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Sarod maestro Pandit Rajeev Taranath passes away

A file picture of Sarod maestro Pandit Rajeev Taranath, who passed away in Mysuru on June 11, 2024

A file picture of Sarod maestro Pandit Rajeev Taranath, who passed away in Mysuru on June 11, 2024
| Photo Credit: M.A. Sriram

Sarod maestro Pandit Rajeev Taranath, who was undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Mysuru, passed away on June 11 evening.

A source close to the 92-year-old veteran Indian classical musician said the end came around 6.30 p.m. in the hospital. His mortal remains will kept for public viewing at his residence near Jnana Ganga School in Kuvempunagar in Mysuru from 9 am to 12 noon on June 12.

The distinguished musician leaves behind a son, who is on the way to Mysuru from U.S. The last rites will be performed at the crematorium near Chamundi Foothills at 2 p.m. on June 12, said sources.

Pandit Rajeev Taranath had been hospitalized since the last week of May 2024 for treatment of a fracture. Minister for Social Welfare H C Mahadevappa, who is also the Minister in charge of Mysuru district, visited the sarod exponent at the private hospital and assured that the State Government will bear the expenses of his medical treatment.

A distinguished exponent of Senia Maihar Gharana, Pandit Taranath had been honoured nationally by the Government of India with a Padma Shri in 2019 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 2000. In Karnataka, he has been bestowed with the Rajyothsava award in 1996, Chowdaiah Memorial award in 1998, Sangeet Vidwan award in 2018 and Nadoja award in 2019.

Born on October 17, 1932 to father Pandit Taranath and mother Sumathi Bai, Rajeev Taranath completed his BA Honours from Bangalore Central College by securing the first rank. He added another feather to his academic cap by securing the first rank with a gold medal in M A in English from the University of Mysore in 1962.

He secured a PhD in “Image in Poetry of T S Eliot” under the guidance of Prof C D Narasimhaiah form the University of Mysore.

He began his teaching career as a lecturer at the Hamdard College in Raichur built by his father before teaching at various institutions like Karnatak College in Dharwad, Regional College of Education in Mysuru, Regional College of Engineering and Jamal Mohammed College in Tiruchi, before heading the English Department in Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages in Hyderabad and teaching English in Yemen.

Pandit Rajeev Taranath then gave up his career at REC-T, went to Kolkata (then Calcutta) where he started his musical training under maestro Ali Akbar Khan, beginning a life dedicated to music.

Pandit Rajeev Taranath was also the music director to a number of Kannada movies including Samskara, Pallavi, Anuroopa, Paper Boats and Agunthaka, besides Malayalam movies like Kadavu and Kanchanaseetha.

Condolences have started pouring in for Pandit Rajeev Taranath. Minister in charge of Mysuru district H C Mahadevappa and Minister for Kannada and Culture Shivaraj Tangadagi have condoled the death of the well-known Indian classical music exponent.

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