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Hindustani Classical Musician
Hindustani Classical Musician

Date & Time

Tuesday Tue, 17 May 2022


Location (for BIC Venue, BIC Hybrid and BIC Cafe)

Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560 071 India
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+91 98865 99675 bic@bangaloreinternationalcentre.org

This year is the birth centenary of Bharat Ratna, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi. His life story has been captured in a book by Pandit Nagaraj Havaldar, a leading Hindustani Classical Artist (and a “grand” student of Pt. Bhimsen Joshi). The book, ‘Bharat Ratna Pt Bhimsen Joshi, The Voice of the People’, captures not only the musical brilliance of Pt. Joshi, but his hard work, dedication, perseverance, positive attitude, etc. These traits, which we commonly call as 21st century skills, are very critical for success in any field. Pt. Joshi’s life has several stories that can inspire all of us as entrepreneurs & professionals greatly.

In this session, Pt. Nagaraj Havaldar presents a motivational lecdem based on the life and achievements of Bharata Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi. Not only will audiences learn about Karnataka’s Bharat Ratna, but they can also learn these lessons from his journey. There will also be a performance by Pt. Nagaraj Havaldar, Kedarnath Havaldar and Sameer Havaldar.

In collaboration:

Supported by:


Pt. Nagaraj Havaldar

Hindustani Classical Musician

Dr Nagaraj Rao Havaldar is one of the leading vocalists of Hindustani Classical music. He has had extensive training in the tradition of Kirana Gharana from Pandit Madhava Gudi, himself a prime disciple of the Kirana scion Bhimsen Joshi. He has also had immense training in the tradition of Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana from Pandit Panchakshari Swami Mattigatti, a senior disciple of Pandit Mallikarjun Mansur.

Dr Nagaraj Rao Havaldar holds the “Sangeetha Ratna” degree in Hindustani Classical Music from Karnataka University, Dharawad. He is a gold medallist in M.A. (History and Archaeology), and also holds a Doctorate in Music from Karnataka University, his doctorate thesis being ‘History of Music in Karnataka, and the Legacy of Mysore Maharaja towards its growth’.

From 1988 to 1991, Dr Havaldar served with All India Radio as a Programme executive. However, he quit his employment to fully involve himself into Classical Music. He is now a Grade ‘A’ Artiste with the All India Radio. Dr Havaldar is a pioneer in popularizing the Kannada Khayal, by adapting the Vachanas, the literary works of Haridasa, and suitable contemporary poetry in Kannada to the traditional khayal form.

Conceptualised by him, and directed by T.N. Seetaram, “Raagadhaare”, a television series broadcast on Doordarshan, stands as an exemplary in bringing the “Kannada Khayal” to limelight. Another of his concepts, “Swaradhaare”, a Doordarshan television series researched, mentored and presented by him, and produced by the Azim Premji University, presents the biographies of some of Karnataka’s great musicians.

The Bhagavadgeeta” translated to Kannada by NR Rao, and sung by Dr Havaldar to melodies based on Ragas, is a unique effort to bring The Geeta to a wider audience. He has published an album of eight Raga recitals for the NIMHANS, to assist their research on music therapy for children. He has also performed at the Tihar Jail for the benefit of the inmates.

Additionally, Dr Nagaraj Rao Havaldar has published numerous of his Khayal and devotional compositions over the decades. He has been nominated by The President of India as a member of the first court committee, Sikkim Central University and has widely travelled for concerts and lecture demonstrations within and outside India. His frequent tours to USA, UK and Canada have won him a lot of following, acclaim and students. He has performed all over India, including at prestigious venues such as, the Hampi Utsava, the Dasara Durbar Festival in Mysore, the Sankat Mochan Sangeet Samaroh in Varanasi, the Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsav in Pune, and the Shankarlal Festival in Delhi.

In the USA, he has performed at the World Kannada Conference in 2002, the World Music Festival in 2006, World Veerashaiva Conference, Boston Vachana conference, etc. He has been a visiting professor of music in 2011, at the Chicago Elmhurst College. He has gathered critical acclaim with his performance at numerous venues such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, New Jersey and Yale University.

Dr Havaldar has travelled to the United Kingdom several times, and has twice been a guest teacher at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, London, for their Summer School Programme. He has also performed at the London International Arts Festival, among many others.

Dr Havaldar has authored several books and contributed articles to various leading Kannada papers and weekly magazines. “Anuraga”, his very popular column published in the paper “Hai! Bengalooru”, depicted the life of some musicians. A selection of the articles from this column were subsequently compiled and published as “Swarasannidhi”. “Badalaaguttiruva Kaalaghattadalli Shastreeya Sangeeta”, published by the Kannada University, Hampi, explores the nature of Indian Classical Music in changing times. However, his magnum opus is his recent semi-biographical – “Bharata Ratna Pt. Bhimasen Joshi – The Voice of the People”. This is an English rewrite of his earlier Kannada work on Pandit Bhimsen Joshi named “Bharata Ratna Pt. Bhimasen Joshi – Naavu Neevu Kandante”.

