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|Pandit Mani Prasad|
|Birth name||Pandit Mani Prasad|
|Born||4 November 1930|
|Origin||Wardha, Maharashtra, India|
|Genres||Indian classical music|
|Years active||1940 -|
Pandit Mani Prasad is an Indian vocalist in the Hindustani classical tradition. An exponent of the Kirana Gharana (school) of Hindustani Classical Music, he is renowned for his purity in the khayal form of singing, as well as for his popular renditions of devotional music (bhajans and abhangs). He is known to have made many new Ragas and given new dimensions to existing ones under his collection, Dhyan Rang Piya.
Pt. Mani Prasad was born into a family of very respected musicians. His father was the renowned vocalist of Kirana Gharana, Pandit Sukhdev Prasad who had received his training in music from Ustad Abdul Karim Khan and Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan, the founders of Kirana Gharana.
Pandit Sukhdev Prasad Ji was one of the most respected and renowned Indian Classical singers of his time. Having learnt the singing style of the Kirana Gharana from Ustad Abdul Karim Khan and Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan, he was known for his purity and knowledge of music. He hailed from the town of Bikaner in Rajasthan, but his music made him travel all across the country and so he had his disciples in all parts of India. His most famous student is Pt. Dinanath Mangeshkar, the father of the world famous Indian playback singers Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle.
Pandit Mani Prasad Ji gained his extensive knowledge in music by accompanying his father on all his tours and performances across the country from an early age. He moved from Wardha in Maharashtra to New Delhi, in his youth along with his father. Panditji gained most of his training from his father but was also guided by his grandfather Pandit Shakti Lal and by his uncles Pandit Shankar Lal and Pandit Gopal Prasad.
Pt. Mani Prasad started his career early, being brought up in a musical family. He is ranked as a Top Grade 'A class' artist by the All India Radio. He is a well recognised television artist with the Doordarshan. He has performed extensively all across the world and has received much appreciation and respect everywhere.
He has not only created some new ragas but also composed many bandishes in existing ragas with the mudra Dhyan Rang Piya. He is known to have composed the raga, Raga Vihanginee for the bhajan sung and popularised by Lata Mangeshkar, 'Sunio Ji Araj Mhari' in the movie Lekin.
Among his students are many renowned artists and personalities like Maharaja Ranjitsinh Pratapsinh Gaekwad of Baroda, Rita Ganguly, Savita Devi Maharaj daughter of legendary thumri singer Siddheshwari Devi, Pt. Ramesh Jule, Ravi Jule, Pt. Haricharan Verma, Smt. Surinder Kaur, Shri Kailash Verma, Smt. Sudarshan Dewan, Pt. Vishwanath, Chandan Dass, Smt. Nirmala Gopalakrishnan, Uma Garg, Seema Anil Sehgal, Smt. Saraswati Bai, Sant Satnam Singh among many others.
Some of the Ragas composed by Panditji are Raga Dhyan Kalyan, Raga Dhyani Todi, Raga Vihanginee, Raga Shivkauns, Raga Ahiri Todi and Raga Bhoopeshwari. He is also credited to have written and composed various Bandishes for many Ragas which are his great contributions not only to Indian Classical Music but also to Indian Literature.
In recent years, he has been the Guru at the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa Academy of Music in Mumbai instituted by Gajendra Singh, where he was training the upcoming singers of the new generation and the participants of national and international level musical talent hunts like Star Voice of India.
He also took up the position of the Guru at the Smt. Gangubai Hangal Gurukul in Hubli, Karnataka where he was invited by the Government of Karnataka. The Gurukul named after the late doyenne of the Kirana Gharana of Hindustani Classical Music is a school of pure Indian Classical Music of the Kirana Gharana style where Panditji was training singers and teaching them the nuances and intricacies of his style of music.
Panditji has been widely recorded both in Audio tapes and CDs and videos. He is extensively recorded in the AIR Archives and Doordarshan. Other than these, his cassettes and CDs released are:
- Pt. Mani Prasad, A Concert Series by Swarashree Enterprises, CBS
- Pt. Mani Prasad, MIDAS
- Pt. Mani Prasad, Swaranjali
- Dhyan Rang Piya, MIDAS
- Love Bandish Bliss, Times Music
His video recordings on the internet are also very popular and widely viewed all across the globe.
Honours and Awards
Panditji is the recipient of many Awards, Honors and Felicitations. These include :
- Rajasthan Sangeet Natak Akademi Award,
- Swarmani Award,
- Raseshwar Award given by Sur Singar Samsad of Mumbai,
- Baba Allaudin Khan Award,
- Srimati Gangubai Hangal Award,
- Ustad Faiyyaz Khan - Ustad Niaz Khan Memorial Award,
- Swar Sadhana Ratna,
- Sangeet Martand Samman,
- Sangeet Kala Ratna,
- Felicitation by Raagranjini,
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