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Mohan Nadkarni
Mohan Nadkarni
A life in the service of music

Mohan Nadkarni, born September 22, 1922, was one of India’s most well known musicologists and perhaps the most published author on the subject. He was the music critic of The Times of India for over 50 years, having reviewed thousands of concerts between 1948 and 2002.

He authored over 4000 articles on music, theatre including Sanskrit drama, classical dance, film music, ethnomusicology and cultural topics in leading publications all over India and internationally. He was himself a trained vocalist.


He reviewed the earliest concert performances of legendary musicians of the twentieth century. He also consulted with recording companies like His Master’s Voice, CBS Records, Polydor and other international labels helping produce the early LP records of many of these artistes in terms of repertoire selection and liner notes.


In the process, he developed lifelong friendships with musical luminaries of three generations and has recorded fond memories of his discussions, arguments and the rare camaraderie he shared with them at different times in their successful careers.

Nearly every article and every single book that Mohan Nadkarni authored was typed faithfully by his wife Suniti across more than five decades.

He wrote eight major books, including the best selling biography of Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, which has been translated into several Indian languages.

Mohan Nadkarni won several awards including the Karnataka State Government’s ‘Kalashree’ for lifetime’s contribution to music and the Shreshtha Sangeet Sadhak Award from the prestigious Bhatkhande Institute, again, for lifetime achievement. He was a permanent member of Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata and the Bhopal-based Bharat Bhavan.

Mohan Nadkarni and Suniti

He lectured and held workshops on Hindustani music in several cities in India as well as in Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom among other countries. He addressed the World Music Forum in Rotterdam in the Netherlands in 1995.

Mohan and Suniti moved to Auckland in 2007. Before migrating, Mohan Nadkarni donated his entire musical library comprising thousands of articles and rare photographs, rare LP and 78RPM records and thousands of cassettes to the music department of the SNDT University in Pune, where a musical library has been set up in his name. He passed away in Auckland at the age of 91 on July 22, 2014.

The Mohan Nadkarni Foundation has undertaken the task of digitising his entire musical wealth to make it available to all free of cost. His writings will be progressively available The foundation also plans to preserve the musical assets at the University in Pune and provide listening and learning tools for students using digital technologies in coming years.

The writings of celebrated author and musicologist Mohan Nadkarni, hitherto preserved in dozens of scrapbooks at a university in Pune, India, are now progressively being made available online for all to read free of cost. Students, historians and connoisseurs alike have sought these writings for many years as they have been widely regarded as a record of developments in Hindustani classical music in the twentieth century. acknowledges any copyright ownership held by publications and/or their holding companies as attributed in each individual article on the website.



A selection of loving tributes from writers, artists, students and readers (from the hundreds that came in)

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