Hindustani classical vocalist of Jaipur gharana Kishori Amonkar was accorded an emotional adieu by her family members, music lovers and commoners at the Dadar crematorium in north-central Mumbai on Tuesday.
Amonkar (84) passed away at her Prabhadevi residence on Monday night, a week before she turned 85. Active till death, she had been performing till last week.
She is survived by two sons and grand-children. Her husband Ravindra Amonkar had died in 1992.
Amonkar’s body was kept for a public darshan at the Ravindra Natya Mandir at Prabhadevi, where a large number of people from different walks of life paid tributes to the legendary classical singer. Prominent among those who paid their last tributes to her were : veteran theatre personality Vijaya Mehta, singer Aarti Ankolikar, conposer-singer Shridar Phadke and actress Bharati Achrekar.
Her body, draped in national tricolour, was taken in a cortege from the Ravindra Natya Mandir to the Dadar crematorium, where she was accorded a state funeral at 4.30 pm.
Considered one of the most exponents of Hindustani classical music, Amonkar was an innovator of the Jaipur gharana, a community of musicians sharing a distinctive musical style.
Born on April 10, 1932, Amonkar was trained under classical singer-mother Mugubhai Kurdikar of Jaipur gharana. A performer of the classical genre khyal and the light classical genres thumri and bhajan, she experimented a great deal with a variety of vocal styles in her career.
Widely respected by her peers and people from different walks of life, Amonkar was a recipient of the country’s many national awards and civilian honours. She wasd bestowed with Padma Bhushan in 1987, Padma Vibushan in 2002, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1985 and the prestigious Dr. TMA Pai Outstanding Konkani Award in 1991. She was one of seven recipients of the MS Subbulakshmi Award for classical music.
Mourning Amonkar’s death, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “Demise of Kishori Amonkar is an irreparable loss to Indian classical music. Deeply pained by her demise. May her soul rest in peace.The works of Kishori Amonkar will always remain popular among people for years to come”.
late on Monday night, renowned singer and Bharat Ratna awardee lata Mangeshkar had said: “Mujhe abhi abhi pata chala ki mahan shastriya gayika Kishori amonkar ji ka swargwas hua, ye sunke mujhe bahut dukh hua. Wo ek asaadharan gayika thi. Unke jaane se shastriya sangeet jagat ki bahut haani hui hai. Ishwar unki aatma ko shanti de”.
NCP President Sharad Pawar said: “Deeply saddened by the demise of veteran vocalist #kishoriamonkar It is an irrevocable loss to Indian #ClassicalMusic”.
Paying rich tributes to Amonkar, Maharashtra Governor CH Vidyasagar Rao said: “Smt Kishori Amonkar was a great vocalist gifted with a divine voice. She belonged to the small league of vocalists who took Hindustani classical music to great heights. While assiduously retaining the essence of her classical tradition, she welcomed innovative ideas.
“A great Guru herself, Kishori Tai passed on the knowledge she acquired through years of dedication to her disciples. In her demise, the field of Indian classical music has lost one of the most luminous stars. My tributes to her memory,” the Governor said.
In his condolence message over Amonkar, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said: “Kishori Amonkar was an emotional singer. Her songs and bhajans were a treat to music lovers. In Amonkar’s death, we have lost a sensitive person and a great classical singer who would always experiment in various vocal styles of singing”.
Shreya Ghosal tweeted: “Have had the fortune of listening to her live n meeting her. Never can forget that day. My biggest wish was that I could learn music frm her..It’s a sad day for all music lovers. Indian classical music lost one of the most treasured artist today”.
Senior actress, Bhartanatyam exponent and politician Hema Malini said: “One of my most favourite singers passed away leaving a big void in the classical music genre. Kishori Amonkar was an outstanding musician. A sad loss”.
“One of the greatest singer-performer of classical music has left this world for her heavenly abode. An institution of music,” Kailesh Kher tweeted.