2002 - Dr. Sudhir Chanda

Dr. Sudhir Chanda, popularly known as 'Mastermoshai', is a music teacher settled in Delhi. He studied at Shantiniketan and commenced teaching in Delhi in 1959. He formed group 'Rabigeetika', in a relentless effort to popularize Robindra sangeet among the residents of Delhi, on a non-commercial basis.

2003 - Ustad Sabri Khan

'Khansaheb', as he is popularly called, was initiated into the art of playing the Sarangi by his father, Ustad CHajju Khan of the Senia Gharana of Rampur, Moradabad. The Ustad has a prodigious command over the Sarangi, which is considered the most difficult instrument in Indian Music. He has devoted his entire life to popularizing the instrument. He has toured extensively and is responsible for introducing the Sarangi to American and European music lovers.


2004 - Pandit Birju Maharaj

Born in a family of Kathak Dancers of Lucknow Gharana, Birju Maharaj was initially trained by his father Guru Achhan Maharaj and later by his uncle. Guru Shambhu Maharaj. His dancing style admirably blends the best of them. A highly gifted Guru, he has trained a whole galaxy of young Kathak dancers. He is a versatile artist, at once a vocalist, a percussionist, music composer, a poet and a painter. He has received many prestigious awards including the Padma Vibhushan, Kalidas Samman and Hon. Doctorate degrees.

2005 - Ustad Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan

Post-Independence India saw the emergence of the trinity of sitarists Ustad Vilayat Khan, Pt. Ravi Shankar and Ustad Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan. Ustad Abdul Halim was the youngest and the mot "glamorous". He not only developed a unique style, the "Jaffer Khani Baaj", marked by innovative techniques and imaginative sallies. His very first stroke bears the stamp of his genius, which is sustained throughout the magical performance that follows.


2005 - Vidwan T.M Thiagarajan

Sangeet Kalanidhi, T.M Thiagarajan was a child prodigy appearing in his first concert was at the age of eight. He is Known for his extra-ordinary mandharma i.e, improvisation of Raagas, Nirval and Kalpana Swara singing. He has creates his own style and is well known for the brilliant musical settings for hundreds of songs in different languages. Perhaps, his greatest contribution is popularizing innumerable unknown compositions of various composers and the many varnas and kritis he has created. He is an accomplished performer on the Mridangam, and has also published several books with very rare compositions set to music by him.

2005 - Yashwant Balkrishna Joshi

Sri Yashwant Balkrisna Joshi received his initial training in the Agra Gharana style of vocal music. Shri Yashwant Joshi has enriched Hindustani Music with his resonant voice and a rich and variegated repertoire. In a career spanning five decades, Shri Joshi is one of the rare musicians who have been recorded for archival purposes by institutions including the Sangeet Natak Aka demi.


2005 - Vidwan Lalgudi G. Jayaraman

Jayaraman, popularly known as 'Lalgudi', is a direct descendent of Rama Iyer, a disciple of the great Tyagaraja. Lalgudi's first gurus were his father and his paternal uncle Kandiswami Bhagavatar. Today, he is one of the legends in the field of violin playing. As a composer par excellence, Lalgudi has carved a niche for himself. Be it varmans, kritis, his compositions bear his unmistakable stamp and enjoy immense popularity both in music and dance circles.

2005 - Yamini Krishnamurthy

Yamini Krishnamurthy accomplished Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi dancer has dedicated her life to Indian classical dance. A multi-faceted artist, Yamini received the 'Padamshree' and the 'Sangeet Natak Akademi Award'. The title of 'Asthana Nathaki' was bestowed up on her by the Tirumah Tirupati Devasthanam, one of the most sacrosanct temples of India. In 1990, Yamini started the Yamini School of Dance in Delhi. Her autobiographical book 'A Passion for Dance' is an inspiration to many young dancers.


2006 - Chandralekha (6 December 1928 - 30 December 2006)

Chandralekha, dancer and choreographer par excellence, was acclaimed in her life time for her dance style, which was unique boht for its musicality and intensity of abhinaya. As a choreographer, she integrated the structures and integral strengths of Indian classical forms like Bharatnatyam, martial forms like kalaripayattu, therapeutic forms like Yoga and symbolic ritual forms like hasta - mudras into modern dance forms. Her contribution to Indian dance, both classical and contemporary, made her a living legend.

2007 - Buddhadev Das Gupta

Buddhadev Das Gupta is a disciple of pandit Radhika Mohan Maitra. He has carried the mantle of his gharana and at the dame time carved out a special style of sacred playing of his own. His renditions of "Dohra Baaz and Rabbi Baaz" are unparalleled and spellbinding. He has received international recognition as a visiting lecturer from prestigious institutions like the Smithsorian, Maryland, New York and Pittsburg. Among the many awards that have been conferred on him is the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1993.


2007 - Mrinalini Sarabhai

A celebrated dancer and choreographer Mrinalini has achieved an international reputation that is unmatched by any contemporary Indian classical dancer. The syntax of her creativity mediates between a moral commitment to traditional form and the desire to claim one's own experiments as unique, unrepeatable. This interface of technical mastery and creative expressionism achieves a profoundly versatile language of the body - simple, eloquent, visually inspiring. The creative anarchy of her essentially modern style is convincingly disciplined by the taut orthodoxy of her classical technique. The result is an exalted visual statement combining almost fanatical purity of vision with modish formal experiments.

