(Last Updated on : 07/05/2014)
Pandit Samta Prasad was an illustrious Tabla
player belonging to the Benares Gharana. Apart from esteemed concerts and musical shows, he had also played Tabla in a number of Hindi films. Celebrated music composer Rahul Dev Burman
was one of the disciples of Pandit Samta Prasad. Several of his disciples have also established themselves as noted Tabla players in the present world of Indian classical music
Early Life of Pandit Samta Prasad
Pandit Samta Prasad was born in Kabir Chaura locality of Varanasi
in Uttar Pradesh
on 20th July 1921 to Pandit Hari Sunder, also known as Bacha Mishra. He was the grandson of Pt. Jagannath Mishra while Pt. Pratap Maharaj, also known as Gudai Maharaj, was one of his ancestors. His family had an extensive tradition of Tabla and Pakhavaj
of Benaras Gharana. He received his initial training in classical music from his father. His father however passed away when Pandit Samta Prasad was seven years old and afterwards he took the discipleship of Pt. Bikku Maharaj. The later was the disciple of Pt. Baldev Sahai. Pandit Samta Prasad used to practice for long hours daily to polish his skills.
Career of Pandit Samta Prasad
The first major performance of Pandit Samta Prasad was at Allahabad
Sangeet Sammelan in the year 1942. At the event he greatly impressed the musicians, soon earning the fame of being a skilled accompanist and soloist. His musical career encompassed performances at several parts of India including Lucknow
. Outside the country, at places like Edinburgh, Russia and France, he had represented the Indian cultural team. He had also played Tabla in a number of Bollywood
flicks such as Sholay
, Basant Bahar, Meri Surat Teri Ankhen, Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje and others. It is said that the recording of the song 'Nache mora manwa magan tikta dhighi dhighi' from the film Meri Surat Teri Aakhen sung by Mohammed Rafi
was postponed by the music director S.D. Burman
till the arrival of Pandit Samta Prasad from Banaras.
Achievements of Pandit Samta Prasad
Pandit Samta Prasad was awarded with Padma Shri
in 1972. In the year 1979 and 1987 he received Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
and the President Scholarship respectively. He was honoured with Padma Bhushan
in the year 1991.
Death of Pandit Samta Prasad
Pandit Samta Prasad died in May 1994 in Pune
while he was on a visit to the city for conducting a coaching workshop organized by Naad Roop. Although the workshop became successful, the sudden demise of Pandit Samta Prasad turned out to be a permanent scar on the minds of the attendees.