the refreshing breeze from the peaks of Himachal mountain ranges and the soft
lapping waves of the Ganges in Benaras come to a confluence a magic spell of spirituality
and romanticism is cast that spreads its fragrance for all to enjoy. Sunanda Sharma
brings this effect musically with her mellifluous rendition of Benaras Gharana
style of gayaki.
forward the legacy of the legendary vocalist of Benaras Gharana, the highly revered
Dr. Vidushi Girija Devi, a Padma Bhushan awardee and a doyen of Indian classical
vocal music, Sunanda is a leading vocalist amongst the young generation.
salubrious environment of her small native village in Himachal Pradesh called
Dah near Pathankot was ideal for Sunanda to develop her natural flair for singing
as she comes from a musical family. She started training under the guidance of
her father Pandit Sudarshan Sharma when hardly 5 and went on to graduate in music
and thereafter topping off her academic achievements with a Gold Medal for her
Masters in Indian classical vocal music from Punjab University.
musical journey reached another milestone when Smt Girija Devi took Sunanda under
her wings after spotting her at the Hariballabh Sangeet Sammelan, Jullandhar.
This was the beginning of a training in the Gurushishya parampara which saw Sunanda
living, serving and learning music from her guru in Benaras and Kolkata for 9
years that has a distinct flavour of the musical grandeur of the temple town of
Kashi. The guidance continues even today as the Guru and her shishya continue
to perform and leave an imprint of their music, a melodious blend of shastra and
bhav paksh on the conscious of music connoisseurs at festivals, concerts, baithaks
etc., in India and abroad.
who blossomed under the rigorous training of her Guru, has evolved musically into
an artist with substance, which is evident in the many solo performances, lecdems,
workshops and as visiting teacher in Universities at home and abroad. Sunanda
enjoys the privilege of being a visiting teacher at SOAS, University and Royal
Academy of Music in London since 2000.
her forte lies in Khayal, Tappa, Thumri, Dadra, Chaiti, Sunanda has expanded her
talent and repertoire that includes Punjabi folk, Sufi and other devotional styles.
The beauty of Sunanda’s singing lies in her demonstrating and bringing to fore
the depth and beauty of her renditions, which immediately builds a rapport with
her audiences. The media therefore is an ardent admirer of this versatile artist.
popular magazine ‘Swagat’ acknowledges the breathtaking range and maturity in
Sunanda’s singing by stating "It is always a real pleasure to hear a young
and fresh voice full of verve. Like the voice of Sunanda Sharma," adding
"Sunanda is delightful in the light-classical genre." Mesmerized, The
Indian Express, boldly states, "Sunanda casts magic spell with ragas at City
Sangeet Sammellan." The Sunday Tribune wrote, "Sunanda’s recital charms"
at the Hariwallabh Sangeet Sabha, Jallandhar. The Financial Express mentioned
in its columns, "Keeping aloft flame of Benaras Gharana." The foreign
media has not lagged behind in heaping accolades on this irrepressible creative
artist. Listening to her recital at the World Voice Festival, Germany, July, 2002
it wrote, "Song flowing like a well". The list of appreciation is endless.
who feels blessed to perform at the feet of the divine in various Temple Festivals
of India, has had the privilege to sing in the august presence of Shri Satya Sai
Baba in Puttaparthi, Shri Nath Dwara- Rajasthan, Chamunda Devi-Himachal Pradesh,
Ek Lingji Maharaj Temple-Udaipur, Durga Mandir- Benaras and other pilgrimage temples.
Her rendition elevates traditional classical music to its pristine beauty of spiritual
has exhibited her brilliance in prestigious and noteworthy concerts such as Tansen
Samaroh in Gwalior and the Baba Hariwallabh Sangeet Sammelan in Jallandhar and
also has to her credit some unique "jugalbandis" which includes one with the legendary
sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, well-known Kathak dancer Shashwati Sen and
noteworthy performances in India are:
Centre Concert, Mumbai
Samet Samiti, Allahabad
Peace Concert, Delhi
Natak Academy Concerts, Allahabad and Lucknow
- Baba Hariwallabh Sangeet
Sangeet Sammelan, Gwalior
Concert Tours (Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Bihar)
- Chandigargh Sangeet Sammelan
and Pracheen Kala Kendra Concerts
international performances has moved audiences in the UK, the USA, Norway, Finland,
Denmark, Germany, Belgium and Sweden. It includes recitals at the world music
festivals in Germany and twice in Belgium. This unassuming talent has exhibited
her skills in creative collaborations with artists from Spain, Finland and Norway.
recitals abroad include:
Tours, Norway, 2006-2009
& jugalbandi concert tour in Denmark, 2008
- Asian Music Circuit’s Y2K
Series Concert Tour, UK, 2000
Concert, Columbus, USA, 2001
Asian Music Circuit Summer Concerts, UK, 2001-08
- Classical and Experimental
Music Concerts, Finland, 2002
Voice Festival, Dusseldorf, Germany, 2002
- World Music Festival, Belgium,
Concert with Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, National Opera House, Belgium
solo albums "Dharohar" released in 2000 by Times Music and "Swar Sanchay" by Virgin
Records in 2003 has received rave reviews for their musical content, variety,
range and innovative flavour. More releases are in the offing.
Classical Vocal Teacher at Kala Ashram, institute of the legendary Kathak Dancer
Pandit Birju Maharaj, 2006 and 2007.
Teacher at the Asian Music Circuit’s renowned annual summer school at the School
of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London (2000-04) and the
Royal Academy of Music, London (2005-2008).
- Panel Artist for prestigious
organizations such as SPICMACAY and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations
Grade Panel Artist for the Information and Broadcasting
Songs & Drama Division.
and Gold Medalist, M.A. in Indian Classical Vocal Music, Punjab University, Chandigarh.
- Talented Young Ladies Award,
International Women’s Day, Bharat Nirman, 2004
- Indian Junior Chamber’s
Outstanding Young Persons Award, Chandigarh.
- Pathankot Sangeet Samiti’s
proud Smt Girija Devi in an interview to The Indian Express summed up the accomplishments
of her disciple as, "My legacy will be taken forward through the beautiful
thumris, chaitis and kajris sung by Sunanda. She has amazing control over her
coming from her Guru is the best compliment a disciple can get.