India’s Ancient Singing Art – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

India’s Ancient Singing Art

Dhrupad is the most ancient form of both vocal and instrumental music of India. On Monday, March 24, the Colleges will welcome back world renowned musician Uday Bhawalkar, who will perform at 8 p.m. in the library's Geneva Room in a concert sponsored by the Colleges' Department of Music and chair of the department, Robert Cowles.

From a young age, Bhawalkar wanted to be an Indian classical musician and began training in this ancient singing art. His talent and passion were quickly noticed, and by 15, he was selected to study at the Dhrupad Kendra in Bhopal, India.

He studied under the great dhrupad musician Ustad Zia Fariduddin and received a four-year scholarship. From this point on, Bhawalkar has devoted his life to learning and performing dhrupad. For the next 12 years, he furthered his training by studying and living with gurus, Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar and the Rudra-Veena Maestro Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar in Bhopal and Mumbai.

The dhrupad has survived for centuries and been practiced and taught throughout India. Dhrupad's main purpose is for worship, rather than entertainment; an aspect that remains at the center of the music, as it did centuries ago. The music of dhrupad creates an atmosphere of beauty and peacefulness.

In 1985, Bhawalkar performed his first dhrupad concert at Bhopal. Since then, he has continued performing in India and in 1990, he began sharing his talents with the rest of the world. Bhawalakar has played in numerous prestigious music festivals including Spic Macay, Virasat and National conventions, England's WOMAD and Belgium's SFINKS. Uday has given solo concerts throughout Europe, North and South America, and twice he has performed at these Colleges. In addition, he has collaborated with other musicians and dancers from around the globe.

Bhawalkar has received numerous awards starting with his national scholarship in 1986. He received a gold medal in 1981 from Ustad Nasir Aminuddin Dagar. and has been blessed by Ustad Zakir Hussain for his unsurpassed passion and skill as a dhrupad musician.

For details about Bhawalkar's life and dhrupad music, visit:

The concert is free and the community is welcome.