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 About the Artiste

Viraj Amar,Ahmedabad

Viraj represents the generation of bright, new, talented young artists. She started learning to play the sitar at the age of 8 under the able guidance of Smt. Manju Mehta.

At the age of 16, she felt that something was missing in instrumental music and this made her switch to vocal music. Viraj's talents were also nurtured under Pandit Vilas Rao Khandekar and Smt. Rupande Shah in classical vocal music.

Today, Viraj is an A grade artiste of the All India Radio and Doordarshan. She has a fresh approach in Khayal singing. A distinctive feature of her gayaki is a perfect blend of modernity and tradition. Her voice is rich and laden with emotion.

She sings semi-classical forms like Thumri and tappa, a special feature of her gharana, (Benaras) with equal ease. Her gayaki speaks of her training and is true to the style of her gurus Pt Rajan - Sajan Mishra.

By education, Viraj has done her B.Sc. in Bio-chemistry and M.Sc. in Life Science. In music education, she obtained her Sangeet Visharad (Bachelors) in 1986 and Sangeet Alankar (Masters) in 1989, and stood first in state of Gujarat.

She has crossed a few milestones as follows: In 1985, she won Pt. Omkarnath Thakur Trophy in Instrumental music (sitar) and in 1986, she won the same trophy in the junior vocal music category. Her constant riyaz and hardwork made her receive the same trophy in 1989 - this time in the senior vocal music category. And thereby, she scored a hatrick!

The Gujarat Sangeet Nritya Natya Academy honoured her talent with the "Shreshtha Kala Sadhak" award in 1989. 1993 saw her winning the Sangeet Sadhna award for the best upcoming artiste category in the state of Gujarat.

She has performed at various concerts such as Saptak (Ahmedabad), at NCPA, Bharat Bhavan (Bhopal), at India International Centre (Delhi), etc. besides touring USA, UK, Russia and France.

email: amarbhatt@yahoo.com