Pandit Firoz Dastur, a doyen of the Kirana Gharana, was born in 1918 in a Parsi family to parents who had a deep love for music and poetry. Initially he opted to act and sing in films and was a well-known name in the film industry in the 1930s. Later he began learning Hindustani music from Krishnarao Jaokar, a disciple of the legendary Khansaheb Abdul Karim Khan. He took advanced training from Sawai Gandharva, one of the greatest exponents of the Kirana Gharana.
In a singing career that had spanned almost six decades, Panditji
had enthralled audiences both in India and abroad. In addition to performances at prestigious conferences like the All India Music Conference, Sadarang, Sarva Bharatiya Surdas Sangeet Sammelan, Sur Singar Sansad and Tansen Music Festival, Panditji had participated in every Sawai Gandharva Mahotsav since 1952. A Faculty Member of Hindustani Classical Music at Bombay University since the inception of its Department of Music in 1969, the many honours and awards he received included the prestigious Sangeet Natak Academy Award (1986), Tansen Award, Maharastra State Gaurav Puraskar, Honorary Doctorate of the South Gujarat University and others. A great teacher, he had trained musicians like Srikant Deshpande (grandson of Sawai Gandharva), Milind Chittal, Sudha Divekar, Achut Abhyankar and others.
Pandit Dastur passed away in May 2008 in Mumbai after a brief illness. He was 89.