Pandit Vikash Maharaj, born in 1957 as 14th generation of musician in prestigious and oldest musician family of Banaras Gharana (traditional Music School) in Varanasi, India. He got his early education from his Gharana as Tabla performer but apart from that, his mother saw his natural inclination towards Sarod and inspired him to become Sarod player.
Vikash Maharaj started his Sarod lesson from Guru Sri Rajesh Chandra Moitra of the prestigious Maihar Gharana and in six months of hard training and his mother’s inspiration emerged him as youngest Sarod performer of All India Radio Varanasi graded artist.
As he belongs to a family of great performers and teachers such as his grand father Pandit Bade Ramdas ji, Pandit Kanthe Maharaj, father Pandit Nanhku Maharaj, uncle Pandit Kishan Maharaj, one can see in his Sarod performance and teaching as excellent combination of ‘Swar’ (Tone) and ‘Laya’ (Rythum).
Pandit Vikash Maharaj’s unique musical quality is his ability to innovate Ragas and Talas at Sarod with his own natural proficiency and magical finger ability. His rare feet is attributed to the musical lineage he possesses from his father and fore fathers who has been great masters in various fields of ancient Indian Classical Music. Since Sarod is a rare instrument in India and it is only in recent years that it has come into great prominence and reserved for itself the status of a classical concert instrument by the effort of music masters like Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and by himself among next generation of Sarod performers.
He has performed and recorded with many internationally recognized musicians like John Handy “John Handy Musical dreamland”, Patrick Bebelaar “RAAGA”, Paul Swartz – Lenart A Berg – Peter Giger – Dom Um Romao “World Music meeting”, Paul Horn, Prof. Ban konrad, Art Handle and Andrew Gegrille, Book – The JAZZ DISCOGRAPHY Vol.28 name as few.
He was also invited as special invitee in International Leprocy Erddication Festival – organized by German President Honorable Mr. Karl Castin. Diwali Festival at Parliament of New Zealand by Prime Minister Honorable Ms. Helen Clark (at present Administrator of The UN Development programme).
The Maharaj family tradition is now 15 generations deep and can be traced back over 500 years – ancient and healing sounds directly from the source. Pandit Vikash Maharaj is a gifted artist and creates an ambience that is both deep and moving. His composition and improvisation is filled with joyful and complex interactions between melody and rhythm.
As visiting professor, he gave workshop and lessons on India’s musical culture to prominent Professors in the field of music, advanced music students and professional musicians. Successfully he was able to create a bridge of understanding between European and Indian music and teaching. These Academies are as follows:
- Germany Akademic Remscheid, Koln Music Hockschule, Stuttgart Music Hockschule, Natraj (Indian Institute of Music and Dance), Karlsruhe Music Akademie, Aachen Music Hockschule.
- Austria Mozart Academy, Salzburg and Music Academy, Kremes.
- Holland Tropical Institute of Music and International studies, Amsterdam.
- Japan Gagaku Music Society (traditional music institute), Tenri Nara.