over many more years to come. His last words were - 'Yeh sab chalta rahega, kyunki mere bachche itne layak hai' - translation - 'This will continue since my children/students are thoroughly capable of doing so'.
When one looks at the contributions made by the various people to the cultural development in the Gujarat over the last 25 years the work done by Nandan Mehta stands out. His efforts made Saptak a precious treasure chest of Indian classical music tradition – preserving its richness and ensuring its continuity for generations to come.
He was honoured by Pt.Jasraj twice (1997 and 2002) on behalf of the Mewati Gharana and was conferred the title of `Tal Rasik Var’. “Sankalp” central body at Kurukshetra conferred on him the title of `Sangeet Rushi’ in the year 1996. Kumar Club Shastriya Group Ahmedabad also honoured him for rendering outstanding services to the field of classical music. He has been awarded the prestigious `Gaurav Puraskar’ by the Gujarat Sangeet Natak Academy for his outstanding contribution in the field of music in the year 1988. He was also honoured on `Vishwa Rang – Bhoomi day’ for his contribution in the field of music in Vadodara, and by the Medical Association in Ahmedabad. Swar Sadhana Samiti, Mumbai, awarded him `Swar Sadhana Ratna’ in the year 2004. He was also honoured by `Kala Gurjari’ Bhavnagar, Sangeet Kala Niketan, Jaipur. He was also honored by Madhuvan, Bhopal for his contribution in the field of music in the year 2005. He was conferred the title `Shreshth kala Acharya’. Dr.H.L.Trivedi, Director, Kidney Institute has also honoured him for rendering outstanding services in the field of Classical music and conferred the title `Bhagwan Mahavir Karuna Sewa Sanman’ in 2007. Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi conferred the “Sangeet Natak Akademi Award” for the year 2007. He was awarded “Sangeet Ratna Chudamani” by Divya Jivan Sangh Shivanand Ashram Ahmedabad in 2008 by Hon.Shri Naval Kishore Sharma, Governor of Gujarat.
Nandan Mehta succumbed to cancer on March 26, 2010. He is survived by his wife - Smt. Manju Mehta, an eminent sitar player and 2 daughters, Poorvi Mehta, a promising sitar player and Hetal Mehta, talented young tabla player.
More on http://www.saptak.org