Raghunath Prasanna

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Raghunath Prasanna
Raghunath Prasanna Bansuri.jpg
Raghunath Prasanna at All India Radio
Background information
Born 1913
Died 1999 (aged 85–86)
Genres Hindustani classical
Occupation(s) Instrumentalist, composer
Instruments Bansuri, shehnai, flute
Website www.prasannaflute.com

Pandit Raghunath Prasanna (c.1920 - June 1999) was an Indian classical shehnai and flute player. He was known for playing the techniques of shehnai in flute playing, also inspired by the vocal music.

Raghunath Prasanna playing tripura Bansuri in a concert

Personal life and family[edit]

Raghunath Prasanna was born around 1920 in Varanasi in the state of Uttar Pradesh. He was married to Saraswati Devi. They had seven children. One of them is well-known flute & shehnai player Rajendra Prasanna, whose son Rishab also plays the bansuri.


Pandit Raghunath Prasanna was not only a shehnai and flute player, he was also a teacher and innovator. He got his musical training from his father Pandit Gauri Shanker, a shehnai player, and from Pandit Dauji Mishra from Varanasi. He was the first person in the family to introduce the art of flute playing in the family tradition known until then for shehnai playing. The shehnai in this family was earlier strengthen by Pandit Raghunath’s father Pandit Gauri Shanker, Pandit Tehal Prasad (Grand- father), Pandit Garib Das (Great Grand- Father).

Pandit Raghunath Prasanna was also known for playing Tripura bansuri and what he called Krishna Bansuri. Pandit Raghunath Prasanna also played sarod; his son Rakesh Prasanna is now a well known sarod player.

Raghunath Prasanna was also an instrument- maker, Ustad Bismillah khan used to call him "Vishkarma"- an Indian God of architecture, when he saw his quality as an instruments maker. And Pt. Hari Prasad Chaurasia used to call him "Bade Guruji" (grand teacher).

Pandit Raghunath Prasanna's techniques has been adopted by many of the Indian flautists including his younger brother and disciple Pandit Bholanath Prasanna, Pt. Vishnu Prasanna, Pandit Rajendra Prasanna, Pandit Ronu Mujamdar, Shivpreet Singh among others.

Among his disciples: Pt. Bholanath Prasanna (Guru of Pt. Hari Prasad Chaurasiya), Pt. Vishnu Prasanna, his son Pt. Rajendra Prasanna, Pt. Pranav Mukherjee, Pt. Bhanu Majumdar (father of Ronu Majumdar), Pt. Anant Lal.

Alain Daniélou has recorded his shehnai and tripura bansuri on the album "Anthology of Indian Classical Music" in 1955.

Awards & Honors[edit]

Pandit Raghunath Prasanna was the recipient of various awards and honors including Sangeet Natak Academi Award (1996) for his contribution to the cause of Indian Classical Music. The title 'Prasanna' have been entitled to Pandit Raghunath by the king of Kuch Bihar. The king honored him as Pandit Raghu Nath Prasanna because he made the audience happy, from then on he has been named as "Prasanna".


External links[edit]