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Uday Bhawalkar is a standard bearer for Dhrupad, and a strong force in its growing recognition and popularity. Uday spent over years studying and living in the traditional guru-shishya parampara with Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar (Vocal) and Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar (Rudra-Veena), the towering pillars of the Dhrupad tradition. During this period there was a simple and
complete concentration on the music itself. This intimate relationship, in which the Ustads willingly gave their inner secrets along with Uday’s devotion, brought him to a deep sense of completeness and wholeness.

Since his first performance at Bhopal in 1985, Uday has performed in a number of prestigious festivals and events in India and abroad. Uday has also collaborated with artists from other disciplines and cultures including the dancer Late Astad Deboo, Ensemble Modern in Germany and musicians from Spain, Georgia and the USA.

Uday has contributed to the soundtracks of International films including Mani Kaul’s “Cloud Door”, Aparna Sen’s “Mr & Mrs Iyer”, Amol Palekar’s “Anahat”, Renuka Shahane’s “RITA” and others. Aside from being a performing artist, Uday is a very sensitive teacher and has a devoted set of students committed to pursuing the path of Dhrupad.

His workshops have been hosted by Universities in India, Europe and the USA. His workshops are always stimulating and he is supportive of all participants’ efforts whether they are professional musicians or small children. In 2012, Uday became an empaneled Guru at the ITC Sangeet Research  Academy in Kolkata.

The ITC SRA is one of India’s most recognized musical institutions for its contribution to Hindustani Classical musical education. Uday has also received prestigious awards including the Sangeeth Natak Akademi Award (2021), Kumar Gandharva Samman given by the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh (2001) and the Raza Foundation Award (2007) given personally by the eminent painter, S.H. Raza.


Uday ji is also currently working in a Government Project “Vikramiditya Shodh Sansthan” composing and singing the verses of Kavi Jaideva in Raga Malav. He is also composing the shlokas written by Adi Shankaracharya to be sung in the form of Dhrupad.


While teaching, Uday creates a nurturing environment for his students and continues to bring a new life to the ancient tradition of Dhrupad. Uday currently teaches students at his residents in the guru-shishya parampara style who wish to pursue Dhrupad. Currently 12-13 students are studying under him. About 8- 10 students of Dhrupad Swarkul are performing and promoting Dhrupad and few are even teaching further taking the legacy of Dhrupad further.

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