Renowned flautist Pandit Keshav Ginde shall be conferred this year's prestigious Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi Lifetime Achievement Award for Classical Music, Maharashtra's Cultural Affairs Minister Vinod Tawde announced here on Tuesday. The annual award, instituted by Maharashtra, honours maestros in classical music and singing, and carries a cash award of Rs 500,000, a memento and a citation, he added.
Born in 1942 in Belgaum, Karnataka, Pt. Ginde hails from a family of musicians and at age six, learnt to play the Mridangam from his grandfather, Pandit Damodar Ginde.
He also tried his hands at other instruments like Violin, Sitar, Tabla and Dilruba, but owing to financial constraints, the family could not afford his training.
However, his mother brought him a cheap flute which he learnt to play and participated in the prayers of the family deity, Lord Krishna.
Even as his mother dreamt he would one day become a master flautist, Ginde became popular in school and started playing the flute on various special occasions like Independence Day and Republic Day.
Later, he shifted to Pune and joined the Fergusson College where he acquired lessons in general music before his advanced training under Pt. Haripad Choudhari, and also completed his doctorate in music.
Pt. Choudhari was the first disciple and friend of the legendary flautist Pandit Pannalal Ghosh, who was admired by Mahatma Gandhi, and later from his son-in-law, Pt. Devendra Murdeshwar, and was deeply influenced by their styles.
Pt. Ginde's flute rendering resembles Pt. Pannalal's style in vocal music, and he is equally adept at Tantkari or Beenkari style of playing.
He recited the flute for four decades on All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan.
In 1984, he invented and played his creative innovation, the 'Keshav Venu' flute, a 42-inch long flute which can produce 3.5 octaves compared to the maximum 2.5 octaves by regular flutes.
This unique flute has been preserved by the Sangeet Natak Akademi in its national archives along with demonstration videos for the benefit of future generations, besides creating various Indian and global records and a mention in the Limca Book of Records and the Guinness World Records.
The Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi Lifetime Achievement Award for Classical Music has earlier been conferred on maestros like Kishori Amonkar, Pandit Jasraj, Prabha Atre, Pt. Ram Narain, Parveen Sultana, and Manik Bhide.