Samarth Nagarkar

When Music is Life, Life becomes Music

Described by critics as one of the most prolific and promising young artistes of today, Samarth Nagarkar is a Hindustani (North Indian)

classical vocalist, known for his captivating performances and a traditionally rich approach towards raagdaari (raga exposition) and gayaki  (stylistic distinction). Trained under Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar and Pandit Dinkar Kaikini, he is a former scholar of the ITC Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata. Pursuing a full-fledged music career as a performer, composer, teacher and author, Samarth currently divides him time between the US (New York) and India.

Samarth Nagarkar was barely ten when he could identify with Raga Sangeet (Hindustani classical music). His initial training began in Bangalore under Smt. Aditi Kaikini Upadhya. At sixteen, he migrated to Mumbai (Bombay) in pursuit of his passions which, by then, had taken deep roots in him.

In Mumbai, he received training from the veteran vocalist and musicologist, Pandit Dinkar Kaikini. Samarth migrated to Kolkata in 2003 and became a disciple of one of India’s most distinguished performers and gurus, Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar. During this period, he went on to become a “Grade A scholar” at the much coveted ITC Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata. By virtue of intense and extensive guru-shishya parampara training Samarth’s performance repertoire encompasses styles, ragas and compositions of three prominent gharanas – Gwalior, Agra and Jaipur.

Samarth began performing when he was seventeen. Thereafter, he has performed at several reputed conferences and venues across India and the United States. Some of the most important concert platforms and venues in India include the ITC Sangeet Sammelan, Kolkata and Bangalore, The National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai, India Habitat Center, New Delhi, Devnandan Ubhayaker Yuva Sangeetotsav, Bangalore and Sangeet Natak Akademy, Lucknow. In the US he has performed at Ali Akbar College of Music and Basant Bahar, CA, Chhandayan All Night Concert, New York and Universities of Stanford, Indiana, Penn State, UPenn, UT Southwestern among others.

Most notable among his various achievements and awards is the President's Award for the First Prize in the prestigious All India Radio music competition, 2000, which made him a graded artiste of the AIR. In June 2009, he was awarded a Fellowship by The Ministry of Culture, Government of India, following his research involving documentation and analysis of the sustenance of the fundamental principles of the Gwalior gharana gayaki through its evolution over the past hundred years.

Samarth has two CDs titled ‘Pravaha’ (2010) and ‘Pranali’ (2013) and a book titled ‘Raga Sangeet: Understanding and Learning Hindustani Classical Vocal Music’ to his credit.

In 2002, his music was featured in a German film titled Der Dschungel Verandert Sich Nie (The Jungle Never Changes) by Martin D Costa. The film has premiered at several prestigious film festivals in Europe and received gratifying responses from critics and connoisseurs.

Samarth was head of the K K Kapoor Sangeet Research Academy, Lucknow from July 2009 to Sept 2010 as Founder Faculty.

Samarth has also been conducting lecture demonstrations and music workshops with varied audiences including connoisseurs and students of different backgrounds in several cities and Universities across India and the USA. Samarth also spearheaded an Indian Music Choir including a cross section of students from various music schools and colleges in Lucknow. In sync with the times, he also reaches out to students across the globe through online teaching programs.

Currently, dividing his time between New York and India, he pursues a thriving music career as a concert performer, composer, teacher and author.

With extensive training and an artistic vision encompassing tradition and modernity in a rare balance, Samarth Nagarkar is believed to be one of the foremost young torchbearers of the traditions he represents.