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With Bhimsen Joshi (center) and Vasanth Bapat
With wife, Nirmala (left) and Parveena Sultana
With Hindustani Classical Doyenne
Gangubai Hangal
Enjoying Paan with Pt. Kumar Gandharva and others

First Phase of Training

He began his formal training in music with Digambar Bua Kulkarni, who was very pleased with young Prabhudev’s voice. Bua insisted that learning the harmonium first would enhance his knowledge of notes. He taught him the instrument for 4 years. Not long after, Prabhudev purchased a tanpura worth just Rs 35 (in those days) and started getting comfortable with ragas.​










Celebrated artists like Pt. Omkar Nath Thakur, Nissar Hussain Khan, Hirabai Barodekar, Savai Gandharva, Ramakrishna Bua Vaze and Roshan Ara Begum had a mesmerising effect on Prabhudev to a great extent. So much so that once after listening to Savai Gandharva sing Raag Lalit, he recited the raag with his Tanpura and Digambar Bua heard him, He was convinced then that his pupil was truly gifted. He urged Prabhudev’s father to let him pursue music professionally. But the Barrister had other plans for his son. He insisted he become an advocate like him; Digambar Bua couldn't shake him, after all he was a lawyer!


In 1946, after completing his B.A. Prabhudev moved to Poona (now Pune) to study law. It was here that he gave his first public performance. During his time in Poona he performed in college and was introduced to the music circle. He also had a few private performances and one of them was organised by Hindustani classical doyen, Hirabai Barodekar.

Second & Third Phase of Training

In 1950, he returned to Solapur with his law degree and began assisting his father. He was appointed as a public prosecutor in 1957 and in ‘62 he made his way to the city of dreams, Bombay (now Mumbai). That’s where he began the second phase of his music training with
Pt. Jagannath Bua Purohit. Unfortunately, this training was cut short by Jagganath Bua’s death, and Prabhudev turned to Nivrutti Bua Sarnaik as his teacher.

He learnt a lot from Nivrutti Bua - Malhar variations, Shukla Bilawal, which was Prabhudev’s personal favourite. Yaman Bilawal and Khem Kalian were also among the long list of
lesser-known ragas that Prabhudev had the privilege to learn from Nivrutti Bua.

Seeking the blessings of Digambar Bua
With third guru Nivrutti Bua

The Balancing Act


While Bombay is the city of dreams, the city will make you work hard for those dreams. Especially, when you’re juggling family, work and passion. A promotion to a senior position did not leave him any time for Riyaaz, a singer’s key ingredient for progress.

"Akashvani was one

of my gurus"


His classes with Nivrutti Bua and Akashvani performances ended up becoming his Riyaaz. Yet, Prabhudev persevered. After securing the top grade at the All India Radio exam at the Poona station, he became a regular there. He travelled the country and performed as a visiting artist.
He also performed extensively abroad, in the US, Canada, UK and France. 


His first EP came out in 1967. It had compositions in Raag Jog and Harikauns. More followed in time.

Later Life & Death

Pt. Prabhudev Sardar served as a faculty member of Karnataka University in Dharwad and as the Director of the Music & Dance Faculty at Kala Academy in Panjim, Goa.

He passed away on March 13, 2008, in Panjim, Goa after suffering a heart failure. He was 83 and left behind a rich legacy of students, teachers and connoisseurs.

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