Many try to sail through the ocean of music but only few like shobha Gurtu reach the shores of glory. Born in 1925 in Belgaum she was blessed with melody and rhythm. Her first guru, her mother, Srimati Menakabai Shirodkar was a noted dancer and a proficient classical singer. She nurtured her daughter with euphonic sense which was clearly evident in her voice at the age of five later Shobha Gurtu received training from Ustad Nathan Khan for classical singing and Ustad Ghamman Khan for light classical and popular music. They chiseled her talent to accomplish the exclusivity in her voice. Later her father-in-law the learned scholar and musician Pandit Narayan Nath Gurtu played a prominent role in her success by offering valued guidance in her pursuit of music
Gradually Shobha Gurtu developed a unique style that allowed her to merge with equal ease the subtle regional and stylistic variation found in thumri, dadra, hori, kajri, chaiti, ghazal bhajan and marathi natya sangeet musical forms. Her sovereign voice and its exceptional seasoning left all ablaze. She was crowned with the title of Thumri Queen Numerous awards were bestowed upon her including the Sangeeth Natak Academy award in 1989 and the Padma Bhushan from the Government of India.
Today this wonderful soul is not with us… but her powerful voice still ignites the flame of mystic joy in her audience!
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