Girija Devi

Born in 1929 in Varanasi, Shrimati Girija Devi is among the illustrious figures in Indian music. She received her initial training in vocal music from Shri Sarju Prasad Mishra, and further honed her art under the guidance of Shri Chand Mishra. She is an outstanding exponent of Thumri, Tappa, Hori, Chaiti, Kajri, Tarana, Sadra and other forms of Hindustani music. Groomed in the tradition of the Benaras and Seniya gharanas, she has an extensive repertoire of rare traditional bandishes. She also sings Khayal with clarity and control. She has taught music in the traditional guru-shishya parampara at the I.T.C. Sangeet Research Academy, Calcutta, from 1977 to 1990. She has performed widely, and given lecture-demonstrations on various occasions. She has also conducted workshops all over India. A regular performer on All India Radio and Doordarshan, she has produced numerous CDs and audio-cassettes. She has performed widely within the country and abroad. For her outstanding musicianship, Shrimati Girija Devi has received several high honours. These include the Padma Shri (1972), the Tansen Samman of the Government of Madhya Pradesh, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1977), and the Padma Bhushan (1989). The Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth, Varanasi, the Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata, and the Dr Purushottam Das Tandon Open University, Allahabad, have conferred honorary doctorates on her. For her contribution to Hindustani vocal music, Shrimati Girija Devi is elected Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi.