A Family Stepped in Music

Even a cursory look at the life and work of Indian musicians shows that, more often than not, music runs in the family. This holds true with Pandit Rajan Kulkarni as well. As mentioned earlier, his uncle was among the first disciples of Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar. It was at the behest of Pandit Vishnu Digambar that Pandit Raghunathrao Kulkarni founded the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya in Amritsar, Punjab, in 1937. Pandit Rajan Kulkarni' father Late Pandit Vinayakrao Kulkarni continued the tradition, devoting his life to grooming talented singers, vocalist and instrument-players. Pandit Rajan Kulkarni also lived in Amritsar until 1993, when he shifted to Pune. The proximity of an institution devoted to music as well as the many visits by stalwart musician have had salutary effect on Pandit Rajan Kulkarni’ own make-up as a musician.

Performer, Teacher and Organizer

Proud to continue the tradition of this father and his uncle, Pandit Rajan Kulkarni founded the Sarang Sangeet Vidyalaya soon after shifting to Pune. Today the school imparts musical training in all the three faculties of Hindustani classical music (vocal, instrumental and dance) to 350 students. The school is also recognized by Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal, Mumbai. In other words, the tradition of teaching, began in Amritsar in 1937, continues uninterrupted in Pune. The Sarang Sangeet Vidyalaya has qualified and trained staff to teach in different disciplines. Also vidyalaya has all the amenities like audio/video music library, musical instruments etc. Pandit Rajan Kulkarni inculcates the habit of Riyaaz in all the students by providing them the Vidyalaya rooms and facilities besides teaching.

Pandit Rajan Kulkarni has founded the Swarasangam Foundation with the aim of organizing music concerts and offering financial aid to the needy students. “Exposure to other artistes’ performances is as vital to a nascent musician as the training imparted by the mentor and his/her own efforts. With this in mind, we try to organize music concerts under the auspices of the Swarasangam Foundation. Financial assistance is also offered to the needy students. Besides these, musical advice and counseling is offered by the Foundation to those who live in far-flung places and cannot commute to Pune regularly,” says Pandit Rajan Kulkarni.

Distance Learning

Yet another important activity conducted by the Sarang Sangeet Vidyalaya is distance learning. Many students living at faraway places within India as well as in countries like Italy, France and US are under Padit Rajan Kulkarni’ tutelage through the distance learning method. Most of them reinforce their training by learning before their guru in person whenever they visit the Vidyalaya in Pune. Interested students can avail this facility by contacting Pandit Rajan Kulkarni.

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