RAHUL DESHPANDE, 31, Singer
“My biggest aim is to preserve classical music and revive the sangeetnatak genre which is fast dying out”
Singing wasn’t his first choice. But, today, Rahul Deshpande is a popular classical singer. Grandson of the legendary singer Vasantrao Deshpande, he is known for his renditions of classical raga, khayal,
thumri, bhaavgeet (devotional songs) and the nirguni bhajan. He’s done over a thousand live shows, has acted in the recent film Bal Gandharva and has done over 60 shows of the popular sangeet natak (musical play) Katyar Kaljat Ghusali. A reluctant singer, who almost became a chartered accountant before noted writer P L Deshpande encouraged him to pursue music, ended up winning numerous awards for his music. He is also a music teacher and has judged talent shows on television.
EARLY START At the age of six, he performed at a guru purnima event in Pune before taking a break from classical music classes until 1992 when he heard nirguni bhajan by Pandit Kumar Gandharva. This changed his life. In 2007, he started the Vasantotsav, a popular annual music festival in memory of his grandfather.
“He is carrying forward his grandfather’s legacy and is tal
ented enough to reach greater heights in his career”
SHOUNAK ABHISHEKI, CLASSICAL SINGER