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Panaji, Jul 23: At the ripe age of ninety-five years, Padma Vibhushan Dr Gangubai Hangal, the doyen of Hindustani classical music still excels in her forte. It was an emotional moment for her when she was felicitated at the hands of Pratapsingh Rane, Speaker of Goa Assembly during an event jointly organised by Department of Art and Culture, Government of Goa, Kala Academy and Geet Shakun at the Kala Academy in Panjim.

The audience was impatient to hear her melodious voice as she was visiting Goa after an interval of a decade and she surprised all by saying that she would try singing.

This statement reflected that no matter how renowned an artist is, humbleness and respect to the art is above personal achievement. Although she had stopped giving live performance after the demise of her daughter it was a rare instance that she had performed at the age 94 years last year in Belgaum.

Initiated into music by her mother Ambabai in 1923, she has developed her own unique style in Kirana Gharana School of Music, having received guidance from Krishnamacharya Hulgur and Sawai Gandharva. Dr. Hangal, who recently completed 75 glorious years of vocal performance, has seen how the pages of history unfold in India. She had a rare privilege of singing in front of Mahatma Gandhi in 1924 during the inaugural function of the Indian National Congress session in Belgaum, besides her live concert at the Jaipur Palace in 1952 in the presence of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.

Considered as one of the finest exponent of Kirana Gharana, Dr. Hangal is a living legend of classical music in India, having received honorary doctorates from Delhi University, Karnataka University, Hampi Kannada University and Gulbarga University and titles such as Sangeet Shiromani, Sangeet Saraswati, Sangeet Samrajni and many others have been conferred on her. Dr. Hangal through her long musical journey and her contribution to classical music is also a recipient of the Tansen Award, Roohe Ghazal Begum Akhtar Award, Hafiz Ali Khan Memorial Award, Indian Music Award and many other awards instituted by various states and cultural organisations.

Expressing her gratitude she exhorted that the every effort should be made to carry the traditional Hindustani classical music to the future generations. Surely, Zero seven Zero seven Zero seven will remain an evening to remember for classical music lovers of Goa, especially Shakuntala Bharne, her disciple, who managed to invite Dr. Hangal to Goa, the land, which has contributed immensely to the field of music. 


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