2007 - Girija Devi

Girija Devi's renditions are a brilliant synchronization of the poetic, the melodic and the rhythmic. She is also an acknowledged master of two distinctly diverse traditions of Indian classical music.
The Khayal is the modern genre deriving its name from Arabic meaning "imagination". It is a romantic form of music. The Thumri, on the other hand, is a another North Indian vocal form based more on the romantic-devotional inspired by the Bhakti movement. Those who have been privileged to hear Poorab and Thumri will never forget that experience. It is almost as if she is in personal communion with her Maker. To Girija Devi, music is prayer.


2008 - Saroja M.K.

M.K. Saroja never had a formal debut. But in 1941, when she was a child of seven, she was hailed as a "phenomenon in nature, which catches your breath and delights your heart..."
Beryl de Zoete, the Dutch travel-writer wrote in The Other Mind a study of dance in South India, 1953 "I remember specially Saroja's dancing, her faint smile and sudden, darting glances, her delicately defined gestures and the wonderful speed and precision of her difficult poses, which seemed to float in air like movement of a plant which is pliable as well as firm".
After an active performing careeer of sixty unbroken years, Saroja continues to teach and train younger generations of dancers. Among her students are Yamini Krishnamurty and Indrani.

2011 - Sitara Devi (8 November 1920 - 25 November 2014)

Sitara Devi was an eminent Indian dancer of the classical Kathak style of dancing. Rabindranath Tagore described her as Nritya Samragini, meaning the empress of dance, after watching her performance when she was just 16 years old. The epithet continues, and she is still described as the Kathak queen.
She has given performances in several parts of India, and in several other countries, including at the Royal Albert Hall, London in 1967; and at the Carnegie Hall, New York in 1976.


2011 - T.V. Gopalkrishnan

Tirupanithurai Viswanatha Gopalakrishnan is a Carnatic and Hindustani musician from Chennai. Gopalakrishnan hails from a family of musicians spanning over two centuries. His father, T.G.Viswanatha Bhagavathar, was a court musician for the Cochin Royal Family and a professor of music at the S.K.V. College in Thrissur. He is a vocalist, plays the violin and is also an exponent of the mridangam. Gopalakrishnan started playing the mridangam at the age of four and had his arangetram at the Cochin palace at the age of six. He is a disciple of Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar.
Gopalakrishnan was given the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1990. He has been awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in the year 2012.


2003 - Zohra Sehgal

Zohra Sehgal is truely the "Anmol Ratna" of Indian screen and stage. In early life she joined Uday Shankar's dance troupe at Dehradun, a very bold step for the time. Zohra and her husband migrate to Lahore and began her theatre career. Though 93, amazingly, age and her graceful charm does not deter her from featuring in films even today.

2004 - Habib Tanvir

In the popular mind, Habib Tanvir is closely linked with the idea of folk theatre. In fact, his culture consciousness was shaped in the crucible of the left-wing cultural movement, particularly Indian People's theatre association and Progressive Writer's Association. His greatest contribution to Indian THeatre was to move it away from European models and create an experience radically different, both in form content, from anything that the country had ever seen.
Tanvir spent over three years studying theatre at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He also travelled extensively through Europe, watching theatre. On his return, Tanvir and his wife Moneeka Misra (herself a theatre person) founded a company of their own in 1959 and called its Naya Theatre.


2003 - Krishen Khanna

Krishen Khanna's work is a visual documentation of the state and fate of man in our times. What makes it art and lifts it out of the transient, are the abiding elements of the tragic, the sublime and the ridiculous, which are all woven together. The thick impasto surface often seems like a prism through which figures can be discerned as if from early childhood memories.

2004 - Prof. Sankho Chaudhuri (25 February 1916 - 28 August 2006)

Prof. Sankho Chaudhuri imbibed the best traditions of Indian Fine Arts and blended them into modern techniques. Taught by Ram Kinker Baij, he has deeply influenced by cubism. His themes included the female figure and wildlife. Whether wood, metal or marble, clay or store, the simple curves and contours of his figures and objects remained his signature. He was a living legend who enriched Fine Arts in India.


2005 - Badal Sircar (15 July 1925 - 13 May 2011)

An engineer by profession, Badal Sircar is today a cult figure and an icon in the world of theatre. He was a dramatist and theatre director, most known for his anti-establishment plays during the Naxalite movement. He took theatre out of the proscenium into the public arena. He founded his own theatre company Shatabdi in 1976. He wrote more than fifty plays of which Ebong Indrajit, Basi Khabar, and Saari Raat are well known literary pieces. He was a prolific writer and wrote many scripts for his Aanganmanch (courtyard stage) performances. He remains one of the most translated Indian playwrights.

2008 - Paritosh Sen (18 October 1918 - 22 October 2008)

Paritosh Sen was a leading Indian artist. He was born in Dhaka (then known as Dacca), the present-day capital of Bangladesh. He was a founder member of the Calcutta Group, an art movement established in 1942 that did much to introduce modernism into Indian art.
Sen pursued his artistic training at the Academie Andre Lhote, the Academie la Grande Chaumiere, the Ecole des Beaux Arts, and the Ecole des Louvre in Paris. Upon his return to India, he taught first in Bihar and then at Jadavpur University. He also taught art at The Daly College at Indore during the late 1940s.
In 1969 he was the recipient of the French Fellowship for Designing and Typeface and in 1970 he was awarded a Rockefeller Fellowship. Sen has exhibited widely both in India and abroad, including the Calcutta Group exhibition (1944), London (1962), Sao Paolo Biennale (1965), New Delhi Triennale (1968, 1971, 1975), Sweden (1984), and the Havana Biennale (1986).