Pandit Rajendra Prasanna

Born on the 15th April ,1956. Pt. Rajendra Prasanna hails from the renowned “Benaras Gharana” and is a master of flute & shehnai. He was groomed by his grand-father Pandit. Gauri Shankar and father Pandit. Raghunath Prasanna, who was the first to introduce the flute in Prasanna family.

He was also guided by his uncles Pt. Bholanath Prasanna and late Pt. Vishnu Prasanna. One can see the use of “Gayaki ang” in his renditions. Pandit Rajendra Prasanna was also fortunate to have received the blessings of Thumri Samrat Pt. Mahadev Prasad Mishra of Varanasi, Padmashree Ustad Hafeez Ahmed Khan and Ustad Sarfaraz Hussain Khan (both of Rampur Seheswan Gharana.)

Pt. Rajendra Prasanna is known for the unique blend of fluency and melody in his recitals, His systematic ‘badhat’ with an aesthetic approach has been one of the main qualities of his presentations. Musical environment at home become an inspiration for him and he took to music at a very tender age. It was at the age of twelve that he was invited to the Calcutta Music Conference in 1968. After that, he never looked back. He performed at the “BANSURI FESTIVAL” organized by the Sangeet Natak Academi and Raag Rang in 1980, in which top artists from all Gharanas performed. He was special invitee at the 9th Asian Music Festival held at Hong Kong in 1984 and at the Bulgarian Festival in 1988.

He was the first flautist and shehnai player who visited Pakistan after the partition for a music concert in 1986. At a young age, he was honored with many prestigious awards including “Surmani” in Mumbai 1978, “Sangeet Pujari” in Delhi 1986, “Nadratna” in Ajmer 1994 and “Sangeet Saurabh” in Delhi 1998.

Pt. Rajendra Prasanna has given music in the famous tele-serial “Sanjha Chulha” for which he received the Rose Award in 1994.

He was the first shehnai and flute player honored with the Uttar Pradesh “Sangeet Natak Academy Award” in 1995.

He was also the recipient of the Life Time Achievement Award of the Sahara India in 2003.

He performed at many European and Asian nations including France, Belgium, Poland, Germany, U.K, Switzerland, Russia, Norway, Japan, Mauritius, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and all Middle East countries.

He also participated in Maharishi Music Festival for World Peace organized by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in France, Holland, Lebanon and Cyprus in 1993.

In connection with the Golden Jubilee celebration of the Indian Independence, he was invited to participate at the ITC. (SRA). World Music Festival held in America, Canada and Switzerland in 1997. He also participated in the Golden Jubilee of Sangeet Natak Academy under Bharat Ratna Pt. Ravi Shankar in 2001. The “Festival of India” held in Japan in 2006 was inaugurated by his Shehnai Recital.

He has performed at the WOMAD festivals in Australia, Newzealand, Sydney Opera House, Edinburgh festival in UK, Melbourne recital centre, U.N.O. headquarters (Switzerland) and other big festivals and venues around the globe.

He has participated on the Grammy Award - winning music video organized by Pt. Ravi Shankar at the Royal Albert Hall, London, in 2002 in the memory of late George Harrison, for which he received a Grammy Award Certificate in 2004.

Pt. Rajendra Prasanna has been a “TOP” grade artist with the All India Radio. He took part in the Akashwani Sangeet Sammelan, National Program of Music on Television. He is presently working with the National School of Drama, New Delhi.