Pannalal Ghosh: A great maestro of classical flute music

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Pannalal Ghosh

MNA Feature Desk: Tribute to Pandit Pannalal Ghosh, the great maestro of Hindustani classical flute music and music composer, on his 57th death anniversary (20 April).

The inventor (1938) of the grande flute (long bansuri) Ghosh was born in Barisal, on July 31 in 1911. Ghosh has disciples, grand-disciples and great grand-disciples all over the subcontinent who are performers and aspirants playing the music he had set forth.

His fold brought together the music of the Sur Samrat Alauddin Khan; the Beenkar Dabir Khan of the Senia heritage; the DagarVani, a purist and authentic art — the influence of many great maestros.

From Dhrupad-styled khayal to the simple bhatiali, he embraced all forms of music. Ghosh married the mystique of the folk flute to the high art that’s classical music.

The true nationalist that he was, Pannalal Ghosh got entangled in the freedom struggle and had to flee to Kolkata. He was a trained boxer and wrestler in Barisal and he took up a job of an instructor.

Impressed by his flute recitals, Kazi Nazrul Islam, who had penned the lyrics for the film Pataalpuri (1935) directed by Priyanath Ganguly, invited Pannalal to assist him in composing the music.

This marked the debut of Pannalal Ghosh in the film-world. His next breakthrough was when he was enlisted in the New Theatres Studio as a member of their orchestra by Raichand Boral, popularly known as R.C. Boral.