The talented Nityanand Haldipur – ranked among India’s prominent flautists and a senior disciple of the music genius, Padma Bhushan Smt. Annapurna Devi – represents the pure spirit of a greatly revered flute heritage. He is a living legend whose life is an inspiration for the upcoming generation of artists.
It’s indeed difficult to believe that somebody stricken with facial paralysis in his youth can become such an accomplished flautist maestro that he would be privileged by the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 2010 by the government of India.
The other noteworthy awards comprise of the Sahara Lifetime Achievement Award (2003), Kanara Saraswat Lifetime Achievement Award (2006), Swar Sadhna Samiti Award (2010), ‘Bharat Gaurav Samman-2015’ by the Odisha Academy of Tribal Culture Research and Performing Arts and the Sanskriti Foundation Fellowship.
Pandit Nityanand Haldipur has been rated as “Top Grade” artist of the All India Radio. He was a regular broadcaster on Doordarshan and All India Radio; as well as participated in the All India Radio Sangeet Sammelan and National Programme of Music (NPM).
His commercial release of music is available on ‘Magnasound’, ‘Lineage’ and ‘Underscore Records’ labels.
Pandit Nityanand Haldipur was studying in his third standard and word was viral in his school about him playing flute and thus a note was sent to his parents about an audition for the annual-day function. This concerned his parents since Nityanand ji knew nothing further than smattering of Raga Yaman. His mother therefore taught him a short alap and a few taans in Raga Bhoopali; getting him selected to perform on the big day.
It was flute maestro Pandit Pannalal Ghosh that tweaked the gat a little further to ensemble the flute better and taught him a few more taans. His first ever whole performance lasted about 7-8 minutes. The audience praised him with a roaring applause which brought tears of pride to his mother.
Popularization Of Classical Music
Unlike with popular forms of music, Nityanand Haldipur believes one has to have a basic understanding of sur, laya and raga to truly appreciate classical music. Such fundamental concepts must be taught in schools so that a huge number of listeners can “access” classical music. Organisers must also stage a platform for a diverse array of artists rather than just a selected few celebrity artists at every festival.
Future Of Hindustani Classical Music
According to Pandit Nityanand Haldipur, Hindustani Classical Music is too personally connected with the identity and ethos of India for anyone to worry about its survival. But the question is how to ensure that it evolves meaningfully. The world is swarming with distractions and a multiplicity of choices in western music. So how will young individuals setting out to learn Hindustani Classical Music today stay single-minded in their dedication? How will they find the time required to be spent with great music gurus for fully embracing their music? Without unwavering commitment to learning from one’s Guru, it may simply not be possible to lift Hindustani Classical Music to newer heights. The patrons of Indian music must think about this in a serious way.
Talking about his opinion about Raagreet’s initiative in promoting Hindustani classical music, he said “Raagreet is doing great work in promoting and nurturing talented artists. Indian Classical Music was desperately in need of a platform such as Raagreet where mature artists from diverse gharanas come together to share their music, insight and gifts with younger artists and audiences. This community platform can truly provide reassurance to artists in an otherwise hypercompetitive world.
Pandit Nityanand Haldipur is also of the opinion that if good performers don’t take the lead to educate the audience and perform, there would be a loss to the art world and at the same time mediocrity, gimmickry in music would take over and be recognized as best. However, in the concert format, the audience and the venue should be conducive to the same. If an artist is given a one hour slot, he can either choose to explain and educate or develop a raga in detail and not both.
When it comes to one particular feature of his music that he would give to his students, would definitely be something as basic as how to use grace notes (or ‘kan’ swaras) to the different stages of jod.
Greatest Challenge As A Performer Of Classical Music
Pandit Nityanand Haldipur’s greatest challenge is resenting ragas in a manner that is palatable to all types of audiences.
Indeed, Pandit Nityanand Haldipur would like to be remembered as safekeeper of a resplendent, glorious and illustrious tradition of Indian Classical Music.