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A practitioner of the Lucknow Gharana of north Indian music, Rekha Surya has sung at prestigious venues in India and abroad. She perpetuates the legacy of her legendary guru Begum Akhtar. She also honed her skills under the tutelage of another legend, Girija Devi of the Benaras Gharana, integrating both styles of singing into an individualistic style.
The infusion of spirituality into an essentially romantic genre is a unique part of her repertoire. The ancient literary traditions she draws from have both South Asian Muslim and Hindu cultural references. Her in-concert explanations demystify mystical poetry. In this concert she weaves music into the some of the great Urdu poetry of the 19th and 20th centuries.
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Hindustani Light Classical singer Rekha Surya trained under Begum Akhtar and Girija Devi. She is from Lucknow and now lives in New Delhi.
She recorded for the Archives of Sangeet Natak Akademi in 1994 and 2014. She is a recipient of Karamvir Puraskar 2012 for singing Sufi poetry in Thumri-Dadra-Ghazal form and keeping alive traditional Ghazal-Gayaki. She is an A Grade Artist with All India Radio and is empanelment in the Established Artist category with ICCR.
She has sung for the Smithsonian Institution Washington DC, Metropolitan Museum of Art New York, Cornell University, Yale University, MIT with International Hindi Association Boston, Columbia University, Harvard University, University of Toronto, Nehru Centre London, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan London, Bharat Bhavan Bhopal, National Centre for Performing Arts Mumbai, Ram Vilas Palace Baroda, Roosevelt House New Delhi, French Ambassador’s residence New Delhi, Canadian High Commissioner’s residence New Delhi, Sahitya Kala Parishad, Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy, Jammu University, University of Hyderabad, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Indian Council for Cultural Relations and fund-raising concerts. She represented India at the Asian Music Festival Sri Lanka in 1999 and at the International Falak Festival Tajikistan in 2006. She has been featured twice by BBC London.
In India, she has performed in Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Pune, Allahabad, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Gwalior, Indore, Dewas, Ujjain, Ratlam, Vadodara, Lucknow, Kanpur, Nagpur, Srinagar, Chandigargh, Bhuj, Gandhidham, Burhanpur, Ludhiana, Faizabad, Ambala, Dehra Dun, Mussoorie, Bhubaneswar, Varanasi, Agra, Cochin and Trivandrum.
Outside India, she has performed in Washington D.C., New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Madison, Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, New Foundland, Oslo, U.K., Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Singapore and Afghanistan.
Her book on Hindustani light classical music titled Sung in a Sensual Style is published by Knowledge World and also by Sangeet Research Academy for their in-house use.