Born 1924 in the village of
Sulebhavi, Karnataka, Shri
Komkali — better known as
Kumar Gandharva — showed
prodigious musical talent in his
boyhood. He was later a student
of Professor B.R. Deodhar and
Shrimati Anjalibai Malpekar and
places himself in the Gwalior
gharana of Hindustani vocal
Individual and eclectic, Shri Kumar Gandharva has grown steadily as a musician over a career of some 40 years. To the practice of a traditional art he has brought intellection and conscious application of new principles, dormant in the body of our music itself. He has often departed from convention, but never from the goal of music. In the work of Shri Kumar Gandharva, emotive and structured, folk and classic blur and blend. He is inspired, particularly, by the music of the Malwa region of central India. From this and other sources he has gathered an extraordinary repertoire of compositions, which he culls from at recitals with forethought and deliberation. His other speciality is devotional compositions, bhajans of the sagunand nirgun varieties. Shri Kumar Gandharva has researched and written on this subject, as also on Malwa music, old compositions and ragas. A very popular musician, Shri Kumar Gandharva has issued a number of gramophone records and cassettes. Among his many honours are Padma Bhushan, conferred by the Government of India, Shikhar Samman and Kalidas Samman conferred by the Government of Madhya Pradesh. Shri Kumar Gandharva received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Hindustani vocal music in 1974.
For his eminence in music and his contribution to its enrichment, Shri Kumar Gandharva is elected Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi.