Panditji began his training with Pt. Omkarnath Thakur, but soon after joined Marris College, Lucknow, where he received the heart of his taalim from his Guruji, Pt. S.N. Ratanjankar. Along with his guru bhai, Pt. S.C.R. Bhatt, Panditji spent his formative years receiving rigorous training in the lineage of Pt. Vishnu Narayan Bhatkande, renowned musicologist and father of the modern day Hindustani music system. Upon his performance for his final examination, he was awarded the Bhatkande gold medal for khayal singing.
His performing career has flourished and received the highest honors throughout India and abroad. In India, he has been awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, the Tansen Award, Sangeet Ratna (Swar Sadhana Samitee, Mumbai), Sharangdev Award (Sur Singar Samsad), ITC Award, just to name a few. He has toured internationally, including the US, UK, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia and Europe. He has served as an ambassador for Hindustani music, not only as a performing musician, but also as an educator.
Panditji’s career as a musician is a testament to his limitless creativity: it exhibits a profound versatility and commitment to the art.
Arundhati is Artistic Director of Artistes’ Repertory Theatre, an English language theatre group, founded, with her husband Jagdish, in 1982, and of JAGRITI, a flourishing performing arts centre located in Whitefield, Bangalore.
As director she has designed and directed over forty productions and has participated in a British Council seminar in the UK, on Advanced Theatre Direction in July 1994, being sponsored by the British Council and the Charles Wallace India Trust for the Arts.
Arundhati, along with her husband Jagdish Raja received the 2012 Thespo Lifetime Achievement Award.
From Vanchiyoor in Kerala to the Vyasa Cave in the Himalayas, Sri M’s journey epitomises a unique spiritual ‘rags to riches’ story one where sheer dedication, sincerity and single mindedness allows a young boy to evolve into a living yogi.
Born on November 6, 1948 in Trivandrum in the state of Kerala, Sri M seemed to be drawn irresistibly to what seemed an unusual preoccupation in one so young. From his very first distant interaction with a God absorbed swami to his constant fascination for the grace and mystique of stories of Sufi saints, Sri M was drawn to the ‘other’ and longed for a world of Himalayan heights.
At the age of nine, his inner transformation was sparked off by a visit from a yogi – his master Maheshwarnath Babaji who came all the way from the Himalayas to re-establish his past life connections with M. Even though the meeting was only for a few minutes, it paved the way for the definitive encounter with Babaji at the age of nineteen in the Himalayas, where M arrived after running away from home.
Sri M is married and has two children. He leads a simple life – teaching and heading the Satsang Foundation, a charitable concern promoting excellence in education. At present he lives in Madanapalle, Andhra Pradesh, just three hours from Bangalore.
Pt. Yogesh Samsi
Yogesh Samsi is one of those rare tabla players whose reputation has been built on his consummate artistry in both fields of accompaniment and solo playing. Yogesh was initiated into tabla by his father at the age of four, and later received guidance under Pandit H. Taranath Rao. However it was under the gifted tutelage of the legendary Ustad Alla Rakha that Yogesh received intense training for twenty three years and matured into a fine young tabla player.
Yogesh has accompanied almost every top ranking instrumentalist, vocalist and dancer of India, including Ustad Vilayat Khan, Pt. Dinkar Kaikini, Pt. Bhimsen Joshi, Pt. Shivkumar Sharma, Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and Pt. Birju Maharaj. Apart from accompaniment, Yogesh has performed numerous memorable solo performances in India and abroad. He has also had the privilege of accompanying his teacher Ustad Alla Rakha and his son, the maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain, in their solo performances.