More than 10 music maestros gathered at the University of Mumbai Fort campus on Wednesday evening, to discuss the creation of the Pandit Bhimsen Joshi Centre of Excellence in Music at the university’s campus in Kalina.
A renowned Hindustani vocalist, Joshi passed away on January 24 this year in Pune. A member of the Kirana Gharana (school), Joshi was renowned for the khayal form of singing, as well as for his popular renditions of devotional songs.
A day after his demise, the university wrote to chief minister Prithviraj Chavan about the establishment of the centre as a tribute to Joshi. On Wednesday, several musicians such as Pandit Nayan Ghosh, a tabla and sitar player, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, a santoor player, and brothers, Pandit Rajan and Pandit Sajan Mishra, both vocalists, came together to make the tribute a reality.
“The centre will be a Gurukul where Gurus will teach their disciples. There will be no syllabus. There will be three gurus and ten disciplines in the first batch. The aim is to create more maestros just like Pandit Bhimsen Joshi,” said Rajpal Hande, director, Board of College and University Development. “The selection process for disciples will be rigorous and they will be provided with scholarships.”
The university is appealing to the state for Rs10 crore in funds. Apart from training musicians, the centre will also have research and archiving.