Pandit Ravi Bellare
Pt. Ravi Bellare

Pt. Ravi Bellare in front of his painting depicting Pt. Kudow Singh (19th century), whom legend says was able to make an elephant dance by playing his pakhawaj.

Pandit Ravi Bellare (1927-2005), was raised and initiated into the art and science of tabla, pakhawaj and classical music by his uncle, the late Pandit Taranath Rao. Ravi studied dance, vocal and Instrumental music from the great Guru's and Ustad's of different gharana's from his time, including Ustad Hajji Shamshuddin Khan, Prof. B.R. Deodar and Pandit Sunder Prasad.

A child protege on tabla, Ravi first performed a tabla solo for AIR Bombay at the age of 5. Ravi accompanied such legendary musicians as Ustad Allaudin Khan, Pandit Eknath Pandit, and Pandit Pannalal Ghosh.

He served as the administrator and assistant director to Pandit Ravi Shankar at his Kinnara School of music in Bombay. Ravi came to the United States in 1991 with his beloved wife Uma to carry on the tradition of his late uncle, Pandit Taranath Rao. He founded the Kala Kalpa School of music, dance, art and culture in Pomona, CA.

Ravi was also a self-taught electrical engineer and he established a successful electronics company in the early 1960's which he maintained until retiring in the early 1990's.

The complete recording can be found here.

Ravibhai was revered for his brilliant presence, his artistic ability and creativity, his vast knowledge of music and musicology, and adored for his kind and gentle nature. He is deeply missed by his family, friends, music lovers and his many students.
Shashi and Ravi Bellare performing at the punyatithi of Ustad Shamshuddin Khan

Shashi and Ravi Bellare performing at the punyatithi of Ustad Shamshuddin Khan - Talmiki Wadi, Mumbai

Under the guidance of their Uncle and Guru Pt. Taranath Rao, Ravi Bellare and his twin brother Shashi Bellare (1927-2012), were the first to introduce tabla Jugalbandi (duets) and Sawal Jawab (question and answer between the two artists). From a very young age in the early 1940’s they became two of the most sought after players of their time

Listen to Ravi and Shashi Bellare perform a tabla jugalbandi at the punyatithi (memorial concert) for Ustad Shamshuddin Khan in 1968. The complete recording can be found here.

Their duets were highly regarded in the music world and were admired by great masters like Ustad Ahmedjan Thirakwa & Ustad Shamshuddin Khan. Their guru Pandit Taranath Rao referred to Ravi & Shashi as the Ajanta & Ellora of Tabla. He said that their knowledge of the art of playing tabla was so deep that the comparison was most fitting for the twins. Listen to Ustad Shamshuddin Khan's tabla solos on youtube.

Pt. Ravi Bellare in Germany

Pt. Ravi Bellare in Germany.

Ravi Bellare accrued a vast compendium of knowledge from ancient and modern scholarship in the field of the history and theory of rhythm, melody and the dance forms of India. While on his first trip to Europe as a director of a cultural delegation from India, Bellare was invited as an associate professor to the University of Berlin where he spent three years conducting original research in the libraries of Indian treatesses gathered in that country.

Pt. Ravi Bellare was able to speak and write with great authority and insight on the arts of India in their ancient forms as well as the development of modern idioms.
Pt. Ravi Bellare performing Kathak dance
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As a dancer, Ravi performed throughout Europe, Israel and India, presenting Kathak, Bharatanatyam and folk dance styles. He served as a choreographer and music director to acclaimed dancer Ram Gopal throughout a decade of international touring.

© 1996 - 2023 David Philipson
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