Janardhan Mitta «Back
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Pt.Janardhan Mitta, who initially was a self taught sitar player, later came under the expert tutelage of sitar maestro Pandit Ravishankar. Unlike some of his contemporaries who have quit film music to make a mark in the concert segment, Janardhan Mitta, who continues to strike a right balance between both, in his own style, recollects… 

Music since childhood...

My father was an advocate practising at Hyderabad, and deeply interested in music. In those days every Thursday evening was music time, as courts were closed on Fridays. It was customary for vidwans who came to Hyderabad to visit our house on Thursdays for informal performances that extended to the wee hours of the morning. My sister and myself would keep awake throughout.

My father, besides singing, could also play the harmonium and tabla, while my sister played the sitar. I began playing the sitar she had left behind after her marriage.To everyone’s surprise, within weeks I was able to play a few ragas, swaras and taan. I could produce good music, though, I was then not very sure of the technique. By 1952, I got through the audition at AIR Hyderabad, amidst tough competition, and was ranked higher than accomplished vidwans. Believe me, it was all self-taught.

Learning under Pandit Ravishankar....

In 1955, I was introduced to Ravishankarji, when he came to Hyderabad for the All India Radio Sangeet Sammelan. He listened to my playing and made corrections in my strokes. I had styled myself on phonetic-based playing.

My father was keen that I learn from him and did not mind my foregoing studies. This took guruji by surprise. Becoming an engineer was easier and could accomplish it at any point of time in life whereas it is not the same with music, was my father’s strong feeling. When I joined Panditji’s classes, I was in my second year of the engineering course. On looking back I have to thank my father for his foresight.


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