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PUSHKAR LELE, 32, Classical singer

India Today - - SIMPLY PUNE -

“It’s dif­fi­cult to stand out with­out the back­ing of a guru or god­fa­ther but I have achieved that,” says Pushkar Lele, a Hin­dus­tani classical singer, com­poser and founder-di­rec­tor of the Gand­haar School of Mu­sic. Com­ing from a fam­ily of en­gi­neers, Lele com­pleted his elec­tron­ics en­gi­neer­ing de­gree from the Ma­ha­rash­tra In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy be­fore giv­ing up his ca­reer to pur­sue singing as a pro­fes­sion in 2000. “I didn’t want to be a run-of-the-mill en­gi­neer,” he says, “It was a tu­mul­tuous time in my life when I de­cided to take up mu­sic as a full time ca­reer against the ad­vice of many.” Lele has won sev­eral awards for his mu­sic in­clud­ing a Cen­tral Govern­ment-spon­sored CCRT schol­ar­ship and the re­cent Pan­dit Jitendra Ab­hisheki Sm­riti Yuva Puraskar. He cu­rates con­certs such as Mala Uma­jalele Vas­antrao, a pro­duc­tion on Vas­antrao Desh­pande’s gayaki and prava­hee. For this he col­lab­o­rated with Kathak dancers to un­der­stand the chang­ing facets of mu­sic and dance in In­dia. In May 2011, Lele per­formed Ku­mar Gand­harva’s com­po­si­tions at a spe­cially de­signed pro­duc­tion that pre­miered in Syd­ney and later trav­elled to Bi­japur, New Delhi, Bhopal, Ban­ga­lore, Hy­der­abad and Pune.

THE JOUR­NEY Lele was in kinder­garten when his aunt gifted him a toy har­mo­nium on which he would play the national an­them and other nurs­ery rhymes. His mother signed him up for mu­sic classes and Lele gave his de­but per­for­mance when he was just seven. Soon af­ter, he started learn­ing classical mu­sic from Pan­dit Gan­gad­har­bua Pim­palkhare, and then later when he chanced upon Mukkam Vashi, a tran­scrip­tion of Ku­mar Gand­harva’s res­i­den­tial work­shop he was drawn to mu­sic again.

Con­tact: www.pushkar­lele.com

sec­ond opinion

“He is a good per­former and a promis­ing artist with a very bright fu­ture”

PAD­MAKAR KULKA­RNI, MU­SI­CIAN

“Be­ing a mu­si­cian is a never-end­ing evo­lu­tion. I want to en­joy that jour­ney.”

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