Artiste of the Month - May 2019
Rajendra Prasanna is one of the foremost exponents of Bansuri & Shehnai and a celebrated artist recognized for his unique ability to perform on two instruments at a topmost level. He hails from Benaras and comes from a traditional family of musicians of renowned Benaras Gharana. He preserves, exercises and performs the old traditional music and arts of India which has been retained with his family since many generations.
He was groomed by his grand-father Pt. Gauri Shankar and father Pt. Raghunath Prasanna, who was the first in Prasanna family to introduce both Tripura and Krishna flute.
Rajendra Prasanna was also guided by his uncles Pt. Bholanath Prasanna and Pt. Vishnu Prasanna. He has also received the taalim from Thumri Samrat Pt. Mahadev Prasad Mishra of Varanasi. He moved to Delhi from Varanasi with his family which enabled him to learn from two meastros of Rampur Sehaswan Gharana who were Padmashree Ustad Hafeez Ahmed Khan and Ustad Sarfaraz Hussain Khan.
Felicitated with Grammy Award certificate in 2004, Rajendra Prasanna became an international personality. He has performed across the globe, including appearance at renowned festivals and venues in many different countries of Europe, Asia, America, Africa and Australia such as Edinburgh festival and Darbar Festival in UK, UNO headquarters in Switzerland and WOMAD festivals in Australia, Newzealand, Sydney Opera House, Melbourne recital centre, Opera de Lyon (France) etc.
In connection with the Golden Jubilee celebration of the Indian Independence, he was invited to participate at the ITC (SRA) World Music Festival held in America, Canada and Switzerland in 1997.
It was at the age of twelve that he was invited to the Calcutta Music Conference in 1968. After that, he never looked back. He performed at the BANSURI FESTIVAL organized by the Sangeet Natak Academi and Raag Rang in 1980, in which top artists from all Gharanas performed. He was the first flautist and shehnai player who visited Pakistan after the partition for a music concert in 1986.
Pt. Rajendra Prasanna has been a TOP grade artist with the All India Radio. He is a recipient of the Life Time Achievement Award of the Sahara India in 2003, Sangeet Ratna Award (Kolkata), Venu Ratna Pune in 2014, Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Natak Academy Award in 1995, National Sangeet Natak Academy Award in 2017.
He has contributed to the Grammy Award – winning music video organized by Pt. Ravi Shankar at the Royal Albert Hall, London, in 2002 in the memory of late George Harrison, for which he received a Grammy Award Certificate in 2004.
Rajendra Prasanna was also associated with National School of Drama, where he served his artistic services from 1979 to 2016.