Kishori Amonkar

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Kishori Amonkar
Born April 10, 1932 (age 84–85)[1]
Genres Hindustani classical music
Instruments singing
Associated acts Mogubai Kurdikar

Kishori Amonkar[a] is an Indian classical vocalist. She is considered one of the foremost singers in the Hindustani tradition and is an innovator of the Jaipur gharana, or a community of musicians sharing a distinctive musical style.[3] She performs in the classical genre khyal and the light classical genres thumri and bhajan. Amonkar trained under her mother, classical singer Mogubai Kurdikar of the Jaipur gharana (musical tradition of Jaipur), but experimented with a variety of vocal styles in her career. She is considered one of the pre-eminent representatives of Hindustani classical music.[4]

Life and career[edit]

Kishori Amonkar was born in Mumbai, Bombay Maharashtra, India, on April 10, 1932. [5] In the early 1940s, young Kishori began to receive vocal lessons in Hindustani classical music from Anjanibai Malpekar (Bhendi Bazar Gharana) and her mother Mogubai Kurdikar and later received training from tutors of several gharanas.[6] Amonkar became interested in film music and sang playback for the 1964 movie Geet Gaya Patharon Ne, but returned to classical music because of bad experiences in the movie industry.[6] Amonkar lost her voice for two years in the late 1950s for unknown reasons.[7] She sang for the 1990 Hindi film Drishti.

Amonkar's work in light music has informed her classical singing and she modified her Jaipur gharana performance style by applying features from other gharanas.[8] She has been both praised and criticized for pushing the boundaries of the Jaipur tradition. Her approach prioritizes emotional expression over tradition, so she frequently departs from gharana’s rhythmic, melodic, and structural traditions, [9]Ultimately, she aimed to infuse the emotional appeal of the more popular styles into the comparatively rigid classical tradition.She has created many compositions for a number of ragas.[10] Amonkar's students include Manik Bhide, Meena Joshi, Suhasini Mulgaonkar, Arun Dravid, Raghunandan Panshikar, Arati Ankalikar-Tikekar, Devaki Pandit, Mira Panshikar, Shivraj Shitole, Nandini Bedekar and her granddaughter Tejashree Amonkar.[11][12] Amonkar is also a popular speaker and has traveled traveled throughout India, best known for lectures on the role of rasa (feelings or emotions) in music.[13]

Kishori Amonkar was married to Ravindra Amonkar, who died in the early 1980s. The couple had two sons.[14] She is sometimes also described as "temperamental".[12] Amonkar lives in Mumbai.[7]


Amonkar received the national awards Padma Bhushan in 1987 and Padma Vibhushan in 2002.[15] She was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 1985 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship for 2009.[16][17] She was awarded the prestigious Dr. T. M. A. Pai Outstanding Konkani Award in 1991.



  1. ^ The given name is sometimes wrongly written as Kishore.[2] The male name 'Kishor' is sometimes spelt as 'Kishore' which is fine. But the feminine 'Kishori' should not be spelt 'Kishore'.


  1. ^ "Semiosis in Hindustani music". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 
  2. ^ Martinez, José Luiz (2001) [1997]. Semiosis in Hindustani music. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd. p. 169. ISBN 81-208-1801-6. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Amonkar, Kishori". Students' Britannica India. 1. Popular Prakashan. 2000. p. 60. ISBN 0-85229-760-2. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b Deshpande, Vamanrao H. (1989). Between two tanpuras. Popular Prakashan. pp. 125–126, 131. ISBN 0-86132-226-6. 
  7. ^ a b Deshpande 1989, p. 138
  8. ^ Deshpande 1989, pp. 127, 129
  9. ^
  10. ^ Deshpande 1989, pp. 134–135
  11. ^ Deshpande 1989, p. 140
  12. ^ a b Suhasini, Lalitha (13 May 2005). "'She has to learn very fast'". The Indian Express. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ Deshpande 1989, p. 141
  15. ^ "Padma Awards". Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  16. ^ "SNA: List of Akademi Awardees – Music – Vocal". Sangeet Natak Akademi. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 
  17. ^ "SNA: List of Akademi Fellows". Sangeet Natak Akademi. Retrieved 28 March 2010. 

External links[edit]

External video
Art Talk with Kishori Amonkar on NewsX on YouTube