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Legendary Sarod Maestro Pandit Rajeev Taranath Passes Away at 91

The Indian classical music fraternity mourns the loss of the illustrious Sarod maestro Pandit Rajeev Taranath, who breathed his last on June 11, 2024, at the age of 91. The veteran musician, who was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Mysuru for a fracture, passed away around 6:30 PM.

Paying Respects to the Maestro

Pandit Rajeev Taranath’s mortal remains will be kept for public viewing at his residence near Jnana Ganga School in Kuvempunagar, Mysuru, from 9 AM to 12 noon on June 12. The last rites will be performed at the crematorium near Chamundi Foothills at 2 PM on the same day.

A Lifetime of Accolades and Honors

A distinguished exponent of the Senia Maihar Gharana, Pandit Taranath’s contributions to Indian classical music were recognized with numerous prestigious awards. He was honored with the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2019 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 2000.

In Karnataka, he received the Rajyotsava award in 1996, the Chowdaiah Memorial award in 1998, the Sangeet Vidwan award in 2018, and the Nadoja award in 2019, among others.

A Multifaceted Genius

Born on October 17, 1932, to Pandit Taranath and Sumathi Bai, Rajeev Taranath was not only a musical prodigy but also an academic genius. He completed his BA Honours from Bangalore Central College, securing the first rank, and went on to earn a gold medal in MA in English from the University of Mysore in 1962.

Pandit Taranath also secured a PhD in “Image in Poetry of T.S. Eliot” under the guidance of Prof. C.D. Narasimhaiah from the University of Mysore.

A Celebrated Career in Music and Academics

Pandit Rajeev Taranath’s illustrious career spanned both academics and music. He began his teaching career as a lecturer at the Hamdard College in Raichur and taught at various institutions, including Karnatak College in Dharwad, Regional College of Education in Mysuru, Regional College of Engineering and Jamal Mohammed College in Tiruchi, before heading the English Department at the Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages in Hyderabad and teaching English in Yemen.

Later, he dedicated his life to music, training under the legendary maestro Ali Akbar Khan in Kolkata. Pandit Taranath also served as the music director for several Kannada and Malayalam movies, including “Samskara,” “Pallavi,” “Anuroopa,” “Paper Boats,” “Agunthaka,” “Kadavu,” and “Kanchanaseetha.”

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