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AWARD CITATION 2012
KARAMVIR PURASKAR

One of the few practitioners of the Lucknow Gharana of North Indian music, Rekha Surya has preserved the legacy of her legendary guru Begum Akhtar by propagating this art at prestigious concert and lecture venues in India and abroad. She has also honed her skills under the tutelage of another legend, Girija Devi of the Benaras Gharana, integrating both styles of singing into an individualistic style.

The infusion of spirituality into an essentially romantic genre is a unique part of her repertoire. The ancient literary traditions she draws from have both South Asian Muslim and Hindu cultural references. Before singing, by lucidly explaining her mystical songs and other poetry of her genre, she demystifies Hindustani Light Classical Music for uninitiated audiences.


 

Hindustani light classical music bridges the gap between pure classical and mainstream music, appealing to both the connoisseur and the layperson.

To musically elaborate a word or phrase is the idiom that defines Hindustani light classical music. Weaving variations of a word or phrase displays the singer's range of imagination and distinguishes this genre.

This style of singing is associated with Benares and Lucknow, and from Lucknow is Begum Akhtar's youngest disciple, Rekha Surya, who has also trained under Girija Devi. She presently lives in New Delhi. She recorded for the Archives of Sangeet Natak Academi in 1994 and has performed in India, USA, Canada, U.K., Tazikistan, Pakistan, Norway, Singapore and Sri Lanka.