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Virtuoso and Maestro

March 14, 2009

· the balance of rhythm and melody… showed the artist’s maturity … particularly impressive — The Calcutta Telegraph July 1984

Pandit Ashok Roy came to Australia with a treasure that originated from the vaults of a rich heritage. The rich heritage of music from the Courts of the King of Maihar called the Maihar Gharana. The Maihar Gharana was initiated by none other than Baba Allauddin Khan, court musician of the Raja of Maihar. Baba Allauddin Khan had many students two amongst them reached international acclaim, Sitarist Pandit Ravi Shankar and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, the Sarodiya. Pandit Ashok Roy was fortunate to study under the latter. See a documentary on Allauddin Khan under Ashokji’s vodpod selections to the right of this screen.


Young Ashok was born into a family of classical musicians and received his early training in vocal music from his father, He also learnt to play the percussion, Tabla. Ashok\’s first taste of recognition came at the young age of 17 when he won the Best Musician\’s Award in the All India Music Competition. This was the beginning of his career and a journey of passion that stayed with him to his very last days.


At 22 Ashok Roy joined All India Radio and worked with such celebrities as Pandit Ravi Shankar, Emni Shankar Shastri and Pannalal Ghosh further honing in his artistic and aesthetic experimentation under their guidance and collaborations.  He performed in many major festivals in India and was awarded for his artistic contribution to Indian music in Uttar Pradesh.
Young Ashok was more than aware of the valuable gift that he was bestowed with, not only a talent surpassed and accompanied with a passion and dedication to his music but his extreme sensitivity to the fact that the musical nuances and traditions of his style, genre, musicality,  gharana were to  be followed strictly.
His foremost challenge in his journey as time would tell was the challenge of  protecting the purity and essence of his music whose true aesthetic value was his most constant companion. It was precisely this passion to purity that helped him quietly conquer the hearts of the people of a foreign culture. It also made him an uncompromising, exacting yet affectionate teacher.




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