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News |  24 Mar 2018 14:31 |  By RnMTeam

People don't understand the depth of classical music: Radhika Veena Sadhak

MUMBAI: On one hand we think that young generation is not turning towards classical music and then, on the other hand, we actually have people who are practicing Indian Classical Music with utmost sincerity. Dr. Radhika Umdekar alias Veena Sadhak, is one such young artiste, also the only woman in the world to play Vichtra Veena.

Hailing from a classical music family and belonging to one of the most musically vibrant cities once upon a time, Gwalior, Radhika initially took lessons from her father Pandit Shriram Umdekar in Sitar. However later, she felt the urge to learn something that was still unexplored by this generation. “The ambiance in our family was always musical, as my father is a sitar player and my grandfather was a court musician in the royal court of Gwalior. I started learning sitar when I was very young from my father; however, I was fascinated by the sound of Veena. My father wanted me to stick to Sitar, as I was doing well but I was persistent. I tried Rudra Veena too, but I was looking for something else. That’s when my father introduced me to Vichitra Veena, and I felt this was what I was looking for it.”

Apart from learning from her father, Radhika also learns from Grammy Award Winner, Pandit Vishwamohan Bhatt. “It is the divinity in his performance that propelled me to learn from him. It is not just the instrument, but his overall performance quality that made me want to learn from him. I am very grateful to have learned from him.”

A rarely played instrument, and even so by women, she has been receiving a lot of encouragement coupled with curiosity. “Anything different always gets attention and curiosity. I was fascinated by the inside feel this instrument has. The audience comes to experience something different.”

Radhika, however, thinks, in India, we need more attention to our own art, “People don’t understand the depth of classical music. Mumbai has a very active musical scene and there are concerts happening every now and then, but somehow smaller places are more connected.”

Apart from performing live, Radhika also has a foundation called Veena Venu Foundation, “The foundation is formed with a mission to promote classical music. We would want Indian Classical Music to reach every household. The work is relentlessly going on for the same.”

Radhika has performed at many prestigious festivals in India and she thinks it’s her way of presenting that sets her apart, “I play the instrument with Veena ang. I have table and pakhwaj with me for accompaniment. Playing the jod with the pakhwaj is something that I enjoy a lot.”

Next Radhika is scheduled to perform at the prestigious NCPA for the 8th edition of Saaz-e-Bahar, a festival dedicated to Indian instrumental music. The thrilled artiste says, “I have performed at NCPA initially at their Youth Festival Umang. I am looking forward to my performance this time.”

Event: Saaz-E-Bahar

Date: 6 April 2018

Time: 6.30 pm

Venue: Godrej Dance Academy