Meeta Pandit -a Hindustani Classical vocalist and a leading exponent of the Gwalior Gharana.

She is the granddaughter and disciple of Krishnarao Shankar Pandit and daughter of Laxman Krishnarao Pandit.


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Meeta Pandit

Meeta was born in New Delhi, India. She is the daughter of Abha Pandit, a homemaker and Pt. Laxman Krishnarao Pandit, a veteran singer of the Gwalior gharana and Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee. She spent her childhood in New Delhi, where she attended St. Mary's School until higher secondary, and earned a bachelor's degree in Commerce from Lady Sri Ram College, Delhi University.

Meeta was born in New Delhi, India. She is the daughter of Abha Pandit, a homemaker and Pt. Laxman Krishnarao Pandit, a veteran singer of the Gwalior gharana and Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee. She spent her childhood in New Delhi, where she attended St. Mary’s School until higher secondary, and earned a bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Lady Sri Ram College, Delhi University.

Meeta began training with her grandfather Padma Bhushan Pt. Krishnarao Shankar Pandit and her father Pt. L.K Pandit at the age of 3. Growing up in a house where music ustads and her father’s disciples visited day in and day out, and all conversations centered around music, she was exposed to the finer aspects of music from a very young age. However, as a teenager, she was encouraged by her parents to take up a more stable profession than music, primarily due to the irregular working hours and solo travels involved, making it a difficult career choice for a woman. Her elder brother Tushar Pandit was in fact, being groomed to take the family legacy forward. He was pursuing a PhD in Hindustani classical music when he met with a fatal road accident in New Delhi on 1 September 1994 at the age of 27. Meeta, who was pursuing her bachelor’s degree at the time and preparing for an MBA, decided to take up the cudgels of carrying on the legacy and went on to pursue her masters in music. She completed her PhD in the Hindustani Classical music by the age of 27.

Meeta gave her first performance on stage at the age of 9, during a 3-day music festival ‘Prasang’ organized by her grandfather, Pt. Krishnarao Shankar Pandit at Bharat Bhawan, Bhopal. At the age of 15, she performed at the Sankat Mochan festival in Varanasi, one of India's biggest annual classical music and dance festival. She has performed at almost all the major classical music festivals of India and abroad which include the prestigious Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Festivalin 1999 and 2014, the Dover Lane Music Conference, Kolkata in 2013 and 2019 and the Tansen Samaroh, Gwalior in 2011,2013 and 2019 .

Career

Meeta gave her first performance on stage at the age of 9, during a 3-day music festival ‘Prasang’ organized by her grandfather, Pt. Krishnarao Shankar Pandit at Bharat Bhawan, Bhopal. At the age of 15, she performed at the Sankat Mochan festival in Varanasi, one of India’s biggest annual classical music and dance festival. She has performed at almost all the major classical music festivals of India and abroad which include the prestigious Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Festivalin 1999 and 2014, the Dover Lane Music Conference, Kolkata in 2013 and 2019 and the Tansen Samaroh, Gwalior in 2011,2013 and 2019 .

Other notable performances :

Between 1995 and 2005, Meeta performed extensively in prestigious festivals in India and abroad in France, Germany, London, Switzerland, Norway, Rome, United States, Russia and Bangladesh.  Through a special project by French Embassy in New Delhi, she stayed in Paris for three months as an

1995–2000

Between 1995 and 2005, Meeta performed extensively in prestigious festivals in India and abroad in France, Germany, London, Switzerland, Norway, Rome, United States, Russia and Bangladesh.

Through a special project by French Embassy in New Delhi, she stayed in Paris for three months as an “Artist in Residence” in 2003. There she collaborated with the Jazz pianist, Allie Delfau, as a part of an Indo-French project.

She represented India as the Cultural Ambassador of India to Pakistan during the South Asian Association For Regional Co-Operation (SAARC) Summit in Islamabad in 2004.

The Public Service Broadcasting Trust and Prasar Bharati made a film titled – “Meeta: Linking a Tradition with Today” – which documents her life and growth as a singer in 2005.

2005–2019

In 2008, Meeta presented a music appreciation series called “Swar Shringar” on World Space Satellite Radio.

She collaborated with Amsterdam based Tabla player, Heiko Dijker on an album called “The Luminance Project”. This album was launched in 2012.

Since 2009, she has been a consultant with Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi, a premier government-funded arts organization in India. Among other things, she is involved in a project archiving more than 60 living maestros representing different genres and gharanas of Hindustani Classical music.

Meeta sings in different genres such as bhajan, thumri, tappa and ghazal and has proved her mastery over khayal and tappa. She actively promotes Indian Classical music worldwide. She has also been actively coaching budding singers from India and abroad in her attempt to spread Indian Classical Music globally. She often performs for SPIC MACAY in various schools and colleges to ignite an interest of Indian Classical Music in students.

The 'Golden Voice of India' by the Singers Society of India – 1989 'Sur Mani' by Sur Singar Samsad – 1992 'Excellence in Music' Award: by Lady Shri Ram College – 1995 'Full Circle Inner Flame Award', Full Circle Publishing Pvt. Ltd, 1999. (Awarded by I.K Gujral) 'Yuva Ratna' – Youth Excellence Award by Rotaract Club – 1999 'Sur Mayank' – Pt. Nikhil Banerjee Smriti Award: Sangeet Bhavan (Lucknow) – 2001 'Yuva Ojaswini Award' – 2005

Awards

Before 2005

  • The ‘Golden Voice of India’ by the Singers Society of India – 1989
  • ‘Sur Mani’ by Sur Singar Samsad – 1992
  • ‘Excellence in Music’ Award: by Lady Shri Ram College – 1995
  • ‘Full Circle Inner Flame Award’, Full Circle Publishing Pvt. Ltd, 1999. (Awarded by I.K Gujral)
  • ‘Yuva Ratna’ – Youth Excellence Award by Rotaract Club – 1999
  • ‘Sur Mayank’ – Pt. Nikhil Banerjee Smriti Award: Sangeet Bhavan (Lucknow) – 2001
  • ‘Yuva Ojaswini Award’ – 2005

2006–2015

  • FICCI Young Achiever Award for Indian classical music for 2007.
  • Bismillah Khan Award by Sangeet Natak Academy for 2007
  • Delhi Ratna – Art and Cultural Trust of India – 2009
  • Art Karat Award for her contribution to the field of music – 2013
  • SaMaPa Yuva Ratna award for contribution to Classical Music – 2015
  • Bhav Bhaveshwar Rashtriya Samman −2015
  • JP Award −2017, instituted by the Loknayak Jaiprakash International Studies Centre, New Delhi.

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