Late Pandit A Kanan
Late Pandit A Kanan: 18 June, 1929 – 12 September, 2004
Born in Madras on June 18, 1929, Pandit A Kanan is renowned for his individual gayaki. Gifted with a very melodious voice, vocal music was his hobby right from his youth. But it was his passion for cricket, at which he excelled, that eventually paved the way for his future career.
He started his career with the Railways, which he joined at the age of 18. While visiting Mumbai to play a cricket match, Kanan happened to visit All India Radio and decided to get his voice tested. The AIR personnel were astounded by the youngster’s exquisite voice and immediately offered him a programme. Kanan had taken his first step into the world of music!
Enthused and inspired, the young Kanan returned to Hyderabad to start his tryst with Hindustani classical music. His first tutor was Shri Lahanu Babu Rao. His career with the Railways later brought him to Kolkata, where he resumed his training under a new guru, the late Shri Girija Shankar Chakraborty. It was during these two years of training that Kanan made his mark. He won innumerable prizes and enormous acclaim. As a result, when the time came for him to leave Kolkata, he was persuaded by his many admirers to leave his job and stay on!
Finally, Pandit Kanan settled down in Kolkata to concentrate solely on his music. His formal debut at the All Bengal Music Conference in 1943 was a resounding success. He never looked back after that. He later came in contact with the legendary Ustad Amir Khan and interacted with him extensively. The singing style he carved out however was singularly his own, suiting his own personality and spirit. His rendition of Hamsadhwani, Rageshri, Jog etc made him an extremely popular khayal singer not only in Kolkata but throughout the country.
A top grade artiste of AIR, Kanan has performed in all the important music conferences in the country, including National Programmes and Radio Sangeet Sammelans. He has also lent his voice to many films, the music of which became legendary- Meghe Dhaka Tara, Basant Bahar, Jadu Bhatta and Megh Malhar, to name but a few.
He has enriched the world of music not only through his own singing but also through the enormous service he has rendered towards the cause of Hindustani classical music. Pt. Kanan, till date, has probably trained more students than any other guru. His generosity and his helpfulness – towards his numerous students and his fellow artistes – often at the cost of his own well-being – is legendary. In the 50s, he, along with other musicians, founded the Calcutta Music Circle. He later went on to become one of the first gurus to join ITC-SRA and played a major role in its evolution. He was also a member of its Experts Committee.
Pandit Kanan received the prestigious ITC Award for 1993-1994 and the Sangeet Natak Academy award in the year 1995. He is married to renowned vocalist Malabika Kanan.
One of the senior most Gurus of the ITC Sangeet Research Academy, Pandit A Kanan died at the AMRI Apollo Hospitals, Kolkata on September 12, 2004. The end came at 8 pm. The mortal remains of the departed soul were kept at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy from 11 a.m to 1.30 p.m the followng day.
February, 2008 – Vishwa Mohan Bhatt
January, 2008 – Lalith J Rao
December, 2007 – Debu Chaudhuri
November, 2007 – Vidyadhar Vyas
October, 2007 – Prattyush Banerjee
September, 2007 – Malini Rajurkar
August, 2007 – Satish Vyas
July, 2007 – Iqbal Ahmed Khan
June, 2007 – D K Datar
May, 2007 – Madhup Mudgal
April, 2007 – Alam KhanHe wrote some lines for us on 10th February, 1990: