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|Born||2 May 1920|
Murtijapur, Akola, Maharashtra
|Died||30 July 1983 (aged 63)|
Pune, Maharashtra, India
|Genres||Hindustani classical music, Khayal, Natya Sangeet, Thumri, Ghazal, Tappa|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, actor, musician|
Vasantrao was born into Deshastha Brahmin family in Murtizapur, Akola District, in Vidarbha region of the state of Maharashtra in India. At the age of eight, Deshpande's talent was observed by Bhalji Pendharkar who launched him in the role of Krishna in the Hindi movie Kaliya Mardan (1935). He obtained his PhD in Music.
Deshpande learned from several gurus, refusing to tie himself down to a single school of singing.
He began his musical training with Shankarrao Sapre of Gwalior, a disciple of V. D. Paluskar, in Nagpur. After this, he studied under various musicians such as Sureshbabu Mane of Kirana gharana, Asad Ali Khan of Patiala gharana, Aman Ali Khan and Anjanibai Malpekar of Bhendibazaar gharana, and Ramkrishna Vaze of Gwalior. Dinanath Mangeshkar, a direct disciple of Vazebuwa, is said to have had the greatest influence over Deshpande. Deshpande is regarded as Mangeshkar's sole musical heir, having adopted his signature mercurial and dramatic style of singing.
Deshpande performed classical and semi-classical music. He acted in movies like "Kaaliya Mardan", "Dudh Bhaat", and "Ashtavinayak". He had several commercial releases under his name. He created raga Raj Kalyan, a variant of Yaman without pancham.
A foundation, the Dr. Vasantrao Deshpande Pratishthan, organizes an annual music festival, Vasantotsav, at Pune in his memory. The annual festival is held over three days during the month of January, where musicians and performers are invited to take part. During the festival, two awards, the "Vasantotsav Youth Award" for Promising Artists and the "Vasantotsav Award" for veteran artists, are given.
|1935||Kaliya Mardan||Krishna||First film performance|
|1967||Katyar Kaljat Ghusli||Khansaheb||Purushottam Darvhekar||Over 1000 performances by 1976.|
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- The Illustrated Weekly of India, Volume 95. Bennett, Coleman & Company, Limited, at the Times of India Press. 1974. p. 31.
ARATHI literature is strewn with the names of Deshastha writers.The popular classical and light musician, DrVasantrao Deshpande, also from this community. Other schools of music are well represented by such veterans as Pandit Narayanrao Vyas, Meera Khirwadkar, Gururao Deshpande and musicologist Vamanrao Deshpande G. V. Bhonde, popularly known as " Nakalakar", gave mimicry the status of an art in Maharashtra. Famous actor and director Gajanan Jagirdar, Prabhakar Panshikar, magician Raghuvir Bhople all belong to this community.
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