Artists > Mallikarjun Mansoor

Mallikarjun Mansoor

Mallikarjun Bheemarayappa Mansur (1910–1992) was an Indian classical singer of the khyal style in the Jaipur-Atrauli gharana. His father, a farmer by occupation was an ardent lover and patron of music, though he lived from a hand to mouth condition. Spotting the talent in his son, Mallikarjun's father engaged him to a travelling dance-and-drama troupe. As he hailed from the village Mansur, he was nicknamed so and this accompanied him for the rest of his life. The owner of this troupe took a liking to the tender and melodious voice of Mallikarjun and encouraged him to sing different types of compositions during the drama-performances. Hearing one such performance, he was picked up by Pundit Appaya Swamy under whom he had his initial training in Carnatic music.

He received three national Padma Awards: Padma Shri in 1970, Padma Bhushan in 1976, and Padma Vibhushan in 1992. Scholars hardly differ on the purity and clarity of his note, the musical ambience created by his renditions and his dexterous handling of difficult compositions.

Pt. Mallikarjun was well known for his command over a large number of rare (aprachalit) ragas such as Shuddh Nat, Asa Jogiya, Hem Nat, Lachchhasakh, Khat, Shivmat Bhairav, Bihari, Sampoorna Malkauns, Lajawanti, Adambari Kedar and Bahaduri Todi, as well as his constant, mercurial improvisations in both melody and metre without ever losing the emotional content of the song.

A simple and straightforward person, Pundit Mallikarjun was known for his innocence and ability to mix very easily with members of his fraternity and outsiders, especially, the younger folk. He was very liberal and open-minded in nature and trained a number of well known playback singers.

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