Kishori Amonkar died at the age of 84 at home in central Mumbai. She had been ill for some time. She was an extraordinary singer – That is Lata Mangeshkar tweeting about Kishori Amonkar. Lata is not a classical singer, but her tweet is the same as the general sentiment of the lovers of classical music.
Her specialty had been Jaipur gharana. It signifies a style of music sung by a group of musicians in a distinctive way.
Amonkar was born on April 10, 1932, in Mumbai to Mogubai Kurdikar, a great singer herself. Kishori Amonkar learned singing techniques and the finer points from her mother. She developed her own style too. Within the gharana style, she framed her own individual style
Amonkar took great interest in the ancient texts on music. Her range was extensive because of her deep understanding of music.
She put her soul into singing Hindustani classical khayal songs. She was also good in lighter classical thumri music, devotional songs and even music of films. Her musical genre did not matter to her or the audience. She sang them all with grace.
Amonkar did not always stick to the Jaipur tradition. She took liberties and bent it. Some praised her, and some criticized her for the move. Her style of music mattered to her more than the structure of music, rhythm, and ornamentation. She took more care to express emotion than tradition. The rigid tradition did not stop her from including emotional appeal in her singing.
She was a good speaker and gave lectures around the country on feelings and emotions in music.
Amonkar received Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan for her contribution to music. She was a fellow of the Sangeet Natak Akademi.
Her death has truly left a void that will be hard to fill.