Pandit Krishna Bhatt
Sitar virtuoso, Pandit Krishna Mohan Bhatt, one of the illustrious disciples of the legendary Bharat Ratna Pandit Ravi Shankar, represents the Maihar-Senia Gharana of Ustad Allauddin Khan. Krishna Ji was born into a family of Musicians, Sanskrit scholars, and Poets. His father, the legendary sitarist Pandit Shashi Mohan Bhatt, introduced him to the musical traditions of the Senia Gharana, only to be enriched through the guidance and mentorship he received from his guru Pandit Ravi Shankar and other distinguished musicians, including Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and Pandit Nikhil Banerjee.
Folk singers from Rajasthan and great vocalists like Bade Gulam Ali Khan, Abdul Karim Khan, Amir Khan, Begum Akhtar, and Shobha Gurtu had a significant influence on Krishna Ji’s individual style. It presents a perfect amalgamation of techniques used in instrumental (tantrakari) and vocal (gayaki) performances. Known for the depth, originality, and dexterity in Krishna Ji’s sitar recitals have won the hearts of audiences not only in India but also across Europe, North America, and Asia. As a cultural ambassador, Krishna Ji’s collaborations with Indian and international musicians, including Ustad Zakir Hussain (Essence of a Raga), Ustad Ali Akbar Khan (Garden of Dreams), Terry Riley (for the Movie No Man’s Land, 1985) and Kronos String Quartet are most significant. He has also recorded some beautiful compositions with folk artists from Rajasthan.
Krishna Ji has won several awards and accolades, including the prestigious Gunijan award he received in 2005 from Mrs. Pratibha Patil, the then President of India, the Surmani Award, and Rajasthan Sangeet Natak Akademi, to name a few. His Indo-Jazz collaboration with Ustad Zakir Hussain and renowned saxophone artist George Brooks won him a nomination for Grammy Awards.
Krishna Ji’s research led him to discover and establish structures of less-known ragas from Rajasthan. His work on the ethnomusicological study of Maand, the regional singing style from Rajasthan, is immensely commendable.