The young maestro: Nagesh Adgaonkar

The young maestro: Nagesh Adgaonkar

The rustle of leaves swaying to the wind, songs of birds, an exhilarating fragrance of the earth and natures symphony became the perfect setting for a...

The rustle of leaves swaying to the wind, songs of birds, an exhilarating fragrance of the earth and nature’s symphony became the perfect setting for a farmer’s son from Latur, who was inspired to break into folk songs that reflected life’s yearnings. As his sonorous voice enchanted villagers with folk songs that livened up the rural milieu, the eight-year-old forayed into singing bhajans and kirtans at small gatherings around his village.

Nagesh Adgoankar was a major draw at many musical gatherings and his father realising his potential decided to send him for training in classical music. Beginning his early instruction with Pandit Vittal Rao Jagtap in Latur, the boy moved on to Pandit Rajendra Kandalgaonkar’s Academy in Kolkata where he and three other students were spotted and chosen by the famed classical musician Ustad Rashid Khan to become his disciples.

Nagesh recalls singing “Balma more thore sangh” the guru’s bandish in Bhageshree in his presence which he considers one of the most cherished moments of his life. “When I heard Ustadji sing before us at the Academy I was blown away. His powerful voice and perfect notes mesmerised me. I realised I was nowhere close to his perfection. Being known as his disciple is an honour and has opened many doors for me,” he says

Training under one of the living legends of Hindustani classical music is no small matter. With him for four years beginning from 2011, the 29-year-old singer considered as one of the brightest rising stars of the Rampur Shaswan Gharana is in awe of his guru and sings many of his compositions at concerts across Delhi, Jaipur, Bengaluru, Goa and Hyderabad apart from Pune where he now lives. Talking about his guru he says, “Ustadji is immersed in music day in and day out. You can ask him any composition at any time of the day and he will sing it elaborating on the finer details. He wants perfection and will not let go until he gets the perfect note.’

Endowed with a powerful voice that resonates with a rare clarity, the singer gets into the mood of the composition and conveys the emotion to perfection at concerts that boast of young accompanists on the tabla, harmonium and the tanpura. The contemplative Ahir Bhairav, the racy Malhar, lilting thumris and semi-classical numbers or a Kabir Bhajan full of devotional fervour and philosophical thought are executed to perfection by Nagesh Adgaonkar, who practices music for seven hours each day fuelled by his love for classical music.

“I would ask young singers opting for film music to practice classical singing at least for an hour or two before they go for their recordings as there can be no melody without striking the right note and this is only possible through rigorous practice or sadhana,” he opines.

Although he has sung songs based on classical ragas and semi-classical tunes for a few Marathi films, Nagesh says they were just an exploration that he does not wish to continue. All forms of music appeal to him including Carnatic music, rock, jazz and opera which he listens to every now and then. This only intensifies his love for Hindustani music offering newer insights.

Despite the lure of other forms of music many youngsters are serious about classical music says the youngster, who loves all ragas but lists Puriya Dhanashri, Bagheshree and Megh Malhar among his favourites. Apart from his guru Rashid Khan, he is inspired by the singing of Aamir Khan, Bade Ghulam Ali Khan and Kishori Amonkar whose purity of singing touches him.

The talented singer, who has students in Pune, is aware that he has a long journey ahead before he joins the firmament of Hindustani Classical Greats. The beautiful Kabir composition tuned and taught by his guru “Dheere dheere re mana, Dheere sab kuch hoin, Maali seenche sau gada… Rithu aaye phal hoyi (everything happens in its time.

Even if a gardener uses 100 pots of water, the plant will yield fruits only when it has to) perhaps is best suited for the budding singer with loads of talent. Nagesh Adgaonkar knows that he has just begun his journey and perfects his singing, winning accolades all the way. The results will come in their time.

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