V. G. Jog

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Vishnu Govind Jog, better known as V. G. Jog (22 February 1922 – 31 January 2004),[1] was an Indian violinist. He was the foremost exponent of the violin in the Hindustani music tradition in the 20th century, and is credited for introducing this instrument into Hindustani music.

Jog was a disciple of Baba Allauddin Khan. He performed and recorded with many of the greatest Hindustani musicians of the 20th century (including Bismillah Khan) and toured the world. He frequently performed for All India Radio's Calcutta division. He received the Padma Bhushan award in 1982.

He earned a master's degree in music from Bhatkhande College of Hindustani Music in Lucknow in 1944 and went on to teach there. He also taught at the Ali Akbar College of Music.

Beginning in 1999, he suffered from Parkinson's disease, and also suffered from respiratory problems in his later years.

Pandit Vishnu Govind Jog, whose name is almost synonymous with the violin genre in Hindustani classical music, was a performer with the unique distinction of having occupied the top rungs of the classical musicians' hierarchy with three consecutive generations of performers. His career as a highly active and successful performer spanned almost five decades. Born in Mumbai in 1922, he received his early training from S. C. Athavale and the late Ganpat Rao Purohit. Subsequently, he was trained by Vishweswar Shastry, by the renowned musician and musicologist Dr. S. N. Ratanjankar, and for a short time by the celebrated Ustad Allauddin Khan.

Groomed in the Gwalior, Agra and Bakhle styles, Pandit Jog's virtuosity, mastery of ragas and uncanny realisation of space and time in the construction and knowledge of rhythm are his hallmarks. At a very young age, he rubbed shoulders with all-time greats at the Bhatkhande College of Music, Lucknow, in the 1930s — the first great attempt at institutionalizing traditional music instruction.

An unassuming person of infinite charm, he was also regarded as an incomparable accompanist. His duets with Ustad Bismillah Khan met with spectacular successes in India and abroad. He had a remarkable ability to sense the pulse and mood of his audiences, and toured extensively both in India and abroad, significantly in East Africa, Nepal, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, France, the United States, and West Germany. In 1985, he performed to great acclaim under the auspices of the Festival of India in the United States.

Pandit Jog was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1982. After prolonged illness Pandit Jog died on Jan 31, 2004 in South Calcutta.

Career[edit]

Shri Jog had his early training under Shri Shankar Rao Athavie, Ganpat Rao Purohit, and V. Shastry. Later he received extensive training from Dr.S.N.Ratanjankar and Ustad Allauddin Khan. Groomed in the Gwalior, Agra and Bakhale gharanas, Shri Jog evolved his own characteristic style, which was a blend of gayaki and gatkari, noted for purity of melody and tradition, a formidable layakari ability, dignity, crispness and easy musical communication. He often enlightened audiences according to their taste with lighter themes and folk tunes, flowing with lilting and sparkling grace. His book 'Behala Shiksha',published in 1944, is recognized as a major piece of authoritative literature on the subject. He joined All India Radio in 1953 and served as music producer. By the time he retired he had risen to deputy chief producer, All India Radio. He received many honors from various cultural institutions, including the Sangeet Natak Academy award in 1983 and the Padma Bhushan, which was awarded to him in 1985 by the president of India. He had made successful tours to foreign countries and issued many LP and EP gramophone records of both solo performances and jugalbandi with sangeet maestros.

Grooming[edit]

Hailing from Maharashtra, Pandit Jog began his training at the age of twelve and was subsequently groomed under some of the finest musicians of India, like Baba Allauddin Khan and Pandit S. N. Ratanjankar. To Pandit Jog goes the credit of single-handedly transforming a western musical instrument, the violin, into a major and independent instrument in Hindustani classical music. He was unquestionably the 'Violin Samrat' for all time to come.

International Influence[edit]

Sri Lanka's Pandith Amaradeva studied under V.G Jog

Death[edit]

From 1999, Pandit Jog suffered from Parkinson's disease. The disease not only crippled the elderly maestro by taking the violin from his hands, but also drained away all his resources. Without music, his only source of income, the high cost of medical care became an unbearable burden for the Jog family.

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