About Pandit Vinayak Vora
Pandit Vinayakray Nanalal Vora
'A famed Tar-Shehnai Maestro'
Born on 21st Oct, 1929 at Kachchh-Mandavi in Gujarat State, in a cultured family of musicians and scholars, Pandit Vora inherited his devotion of music from his father, Acharya Nanalal Vora, a Sanskrit Scholar and a known musicologist of his time.
Along with his academic education, Pandit Vora benefited from the long and relentless grooming in Vocal and instrumental music from his father.
After graduating from Rajkot, Pandit Vora later at Bombay came under the influence of Late. Pandit Yashwantray Purohit, a leading exponent of Kirana Gharana. The delicacy and sensitiveness of his mentor's style is beautifully reflected in Pandit Vinayak Vora's performance.
One day, while rummaging in a flea-market, he found a broken a two-stringed instrument, similar to an old European instrument called the Japp fiddle. With the help of Velji Mistry, a carpenter, he recreated the instrument by attaching a sound box to its base. The instrument was to be played with a bow striking the two strings and a small metal pin attached in the box, would touch the string and create a sharp wail, tonally similar to a Shehnai. As he wondered what name should be given to this invention, he saw a photograph in a Bengali magazine. It showed a man who was holding an instrument, called the Esraj or Dilruba, with a sound box attached to it and under the photograph it was identified as a ‘Taar Shehnai’. Though the instrument created by Pt. Vora was quite different from this one, still he decided not to call his discovery a new name like ‘Dwi Tantri Veena’, or any other name but adopted the name: ‘Taar Shehnai’.
In those days, such an instrument was not a part of classical music concerts, neither as a sangat, nor as a solo instrument. But Pt. Vinayakrai’s virtuoso skills with the instrument were such that he performed sangat with maestros like Pt. Jasraj, Pt. Yashvant Rai, Smt. Laxmi Shankar and others.
In spite of his long and fruitful association with AIR Bomaby, Pandit Vinayak Vora continued to be a much sought after artist for enlistment both as a Soloist and as an Accompanist in several Sangeet Sammelans in India and Abroad.
He performed in several concerts around the world, with his instrument growing in popularity. He performed solo along with Yehudi Menuhin
and Pt. Ravi Shanker in London. He also played the Taar Shehnai for the Beatles’ ‘Wonder wall’. After this, Pt. Vinayakrai Vora and Taar Shehnai became synonymous.
He provided music for a documentary called ‘Kingdom of Clouds’. It was honoured with prestigious inclusion in the music library of California University.
Because of his profound insight and knowledge of the Indian Classical tradition, he was often invited for lectures at M.S. University (Vadodra), Saurashtra Sangeet Natak Akademi (Rajkot), SNDT University (Mumbai), and Academy of Raipur (Madhya Pradesh and Chennai).
Apart from receiving ‘Swar Sadhna Ratri Award’ given by Swar Sadhna Samiti, Pt. Vinayakrai was also awarded the Faisal Ahmed Khan and Ustad Niyaz Ahmed Khan Memorial Award of Kirana Gharana, under the ITC music forum.
Solo at Rajkot for Akashwani Sangeet Sammelan – 1989
Judge for Omkarnath Sangeet Spardha – 1989 Gujarat
National Programme on AIR 1989
National Programme on Doordarshan – 1990 (Approx.)
Many of Pandit Vinayak Vora's Compositions have been preserved in Radio Archives. He won great fame as a Versatile Composer.
For an English Movie 'Wonder Wall' for George Harrison (Beatles), he had used Thumari and other effects in 1974.
His music for some documentary films won International acclaim. One such documentary, 'Kingdom In Clouds' has been preserved in the famous Music Library of California University.
He had composed Background Music for T.V. Play like 'Paralysis', Stage-plays 'Atam Ne Ozal Ma Raakh Ma', 'Parijat', Abhinay Samrat', 'Devdas', etc.
He also composed signature tunes for A.I.R. as Mahila Mandal, Dhwani-chitra, School Broadcast, A.I.R. Urdu Programme, Survani and other features.
He wrote a number of research articles on Indian Classical Music, some of the articles were published in 'Samarpan' a Literary Magazine.
Pandit Vinayak Vora's 'Sangeet Mimansa' broadcast by Vividh Bharti in 1983 won great popularity.
He was often invited to deliver lectures and demonstrations in classical music by M.S. University (Baroda)
Saurashtra Sangeet Natak Academy (Rajkot)
S.N.D.T. University (Bombay)
and also at Academies at Raipur (Madhya Pradesh) and Madras.
Sri. Vinayak Vora's soul seemed to surge out with all the pathos in the elaboration of raga in the beginning. In 'Drut' he was in good form and impressed the audience with attractive 'taans' which were very vigorous and enchanting.
(The Times of India, Bombay)
Sri. Vora presented rage 'Bhatiyar' on 'Tar-Shehnai.' He maintained typicality of the instrument and developed the rage impressively.
(Mumbai Samachar, Mumbai)
Mr. Vinayak Vora regaled the music lovers by his clear exposition of ragas and its melody by expert handling of his instrument 'Tar-Shehnai'.
(Indore Samachar, Indore)
In Mr. Vora's recital on 'Tar-Shehnai', the depth, dignity and purity of raga besides, delicacy of Kirana Gharana were distinctly dissemble.
(Phool Chhab, Rajkot)
On dated 17th January 2004, Music Forum and ITC presented “Ustad Faiyyaz Ahmed Khan & Ustad Niaj Ahmed Khan memorial award (Kirana Gharana)” to Mr. Vinayak Vora.
On dated 13th March 2004, “Swar Sadhna Ratna” award presented by Swar Sadhana Samiti to Mr. Vora.
Pandit Vinayakrai Vora’s music became silent on Jayashth Sood Durga Ashtami (4th June, 2006) but it did not end there. His music lives on in his students who carry forward his legacy.
Pandit Vinayak Vora
'A famed Tar-Shehnai Maestro'
"For over thirty years, Pandit Vinayak Vora has thrilled audiences of various Music Institution, Akashwni, Doordarshan in India and abroad…. Today, the foremost exponent of Tar-Shehnai, a rare instrument, is Pandit Vinayak Vora. Note will be taken of his contribution when the history of contemporary Indian Classical Music is attempted some day in future."
"Pandit Vinayak Vora's great contribution to Indian Classical Music is that he is the first to popularize the instrument 'Tar-Shehnai' not only at home but far beyond our country."
-Pandit Ravi Shankar
New Delhi, 28-2-1989