24 JUNE PANDIT OMKARNATH THAKUR (1897 to 1967)
Born on 24 June 1897 in Jahaj village in the then princely State of Baroda (Gujarat), Omkarnath Thakur was an Indian music teacher, musicologist, and Hindustani classical singer. He was very keen to learn music from a young age, but the family fell on hard times and he was forced to do odd jobs to survive. However, his destiny changed when a wealthy Parsi philanthropist heard him singing and got him admitted to Bombay’s Gandharva Mahavidyalaya where he learnt Hindustani classical from the legendary Vishnu Digambar Paluskar of the Gwalior Gharana. Omkarnath Thakur gave his first concert when he was just 21. Pandit Paluskar was so impressed with Thakur’s talent that he appointed him the Principal of the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya in Lahore. Thakur later became the first Dean of the Music Faculty at Banaras Hindu University. He was awarded the Padma Shri (1955) and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1963). Pandit Omkarnath Thakur passed away on 29 December 1967.
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