Pt. Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande
Courtesy: Bhatkhande Institute of Music, Lucknow
This past February, I had the opportunity to visit Lucknow with my teachers Dr. Aneesh Pradhan and Shubha Mudgal. We spent a day at the Bhatkhande Music Institute and spoke with students, teachers, and administrators. Established in 1926 by noted musicologist Pt. Vishnu Narayan Bhatkhande, the Bhatkhande Music Institute was initially known as the Marris College of Music. It has a long history of educating students in the various performing traditions of north Indian art music and dance.
In this interview, the current Vice-Chancellor discusses the history, progress, and current status of the music institute. The interviews were conducted by Dr. Aneesh Pradhan, Shubha Mudgal, and Sudev J Sheth on February 9, 2016 at Bhatkhande Music Institute in Lucknow. It was really heartening to see three stalwarts in the field of Hindustani classical music sit and openly discuss the institutional history and development of performance pedagogy in India.
The interview is about thirty minutes long, and the questions are as follows:
0:55 – Please tell us a little bit about the Bhatkhande Institute, who founded it, and the larger vision of the historic endeavor.
4:34 – Tell us a bit about the musicians and teachers who have been associated with the Bhatkhande Institute.
6:00 – Since becoming Vice Chancellor, how have you changed the trajectory of the Institute?
9:22 – What are the advantages and disadvantages of becoming a ‘deemed’ University?
14:22 – How are the teachers appointed at the Institute?
16:38 – What qualifications are required to become an instructor?
19:13 – How many teachers and students are currently affiliated with the Bhatkhande Institute?
20:04 – How has the composition of teachers and students changed over the years?
23:45 – How does the Bhatkhande Institute differ from other colleges and universities that teach music?
28:37 – What is the relationship between the city of Lucknow and Bhatkhande Music Institute?
30:19 – Being a prominent vocalist and performing artist in your own right, what do you feel you have brought to the Institute in your seven years of service?