Tulsidas Borkar

One of the most respected harmonium players, Tulsidas Borkar had his initial lessons in music from his mother Jayshreebai Borkar. He started learning harmonium from Vishnupant Vasta, and had the opportunity of being guided by Chhota Gandharva, the eminent vocalist, in the art of harmonium accompaniment. He also learnt violin from A.P. Pathak for approximately three years. However, his tutelage under the renowned harmonium player Madhukar Pednekar, more popularly known as P. Madhukar, between the years 1957 and 1967, led him to develop a distinct stylistic identity. His quest for knowledge also prompted Tulsidas Borkar to learn the intricacies of North Indian art music from notable musicians like S.C.R. Bhatt, K.G. Ginde, Rajaram Shukla, Murli Manohar Shukla and Ram Marathe. The special guidance he received from noteworthy flautist Devendra Murdeshwar, was an important phase in his musical journey. Over the many decades, Tulsidas Borkar has provided sensitive harmonium accompaniment to several vocalists in live concerts and recordings. Not restricting himself to accompaniment, he has also been involved in intensive research on various aspects of the instrument and has been one of the few harmonium players responsible for popularising harmonium as a solo instrument in present times. Acclaimed as a soloist, his solo renditions are available on commercial releases. Realising the need to document and disseminate the results of his research among music lovers and students, Tulsidas Borkar authored a book in Marathi entitled Samvadini Sadhana, which received an overwhelming response. He has also passed on his mantle to a host of young harmonium players who have emerged as well-known accompanists and soloists. Apart from his contribution to harmonium playing, Tulsidas Borkar is also a celebrated organ player for musicals in Marathi theatre. Between the years 1950 to 1980, he accompanied several leading actor-singers and has composed for musical theatre productions and albums. A much admired participant in prestigious music festivals in the country and abroad, Tulsidas Borkar has been honoured with awards such as 'Govindrao Tembe Sangatkar Puraskar', 'Keshavarao Date Puraskar', 'ITC -Sangeet Research Academy Award', 'Dinanath Mangeshkar Award', and the 'Sangeet Natak Akademi Award'.

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