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ITC deeply mourns the sad demise of Vidushi Girija Devi, legendary Guru at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy 25 Oct 2017

ITC deeply mourns the sad demise of Vidushi Dr. Girija Devi, a doyen of Hindustani classical music and beloved ITC Sangeet Research Academy Guru. A legend in her lifetime, her music has vastly enriched the tradition of Hindustani Classical Music and enthralled music lovers across the globe. Championing the legacy of ITC-SRA’s celebrated Guru-Shishya Parampara, Vidushi Girija Devi passionately pursued teaching music till her final days and helped preserve her rich musical heritage through her students.

The Government of India bestowed on Vidushi Girija Devi three of the highest civilian awards - Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and the Padma Shri. She also received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship. The Postal Department honoured the musical maestra by featuring her on a postal stamp. In 2003, she was conferred the ITC Samman for her unparalleled contribution to the field of Indian Classical Music.

Vidushi Girija Devi was the pride of ITC Sangeet Research Academy. Right from its inception in 1977, she was one of the key flagbearers of ITC-SRA’s larger Vision to nurture and propagate the priceless heritage of Indian Classical Music. Fondly known to all as ‘Appaji’, she was dearly loved and admired for her magnetic personality, lively sense of humour, colourful Benarasi Hindi speech and instant connect with every individual. At ITC-SRA, Vidushi Girija Devi symbolized the true relationship between the Guru and the Shishya by nurturing an eternal bond of trust, knowledge, continuity and the sheer celebration of art’s universal glory.

“I am deeply saddened to hear about the demise of Vidushi Dr. Girija Devi.  Acknowledged as a legend in the field of Hindustani Classical Vocal Music, she has over the years enthralled audiences in India and across the world with her exemplary performances. My sincere condolences to her family, her disciples and millions of music lovers.  May her soul rest in peace;” said Mr. Y C Deveshwar, Chairman, ITC Ltd.

“Vidushi Girija Devi ji leaves behind a huge void both in the world of Hindustani Classical Music and ITC Sangeet Research Academy. Her rich legacy will continue to inspire musicians across all genres and the contributions she leaves behind at ITC Sangeet Research Academy will continue to guide our scholars for many years to come. I express my deepest condolences to her family members, shishyas and the very large number of grieving admirers she leaves behind,” said Mr. Sanjiv Puri, CEO and Executive Director, ITC Ltd.

Born in Benaras, Vidushi Girija Devi was initiated into music at the age of five under the tutelage of Pandit Sarju Prasad Mishra and she devoted herself to Hindustani Classical Music for over eight decades. She was renowned for her proficiency in all the vocal forms of north Indian classical music including Thumri, Kajri, Chaiti, Tappa and Khayal. Vidushi Girija Devi started her musical career with a solo concert in 1949 at an All India Radio broadcast from Allahabad. In her illustrious musical career, she was conferred numerous awards and accolades. She received honorary DLitt from seven universities in India.

Vidushi Dr Girija Devi will forever remain an inspiration to many at ITC.

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