>> 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.