A pauseā€¦then a dream come trueSantosh Sant

"I used to sit in a corner listening to my father teach his students the tenets of Indian classical music, and sometimes even accompany him for overnight music jalsas where prominent artists would perform," reminisces 51-year-old Santosh Sant.

The flautist was born to well-known vocalist, late Vasantrao Sant of the Gwalior gharana, and honed his craft under the tutelage of the flute maestro Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia.

Despite being born in a house with deep roots in classical vocals, Santosh, was always drawn towards the flute. "I was 10 or 12 when my father got me a flute and I began learning on my own. He wanted to support me and tried to help me whenever he could," he says.

Santosh continued to improve his art, but tragedy struck at the age of 15 when his father passed away.

The responsibilities of home and the music school fell upon Santosh's young shoulders and put a pause on his dream of pursuing the flute under the guidance of his idol Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia.

For the next few years Santosh kept learning and polishing his art by himself.

In 1989, at the age of 20 and without any formal training, he earned a Gold medal by the Department of Culture, Government of India, and the Directorate General of All India Radio, for best performance in playing the flute.

In 1990, he even had the opportunity to perform at the prestigious Tansen Festival in Gwalior. But, the fire to learn from his idol still burned bright. Luckily, for him, his dream was soon to come true.

"I managed to go to Mumbai and visit his home to request him to accept me as his disciple. I met his wife, Anuradha Chaurasia, who asked me to perform for her. I played for her and she was quite impressed. It was with her help and reference that Panditji finally gave me a shot at being his disciple," he recalls.

Under his master's instructions, Santosh's next few years were spent in just improving his hand positions.

"After five years of practice, I was finally confident and travelled back to Panditji's house to demonstrate. This time he was happy with my performance and officially accepted me as his shishya," shares Santosh who was 25 at the time and working as a flute artist for All India Radio, Gwalior.

In 1999, he moved to Mumbai (erstwhile Bombay) with an internal transfer at AIR to be close to his teacher.

In the footsteps of his guru, he continued to hone his art, performing at leading festivals around the country and making a name for himself. Following Pt. Chaurasia's advice to also start working with leading private organizers promoting Indian music, he approached HCL for a performance at the HCL Digital Concerts platform.

"They are doing a phenomenal job in encouraging ancient art and culture. My talks with them have been ongoing for the past few years now and the experience of performing was truly amazing" adds the artist.

Santosh is confident the exposure HCL Digital Concerts gave him will eventually catapult him into the big league, with more exposure and opportunities at the big stage.

HCL Digital Concerts is a platform meant to identify aspiring musicians and provide them with opportunities to showcase their talent through digital as well as physical music concerts.

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Excellence in performing arts is the consummation of years of rigorous application and expert training. The fusion of body and mind makes every expression of artistry truly world class. Just as HCL synergizes knowledge with endeavour to produce innovative solutions, HCL Concerts celebrates the sheer brilliance of human genius in the field of performing arts.