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Malabika Kanan
GharanaKhayal - Kirana
Malabika Kanan
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A T Kanan
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Born on 27th December 1930 in Lucknow, Malabika was one of the foremost women Khayal exponents of India. Well known for her distinctive ability to maintain both the traditional purity of the Khayal form and the aesthetic beauty of a Raag, she had a rich repertoire of common as well as rare Raags and Bandishes. An extremely tuneful voice, a rich, structured and dignified style in the slow Khayals and Alap, and ease and variety in Taan were some of the qualities that made Malabika an outstanding musician.
Malabika started her musical training when she was four years old. Her first Guru was her father Rabindralal Roy, a well-known musicologist and a disciple of Pandit Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande. She received systematic training from him in Dhrupad, Dhamar and Khayal genre for a number of years. She also learnt Rabindrasangeet from Santidev Ghosh and Suchitra Mitra.
Travelling to many parts of the country with her father, Malabika had the advantage of living with, and learning from him. At 15, she gave her first performance on All India Radio (AIR), singing Raag Ramkali and she became a regular broadcaster. She was 16 when she gave her first performance at the Tansen Sangeet Samaroh. From then on she participated in many prestigious national concerts and Radio Sangeet Sammelans.
She married the noted singer Pandit A. Kanan on 28th Feb. 1958 and with this association Malabika's style gained a new dimension. She assimilated many features from Kirana Gharana and also learnt Thumri under him.
Following in her husband's footsteps, she became a Guru of the ITC Sangeet Research Academy on 2nd July, 1979 and was also on the ‘Experts Committee’ for many years. Among the numerous honours she received were the ITC Award for 1995 and the highly coveted Sangeet Natak Akademy Award for the year 1999-2000.
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