Swar Sadhana Academy of Indian Music and Mohan Nadkarni Foundation will jointly host a tribute concert to one of India’s most talented music composers, the late Padma Bhushan Srinivas Khale (1926-2011).

The tribute concert, titled Shukra Tara after one of his best-known compositions, will be held on Saturday, March 16, 6 pm at the Mt Eden War Memorial Hall, Balmoral, Auckland.

Entry to the concert is free. However, registration is required (details will be publicised through Facebook shortly). The event is supported by the Auckland Marathi Association.

Mumbai-based Srinivas Khale composed songs in Marathi as well as Hindi that have eventually become famous in Bengali, Gujarati and Sanskrit languages.

Almost every popular singer has lent their voice to his compositions including Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Sudhir Phadke, Suman Kalyanpur, Anuradha Paudwal, Shankar Mahadevan and Suresh Wadkar.

He was instrumental in moulding the latter two, Shankar Mahadevan and Suresh Wadkar in their younger years as their mentor.

But Shrinivas Khale is most well known for his compositions of Sant Vani, the abhangs (lyrical devotional verses) of Maharashtra’s historical saint poets, sung by none other than Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi. A similar Hindi series that the two collaborated on and that became best sellers was “Suno Bhai Sadho” with verses by Hindi saint-poets.

In fact, Santvani as a genre could well be attributed to PanditKhale.

Swar Sadhana’s Sandhya Rao Badakere herself has had a long tutelage under Khaleji. “This is my small tribute to his memory in gratitude for all that he taught me and did for my musical training,” Sandhyaji says.

Khaleji was conferred dozens of awards – from national awards like Padma Bhushan and Lata Mangeshkar Award to Dadasaheb Phalke Award and Best Music Director Award. He was also awarded the golden disc for 50 years’ service to music.

Presenting Khaleji’s memorable compositions will be a range of Auckland’s own talented singers and instrumentalists: Arun Khotkar, Hemant Shirsat, Bhushan Phalnikar, Vidya Teke, Shweta Divekar-Shirsat, Guncha Singh, Mayuri Bhole, Srishaa Iyer, Siddhi Nigudkar, Ekta Kumar, Maitreyee Pande, Prajakta Pande, Shikha Shetia and Sandhya Badakere.

Arun Khotkar on Harmonium, Hemant Thaker on keyboards, Vivek Anturkar and Aniket Joshi on table and Bhushan Phalnikar on side rhythms will accompany. Commentary will be by Dr Nilima Upadhyay and Kaustubh Pethe.

What: Shukra Tara, musical tribute to Padma BhushanShrinivasKhale
Where: Mt Eden War Memorial Hall, Balmoral, Auckland
When: Saturday, 16 March at 6 pm
Entry: FREE