One Year On – the Legacy of Pandit Sharda Sahai

One year on, we remember the life and legacy of Pandit Sharda Sahai.

PANDIT SHARDA SAHAI, renowned as one of the greatest exponents of the Benares Baj and was instrumental in pioneering its development worldwide, most notably in Canada, America and the UK.  He hailed from five generations of master musicians and whilst always faithful to the tradition of his ancestors he also was very much a musician of his time.

He was revered for his spellbinding solo performances, East-West collaborations, and skill and generosity as a teacher. His legacy continues through his disciples and students worldwide and in the Pandit Ram Sahai Sangeet Vidyalaya which he founded in Benares in 1965;  to ensure that those outside of the tradition could have access to education in Indian Music and the Performing Arts.

Photo Gallery
Album Cover Art Wallpaper Downloads
Fellowship Award Speeches
Pandit Sharda Sahai in His Own Words
Residencies and Education


Click to enlarge.

Attending English class in Middletown, Connecticut, USA (1970)

Ustad Shujaat Khan (sitar) joins a workshop at the Indian Music Department, Dartington College of Music, Devon, UK. Pt Sharda Sahai and Dr Frances Shepherd (seen seated left) were both Senior Lecturers in Department and Dr Shepherd was also Course Head. (circa late 1980’s).

Pt Sharda Sahai tutors a student, Indian Music Department, Dartington College of Music, Devon, UK. (circa late 1980’s).

Prince Charles, HRH Prince of Wales is seen here asking Pt Sharda Sahai how is possible to move one’s hands so fast!
Photograph taken at the ‘Commonwealth in Concert’, Edinburgh, November 1997
(in between them is television celebrity Sanjeev Bhashkar).

On 11th November 1997, Pt. Sharda Sahai was awarded the Fellowship by Leeds University in recognition of his contribution to Music. Shardaji held a special affinity for the city of Leeds, having travelled to teach there regularly for a number of years and helping foster a generation of tabla players and music lovers.
To his left – Principal of Leeds College of Music. To the right -Dean of Music, Leeds University.

Guru Puja: Ceremony honouring your teacher and Guru. Latur, Madhya Pradesh (1998).

Pt Sharda Sahai performs the Bhoomi Puja at the Residential Music College built by his disciple Dr. Ram Borgaonkar (seen standing beside him in the yellow kurta ). Bhoomi is a ceremony performed before construction of a building where the goddess Mother Earth is asked for her blessing.
Latur, Madhya Pradesh (1998).

Pandit Sharda Sahai photoshoot in 2002
Photographed by Ariel Van Straten

Pt. Sharda Sahai at the Purcell Room, South Bank Centre, UK , where he gave tabla recitals over four consecutive years between 2002-2005.

Shardaji directing Sangeet College performance held at a studio, West London before a live audience.

Shardaji helps a student to tune his tabla. Sangeet College, PRSSV, Harrow, UK.

Pandit Sharda Sahai on the steps of the Schulich School of Music of McGill University, where he held his 25th Annual Summer Tabla Workshop, Montreal, Canada.

Students and Disciples of Pt Sharda Sahai line up to pay respects at the memorial held in London, Swaminarayan Temple, Stanmore on 4th December 2011. (Photograph- Anuj Shah)

Shrine dedicated to Pt Sharda Sahai at London memorial, Swaminarayan Temple, 4th December 2011. (Photograph – Anuj Shah)

Album Cover Art Wallpaper Downloads

Click to download.

Emperor of Tabla
Photograph by Anjan Saha
Design by Pritpal Ajmal

Jalsa Ghar – Music Room
Design by Pritpal Ajimal

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