"The survival and proliferation of any art form is directly linked with its continued acceptance and liking by art lovers, besides the patronage of those at the helm of affairs," believes Dr Shruti Sadholikar Katkar, an avid performing doyenne of the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana and vice chancellor of Bhatkhande Sangeet Sansthan deemed university in Lucknow.
In city for a vocal recital on August 4 at Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan Auditorium, for the ongoing Megh Malhar Festival organised by the Haryana governement, Shruti shared her views on the traditional art form.
"I am glad that the Haryana government has come forward to promote classical music arts with Megh Malhar Festival. In fact, it is imperative to raise the number of intuitive listeners (Kaansen's) as perceived by the visionary legend, Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar," shares Shruti.
Disciple daughter of astalwart of Hindustan classical singing, Pandit Wamanrao Sadolikar, who was also a rich businessman, Shruti is credited with cutting twenty albums of classical music apart from playback singing in films such as Little Budha, Paheli and others.
As a child prodigy, she had won acclaim when music pandits wondered at her capability to render complex ragas at the age of five. She also remained under the tutelage of music maestros Gulubhai Jasdanwala and Ustad Azizuddin, on whom she is now making a film.
A proponent of the Guru-Shishya tradition, Shruti maintains that without the blessings of the guru, knowledge of shastra coupled with hard work and the grace of God, none can attain perfection in any realm. For her own outstanding accomplishments as a classical vocalist, she credits Guru Pandit Vamanrao and the almighty.
Currently, Shruti is a visiting professor to the Rotterdam Conservatorium, Netherlands, and has taken classical singing abroad by performing in various countries.
"Though with the advent of advanced technology, learning music has become more easy for youngsters, but they are falling for glamour and the power of money, quick name and fame. This results in their being hyperactive, half-baked singers," the singer laments.
On her pursuing a career in films, Shruti discloses that her father too had played a great role in shaping the high pitched voice of Lata Mangeshkar, but adds that its a tragedy that 'every producer wants her to sing in the same musical scale and pitch.'
"Moreover, all classical vocalists, even ghazal singers, are not attuned to relishing the filmy shor shraba," Shruti signs off.