K G Ginde
K G Ginde
Hindustani classical singer, teacher, composer and scholar, Krishna Gundopant Ginde was born on December 26, 1925, in Bailhongal, near Belgaum, Karnataka. He showed interest in music from an early age and devoted his entire life to its pursuit.
He became a shishya of S N Ratanjankar at the age of 11 and moved to Lucknow to become a member of Ratanjankar`s household. S. N. Ratanjankar was then the Principal of Marris College of Music, founded by Bhatkhande. The ambience of Marris College was magical and during the years from about 1925 to 1950, was treated almost as a place of pilgrimage.
When Ginde arrived in Lucknow, the likes of V. G. Jog, S. C. R. Bhat, D. T. Joshi and Chinmoy Lahiri were already among the advanced students there, helping to teach beginners. Although Ginde started as a beginner in a class supervised by S. C. R. Bhat, he was also allowed to hang out in practically any lesson. Young Ginde used these opportunities well, and soon absorbed enough to count himself among the more advanced students. By the time he was 16, Ginde was well on his way to more advanced studies and had also finished his high school education. He gradually began to play a role as a personal aide to Ratanjankar. At the same time, his understanding of music continued to grow to a level, which his guru came to respect well enough to regard him as a musical equal. His performing career too started taking shape. With his guru`s blessing, he had performed solo many times on the radio, as well as at some prominent musical festivals, with notable success. He had also started performing in the dhrupad style in the jugalbandi format with S. C. R. Bhat, his senior co-student and erstwhile teacher.
He moved to Mumbai in 1951 to take up a teaching post with Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. In 1962 he became principal of Vallabh Sangeet Vidyalaya. Gradually, he came to accept his vocation as a teacher and scholar, and devoted himself to the task of teaching and contemplation of the rich musical lore that he had inherited fro his guru, and from the countless musicians that he had come across over the years. He continued to perform sporadically, at conferences where other musicians would be the most ardent admirers of what he presented, but in the main his reputation began to grow because of unequivocal and authoritative explanations accompanied by delicate demonstrations of the subtlest aspects of the tonal conventions that were special to various ragas. Moreover, the continuous contemplation enabled him to internalize his conclusions so thoroughly that he could instantly recall and present them. He could produce from memory over 2000 compositions.
Two honorary degrees, the Sangeet Natak Academy Award, the Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar were some of the belated recognitions that came his way in the late eighties. Around the same time, Ginde became a visiting guru at ITC SRA, giving an intensive series of lectures and demonstrations on the fine points of ragadari sangeet and also training select students. On July 13, 1994, he had just finished a lecture-demonstration and was proceeding to the lunchroom in the company of other musicians, when he suffered a massive heart attack. Thus, he died as he lived, thinking and living in the midst of music. His passing marked the end of an era.