Dr Havaldar has been honoured with several awards for his contribution to Indian Classical music, some of them being, the Aryabhata Award, The Salt Lake Music Festival “Sangeetha Ratna” Award, Panchakshari Gawai Memorial Award, Nirman Purandara “Sangeeta Ratna” Award, and Vishwa Kala Sangha “Sangeeta Award” Adding to his many awards, the Karnataka State Government Sangeeta Nritya Academy has recently conferred him the prestigious “Karnataka Kalashree” Award for the year 2019.

Kedarnath Havaldar


Kedarnath Havaldar is the younger son of Dr. Havaldar. Kedarnath chose to express his music through Tabla. His initial training in vocal music has shaped his accompaniment to suit the nuances of Khayal Gayaki. Kedar was trained by Pt. Rajgopal Kallurkar and Pt. M. Nagesh for 10 years. Presently he is under the tutelage of Pt. Samir Chatterjee. Kedar’s stay in New York under the true Gurukula System of learning has given deeper insight into all aspects of Tabla.

He has participated in World Kannada Conference New Jersey-2010, VSNL, Boston, Logan University, Salt Lake City, Utah (First Music team ever to perform in that University). He has performed at Carnegie Hall N.Y., World Music Festival (Chicago), London International Festival (2014), Sawai Ghandharva Festival (Pune, 2011 and 2019), toured India with Asia’s Biggest Sufi-Rock Band, Junoon from Pakistan and has been part of a Tabla accompaniment for video productions from Sunaada Art Foundation. He has performed at Tablaphilia, a unique 7 concert series with international Tabla Ensemble composed and conducted by Pt. Samir Chatterjee.

Kedarnath has also designed a teaching course and taught the course on ‘World Rhythms’ at Azim Permji University, Bangalore. He has collaborated with Italian Choir and Chinese music production “Saath- Saath”.

Sameer Havaldar


Sameer Havaldar hails from a family of musicians. His first guru was Pt. Prabhudeva Salimath in Talikoti. Sameer’s father Sheshacahala is a retired Professor of History, used to sing Kannada light music and also an approved Kannada cricket commentator. Sameer’s uncle Dr. Havaldar is a noted Hindustani Classical Vocalist and a scholar. Sameer is a graduate in Psychology and holds a Masters Degree in Mass Communication and Journalism.

Sameer is an approved artist from All India Radio and Doordarshan for devotional music. He has been teaching Hindustani vocal and harmonium since 8 years, he is teacher for Hindustani Vocal department at SIFF Young Artist, an organisation for performing arts – vocals, dance and instrumental music.

Sameer also does video editing for The Raaga Room, a series of interviews of various artists from all over the world interviewed by Smt. Deepa Joshi. He is continuing his vocal and harmonium learning under his uncle Dr. Havaldar and Pt. Panchaksharaiah Hiremath respectively. He is also learning western accordion from Accordion Prakash and western Piano from Gautam Shenoy.

He has toured and performed all over India, UK and USA. Some of his major performances are
Logan University, Salt Lake City, Utah (First Music team ever to perform in that University), London International Festival (2014), “Dhwani”- Pt. Mallikarjun Mansur Memorial Festival (organised by Bangalore, Kidney Foundation, 2014), Bharataratna Pt.Bhimsen Joshi Memorial All-Day Concert – Sunaada Art Foundation (Bangalore 2014), Chhandayan Center for Indian Music (New York, USA 2016), Indiana University of Pennsylvania (USA 2016), Sangeetha – Society for Indian Classical Music, St. Louis (USA 2016 and 2018), Sawai Ghandharva Festival (Pune, 2019), and he has collaborated with Chinese music production “Saath- Saath”.

Sameer is an integral part of Dr. Havaldar’s writing both in Kannada and English helping him to collect the information and process the same into the book / article.

Divya Shenoy

Hindustani Classical Musician

Divya Shenoy has been learning Hindustani classical music from Pt Dr Nagaraj Rao Havaldar and Shri Omkarnath Havaldar for the past 8 years. Divya holds a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University North Carolina, USA. She has worked as a Cardiac Electrophysiology Specialist alongside some of the most renowned cardiologists at New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. Having a strong urge to learn Hindustani classical music, she was fortunate to be accepted by Pt Dr Nagaraj Rao Havaldar as a student, even though he had not even seen or met her in person as she was working in New York. Her weekly classes soon started getting more intensive and serious and both Panditji and Divya felt that pursuing classical music as a hobby was inadequate to understand the depth and intricacies of the art form.

The entire Havaldar family stood by her and strongly supported her decision to quit her lucrative job and move back to India to pursue music full time.

Since 2016, she and her husband (Gautam Shenoy, an engineer who has also quit his career in Business Analysis to pursue and teach Western classical piano) have dedicated all their time and energy towards learning and teaching music.