Ram Ashreya Jha
Born on August 11, 1928, near Darbhanga in the Mithila region of Bihar, Ram Ashreya Jha received his preliminary musical tutelage from his father, Sukhdev Jha, and his uncle, Madhusudan Jha. He spent fifteen years of his youth with a theatre company in Varanasi, which widened his musical horizon. Subsequently, he underwent twenty-five years of intense training from Bholanath Bhatt in Allahabad. It was here that Ram Ashreya Jha equipped himself with the intricacies of diverse North Indian art musical forms like dhrupad, dhamar, khayal, thumri, dadra, tappa. He also studied with B.N. Thakar of Allahabad and Habib Khan of Kirana. His passion for disseminating information led him to join the faculty of Allahabad University in 1968. In 1980, he was appointed Head, Music Department, a position he held until his retirement in 1989. Ram Ashreya Jha is the author of the five volume treatise Abhinava Geetanjali, which encapsulates critical analysis of ragas with numerous traditional and self-conceived compositions. More popularly known to musicians, students, music lovers, by his pseudonym ‘Ramrang’, his compositions display a sensitive, comprehensive and scholastic approach to music. Ram Ashreya Jha’s continuing passion for music drove him to explore the depths of North Indian art music and propagate these through his compositions, books and practical teaching. His prolific collection of compositions was evident during his recitals, but it is with his albums on Underscore Records that innumerable listeners will have the opportunity of experiencing his music. He was the recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi award. Ram Ashreya Jha died on January 1, 2009.
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