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  • Mellifluous strains of Thumri fall silent as Vidushi Savita Devi of Banaras Gharana passes away

    Published on December 20, 2019

    Gurugram: Vidushi Savita Devi, a renowned Indian classical music vocalist known for her soulful Thumris, breathed her last at Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram, this morning. She was 80.

    She had been unwell for some time and had been admitted to the hospital on Thursday, said her son, Ajey Maharaj. “Her condition was quite critical when she brought her to the hospital. She had to be ventilated and kept in the ICU and was under constant watch. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the doctors, she passed away at around 10.52 am,” Ajey added.

    Vidushi Savita Devi, the daughter and disciple of late Padmashri Smt Siddheshwari Devi, carved a niche for herself in the world of Indian classical music as an inimitable vocalist. She imbibed the nuances of various semi-classical vocal forms, such as thumri, dadra, chaiti, kajri and tappa of the Banaras Gharana (Purabang), following the footsteps of her mother.

    She had also received training as a Sitar player under Bharat Ratna Pandit Ravi Shankar ji. Eventually however, she chose vocal music over Sitar, dedicating herself to preserving and propagating her illustrious mother’s legacy. Apart from performing at innumerable prestigious concerts in India and abroad, Vidushi Savita Devi performed regularly for the All India Radio and the national television. Her beautiful voice and soulful renditions won her wide acclaim. She was also honoured with numerous national & international awards and accolades.

    Vidushi Savita Devi authored a biographical work on her mother, titled Maa… Siddheshwari,  to further propagate her ideals and inspire the younger generation to take up Thumri and promote the Guru Shishya Parampara. A generous teacher, she was the Head of the Music Department at Daulat Ram College under Delhi University for many years. She also established the Siddheshwari Devi Academy of Indian Music and groomed many disciples who now have the onus of carrying on her legacy.