Pandit Rajendra Prasanna

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Pandit Rajendra Prasanna is a leading exponent of both the bansuri and the shehnai, two wind instruments with contrasting textures. He hails from a distinguished lineage of Benares musicians - a young Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia was a student of the family, and Rajendra first learnt from his father Raghunath and uncles Bholanath and Vishnu. He also studied under Ustads Hafeez Ahmed Khan and Sarfaraz Hussain Khan, and took vocal lessons from Pandit Mahadev Mishra.

His career since has featured accompaniment slots with Pandit Ravi Shankar, a long association with the National School of Drama, and carefully selected film work. Proudly uncompromising with his approach to classical music, he tours the world as one of the finest purveyors of the modern Benares gharana.

“Rather than make a career in Bollywood he was more keen to enrich the authentic folk music" [his son Rishab]

• Darbar Player: If short clips aren't Rajendra’s full-length version of Raag Lalit on the Darbar Player. We’re a small not-for-profit, and filming, editing, and hosting cost money - so subscribing costs $5/month, which we hope is an excellent price for such a wealth of unique music.

—Also see Living Traditions: 21 articles for 21st-century Indian classical music, our new series exploring how music with ancient roots continues to innovate in a fast-paced, interconnected modern world. Expand your appreciation!

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