Samta Prasad Maharaj

I present to you, Sir, Pandit Samta Prasad Maharaj.Born in 1920, Pandit Samta Prasad belongs to a family of famous Tabla performers. His father Pandit Baccha Maharaj, his grand-father, Pandit Jagannath Maharaj and his great-grand-father, Pandit Pratap Maharaj were all well known Tabla players in their days. Pandit Samta Prasad first learnt from his father up to the age of 9. He was later trained by Shri Vikku Maharaj. Known also as Gudai Maharaj, Pandit Samta Prasad has thrilled audiences in India and abroad with his unique style and excellence of performance. He has accompanied great instrumental masters and dancers, with skill and subtlety. Various awards and titles by institutions and distinguished personalities have been conferred on him, including those by the Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Natak Akademi in 1972; the Haridas Sangeet Samme-lan, Bombay honoured him in 1952; Lalit Kala Akademi, Allahabad in 1966; the Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad in 1967; and Surdas Sangeet Sammelan, Calcutta in 1970. The Sur Singar Samsad, Bombay honoured him in 1974. For his eminence in the art of Tabla playing and his contribu- tion to the enrichment of music, Pandit Samta Prasad receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Hindustani Instru- mental Music for 1979