Her art combines a strong grace and delicacy of presentation and its vibrant emotional content carries the unmistakable hallmark of Kirana Gharana. Gangubai has a repertoire, which is outstanding, rich, delicate and diversified. With her singular and sustained contribution to Hindustani Vocal Music, Gangubai has won wide acclaim, respect and recognition. Her voice has a masculine timber.
Her sensitive portrayals are enhanced by that masculine timber, which has a power of a “baritone” and portrays a deep sense of focus and purpose, which easily gets transmitted to the listeners and creates a lasting impression even long after her concerts are over. In commemoration of her “Guru” - late Sri Gandharva, a two-day music festival is held at Kundgol under her guidance every year. This festival is popular throughout India. This has also been a forum of participation for junior artists. She has won many awards and tiles, including “Padma Bhushan” by Government of India, Central Sangeet Natak Academy Award, State Sangeet Natak Academy Award, Roohe Ghazal, Begum Akhtar Award, Tansen Award, and Hafiz Ali Khan Award etc.
Gangubai Hangal has been awarded “Doctor of Letters” by Karnataka University, Hampi University, Gulbarga University, and Delhi University. Gangubai Hangal has also traveled very extensively out side India. Gangubai Hangal has served as the Chairman of the Karnataka Sangeet Nritya Academy from 1982 to 1984. She has served as a Senate Member of Karnataka University for 6 years. She has worked as Honorary Professor of Music in Karnataka University - Dharwad.
In the recognition of her services in the field of music, the Government of Karnataka appointed her as a Member of Legislative Council for 6 years. Gangubai Hangal is presently working with many Social, Educational, Religious, Cultural, Musical Organisations throughout India and abroad. Even after a long and distinguished career spanning over more than a generation, Dr.Gangubai Hangal, at the age of 94 years, still retains a pre-eminent position amongst the most outstanding vocalists of Classical Hindustani Music in India. Smt Gangubhai Hangal was born in 1913, to a family of hereditary courtesan musicians from Hangal, a small villiage near Dharvar in North Karnataka. Gangubhai learnt Hindustani music from the Kirana Gharana master Sawai Gandharva, rather than Carnatic music like her mother. Gangubhai has been giving concerts from more than 5 decades now.
She has a very powerful voice, almost masculine, very suitable for traditional classical music. She sticks to authentic traditional music and does not dabble in the light bhajans. Gangubhai’s daughter Krishna Hangal has been singing with her and giving much needed support from last 3 decades. But there are few recordings of her as like so many old masters she is not keen to record.
Hopefully her live recordings will be brought out soon by dedicated labels like Navras. It is not exaggeration to say that Dr Gangubai (Gandhari) Hangal is a living legend. Two qualities of her music stand out. She has been gifted with an exceptionally vibrant and pliable voice which allows her to express the range and subtleties of a raga with utmost ease and great impact.
Secondly, her approach to the basics of music is uncompromising. She has been the doyenee of the Kirana gharana, a style of khyal singing that was made widely known by the great Ustad Abdul Karim Khan Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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