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Profile >> Devendra Murdeshwar

The environment at the Murdeshwar home at Masur (in North Kanara district of Mysore State) was more than congenial to musical sensibilities. His father was a keen connoisseur of music and also played the violin, the flute and the tabla as a joyous hobby. All this made a deep impression on the mind of the impressionable youngster. A chip of the old block, Devendra learnt to play on the flute and the tabla. He also showed a flair for singing stage songs. Curiously however, his interest in music remained relatively dormant till he came to Bombay in 1941. His sojourn in the metropolis brought many opportunities to hear the great musical stalwarts of the time.

Even while he worked as a sales representative, he found time to learn the tabla from the late percussion maestro, Ustad Amir Hussain Khan. He also received guidance in vocal music from Master Navrang and even studied commercial art. The great moment in his quest of music came when Murdeshwar chanced to hear the inimitable flute maestro, Pannalal Ghosh, in 1947. So abiding was the impact of Panna Babu’s music on his mind that he decided to learn under the guidance of the great master. Murdeshwar practiced day and night with exemplary diligence and it was not long before he became a regular broadcaster.


Devendra Murdeshwar ranked high among India’s eminent flautists. His art at once revealed the master’s touch. To this master’s touch, he added a prodigious talent, an unstinted industry and an unequalled determination. The result was such mastery of technique and suavity of presentation as belongs only to true artistes. A number of promising youngsters, foreigners and also his son, Anand, received guidance from him.

A little known fact is, that Pandit Murdeshwarji was one of the finest makers of bansuri, in fact Pannababu played on the instruments made by him. His instruments are marvels of workmanship, intonation, and feel. He was equally proficient in tabla playing due to his tutelage under the great tabla wizard, Ustad Amir Hussain Khan Sahib. He also enjoyed painting and portrait sketching.


Murdeshwarji was on the staff of All India Radio since 1950. He participated in all important music conferences in the various parts of India. He represented the Government of India as a member of official cultural delegations and had occasions to perform before vast audiences in Nepal, Afghanistan, Russia, East Germany, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, the French Islands, Mauritius, Ala Reunion, Madagascar and Seychelles. In 1986, he toured Canada and USA, where he received a grand applause because of his belief in the Gayaki ang of expressing raga music.

He left behind a grieving family and a large number of disciples including his son Anand, Mr. Lyon Liefer, Nityanand Haldipur, Ravi Samant, Vijay Kabhinital, Kedar Kulkarni, Naresh Kumta, Harishchandra Kokre and many others.