A distinguished exponent of the Senia Maihar Gharana, Taranath ji’s distinctive musicianship demonstrates striking imaginative power, technical excellence and emotional range.
He has been honoured nationally by the government of India with the 2019 Padma Shri and the 1999-2000 Sangeet Natak Akademi award and within his home state of Karnataka (including the 1998 Chowdiah Memorial and the 2018 Sangeet Vidhwan, 2019 Nadoja awards) where he is recognized as a pioneering influence in South India.
He is a distinguished disciple of the great sarod maestro Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, he also received crucial guidance from two other legendary musicians of this musical lineage, Pandit Ravi Shankar and Vidushi Annapurna Devi.
This recently released documentary film had successful screenings in Mumbai (NCPA, Hubli (Gangubai Hangal Sangeet Vidyalaya), Chennai, Trichy and at the Bangalore International Center, which was followed by a Q& A and discussion with Pt. Taranathji, the filmmaker and the audience.
In the documentary film, the musical journey of Panditji is narrated by himself. Besides recounting his life when considered a child prodigy of vocal music, the discovery of the path he undertook as a sarod player and his teaching of the art, he shares his views on originality of musical expression, guru- shishya parampara and approach to the understanding of classical Hindustani music. The film has interviews of eminent musicians and people closely associated with him. Rare documents, clippings of his concerts over the years and his most recent public performance captured live are some of the highlights of the film. The documentary is a tribute to one of the great masters of sarod. The documentary was released in 2022 and runs for 40 minutes.
“Playing the raga is rather like spreading butter on bread. You’ve got to see how well you can spread it, and how widely you can spread it. You must push at the frontiers of the raga, and yet see that it doesn’t break. If the raga breaks, you are in a kind of melodic anonymity, which ultimately breaks you as a musician.
– Pt. Rajeev Taranath
Born into a highly creative family from Bangalore, India, Rajeev Taranath began studying music, song and poetry with his father at a very early age. As a teenager, he attended a concert featuring classical Indian music that would forever change his life and artistic path. Under the tutelage of the great sarod maestro Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Taranath became dedicated to the sarod. Throughout his career, he also received crucial guidance from two other legendary musicians of this musical lineage, Pandit Ravi Shankar and Srimati Annapurna Devi. Rajeev Taranath today is considered one of India’s top exponents of the sarod with musicianship that masterfully combines the depth and rigor of traditional Hindustani classical music with an inspired imagination and emotional intensity. For this, he has received wide acclaim, including the Indian government’s prestigious honor for the classical performing arts, the Padma Shri in 2019 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 2000.He is respected for the clarity of musical understanding and depth of knowledge which he brings to the unfolding of a raga and the beauty of the tone he evokes from the sarod. Currently living in Mysore, India, Taranath travels worldwide, both teaching and performing. His concerts have included performances at major Indian music venues and internationally at universities, conservatories and world music festivals. In India these have included the Tansen Sangeet Samaroh, the Dover Lane Music Conference, Sawai Gandharv Mahatsov, Sangeet Research Academy Sangeet Sammelan and many others.
International performances have included presenters such as Oberlin Conservatory, the Sydney Opera House, The Smithsonian Institution (Freer Sackler Gallery), Theatre De Ville (Paris), Rubin Museum (NYC) and Tropeninstitut (Netherlands), Asian Art Museum (SF), Asia Society (Hong Kong), Chicago World Music Festival, Denver Art Museum, the Rietberg Museum (Zurich), Museum of Musical Instruments (Phoenix Arizona), University of California, Santa Cruz, Small World Music (Toronto), Middlebury College, UCLA, University of Redlands (CA), Denver University, World Music Institute (NYC) Centre Kabir (Montreal) and Colorado University and many Indian cultural organizations dedicated to presenting high caliber Hindustani classical concerts. From 1995-2005, Taranath served on the music faculty of the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles.