Music of Benares - Classical Indian Music
Pandit Shivnath Mishra, Sitar
Deobrat Mishra, Sitar
Prashant Mishra, Tabla
From their home city of Benares, an ancient spiritual centre of traditional music and Indian culture, “The Mishras” are bringing classical North Indian Ragas and meditative music to the world audience, gifting the audience with a fabulous performance and a spiritual experience. Join this father and son duet of two of the worlds finest Sitar Artist and Prashant Mishra on Tabla grandson of Pandit Shivnath Mishra as they inspire one another to new levels of loving interplay.
PANDIT SHIVNATH MISHRA
Pandit Shivnath Mishra was born on the 12th of October 1943, in Varanasi (North India). Also known as “Legend of the Sitar”, he is the 6th generation of the prominent Benares Gharana lineage of top class singers including Pandit Bade Ramdas Mishra and Panditji Great Grand Father. Since childhood, his highly musical family could see signs of a masterful musician in him. When Panditji was five years old, he began studying vocal music with his father, Badri Prashad Mishra, and his uncle-guru, Pandit Mahadev Prashad Mishra. However, when he was eight his musical inclination led him to study the sitar. In a family of great classical Indian vocalists, he was the first one who mastered the sitar.
Due to the vocal influence from his family as well as the Benares Gharana tradition, he is one among few artists in Contemporary India who ‘sing inside’ while playing a musical instrument. His lively, powerful and unique style has praised him with innumerous titles by the most representative authorities and institutions of music in and outside India. In 1966, when he was only twenty-three, he received a gold medal in the All India Music Conference, in Calcutta.
1979 marks the beginning of his performances abroad. Since then, he has been constantly on tour in many foreign countries, among them Germany, Italy, France, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Japan, and Holland etc. In 1999, he gave his first concert in the USA and Canada. During his tours, he has performed with several international jazz artists such as John Handy, Paul Horn, David Freezen, Ben Conrad,,Trilok Gurtu among others. Moreover, he participated in many conferences and recitals including the Condolence music for Late Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi, in Germany. He also took part in programs broadcast by the BBC Television:
& also played for the German Radio, Canadian Radio CBC, Austrian Radio, Belgium Television VRT , Italian Television Rai and Telepio.
Maharaja Vibhuti Narayan Singh Award,
Swathi Thirunal Award,
Sitar Siromani Award,
Sangeet Siromani Award,
Banaras Rattan Award,
Kashi Rattan Award,
Sangeet Pragya Award,
Swar Sadhana Rattn Award, He is also been announced for U.P Sangeet natak Akadami Award.
Being one of India’s premiere sitar artists of all times, Pandit Shivnath Mishra was the Head of the Music Department at the Sampurnanand Sanskrit University of Benares, in Varanasi, for 36 years. At this time, in 1994, he formed the “Music of Benares” which consists of a group of North Indian (Hindustani) classical musicians whose aim is to familiarize audiences all over the world with Hindustani music in general and the Benares Gharana in particular. What is characteristic of the Benares Gharana is exactly the singing of the Thumri, a light Indian classical music that is highly ornamental and thus very emotional and expressive. At a time when many different Gharanas mix with each other, the “Music of Benares” group keeps this ancient tradition alive. Incorporation of this style with the “Jugalbandi” presentation, in which there are two solo artists sharing the stage, has created a unique synthesis of classical and folk that appeals to audiences everywhere. But this is not just Jugalbandi, this is a duet between a Guru and his Shishya (disciple) and, in this case, between father and son. Seeing this special interaction on stage is no doubt an unforgettable and mesmerizing experience.
Deobrat Mishra is no doubt one of the most energetic and innovative sitar artists of India. Selectivity, melody and rhythmic complexity are typical features in his lively playing style.
Born in 1976, he represents the 7th generation of the Benares Gharana tradition. As a young child he studied Tabla with his mother, Pramila Mishra, who is the granddaughter of the well-known Tabla player Pandit Baiju Mishra. He started by studying vocal music with his father at the age of five and began his sitar lessons a year later. That same year, after only six months of studying the sitar, he gave his first public performance on stage. Five years later, he performed for the first time on the All India Radio.
Since 1994 he has been touring throughout Europe with his father. In the same year he was chosen to receive the award of the Youth Sitar Player. In 2000 he received the “Jewels of Sound Award” in Mumbai. His many projects include music workshops, solo performances for radio and television as well as world music programs with Indian and European artists. Moreover, he is the one in charge of cultural events and music lessons provided by the Academy of Indian Classical Music, the school he founded along with his father, Pandit Shivnath Mishra, in 2006.
He received a Masters degree in sitar from the Prayag Sangit Samiti in Allahabad. Among many other projects, the Mishras performed and recorded their music with the Western Symphony Orchestra of Italy in 2005. Nowadays, they fully dedicate their art to similar projects including annual tours around the world. Above all, the Mishras (father and son) serve as two of India’s leading cultural ambassadors of our times.
Prashant Mishra is one of the best young Tabla player of benares music tradition. When he was five he started to learn tabla with the family member of Biru Mishra of Varanasi also studying Tabla presently with Mr.Chakkan lal Mishra(Student of Great Tabla player Anokhelal Mishra.
Soon after few years of hard practice with his grandfather Pandit Shivnath Mishra and Uncle Deobrat Mishra he was able to perform with Mishras His skills beautifully compliment and support the Mishras in their concerts
In 2004 he won first prize in Tabla competition organized by Sangeet Natak Academy Uttar Pradesh India. He received many awards for his tabla playing at many different places.
Additionally, the Mishras support their Academy of Music in Benares, India where they keep alive the tradition of their music amongst young musicians. Every January and February, the Academy is open to international students of all ages and skill levels. These study tours to India are a cultural experience combining ashram style living and intensive music instruction in one of the world’s oldest cities.
The Mishras tour help to support the Academy of Indian Classical Music School in Varanasi, India
Mishras has also directed orchestra 151 of Sitar/Tabla in Varanasi to give people awareness on cleaning holy river Ganga.