As a child artist he played sitar with Chandrakant Khalikar, Ustad Abdul Mirajkar and many other tabla players.
At age eight Chandrakant appeared in the film Manacha Mujra with actors Sulochana and Prabhakar Panashikar, which was appreciated by local and foreign audiences.
Pandit Ravi Shankar’s certificate declaring Chandrakant a child prodigy
I was amazed to hear Chandrakant Prabhakar Sardeshmukh (who is barely eight years old) play the Sitar with such confidence! Considering his young age, he played Raga Todi so well, and seemed to enjoy himself playing. A sheer prodigy! I hope he grows up to be a great Sitaria by the grace of god. My best wishes are for him.
Ustad Umarsaheb Mirajkar, a well known sitar maker who twice received the President Award for tanpuras, made a special sitar for little Chandrakant which he presented to him in front of his father and sadguru Mali Maharaj
In his childhood, during 1962-1965, foreigners, ministers and popular personalities listened to this ‘wonder boy’ including the then Railway Minister S. K. Patil, Petroleum Minister Humayun Kabir and Law Minister Hajarnavis. He performed in the Sawai Gandharva Festival when he was eight.
Hirabai arranged a performance for Pandit Ravi Shankar and Ustad Abdul Halim Jafar Khan, and Ustad Vilayat Khan and family.
His laurels as a child prodigy reached Pt. Ravi Shankar who was on a visit to Pune. Renowned singer.Smt. Hirabai Badodekar arranged a performance not only for Pandit Ravi Shankar, but also for other renowned sitar players of that time such as Ustad Abdul Halim Jafar Khan, and Ustad Vilayat Khan and family. When the maestros heard small Chandrakant playing sitar with the confidence of a mature artist, they were all amazed and wanted to take him as a disciple. Finally, after discussing with his father Smt. Hirabai, decided to hand over little Chandrakant to Ravi Shankar as a student in traditional Guru-Shishya Parampara.
Before little Chandrakant became a Gandabandh Shagird (official student) of Pandit Ravi Shankar in 1963, Pandit Ravi Shankar asked him to play for his wife at that time, Annapurnadevi, a legendary musician and great teacher. Little master played the same Raga Todi, which he played for Ravi Shankar before. Annapurnadevi, whom Chandrakant addresses as Mataji, exclaimed: “I will never forget the Pancham (fifth note) of his Todi in my life”. She appreciated the depth and mastery in Chandrakant’s music and so agreed to teach him while Pandit Ravi Shankar toured to foreign countries. As Guruji and Mataji lived together in Mumbai at that time, Chandrakant would visit them and take lessons from Guruji when he was in town and from Mataji in Guruji’s absence. He would take sitar education with the maestros by staying in Mumbai for three days each week. He would do his practice under the guidance of his father Shri. Sardeshmukh Maharaj in Pune for four days while taking formal school education in Pune at the same time. As is well known, Mataji was a very tough master. The little boy got all the art and craft of music as well as the depth and emotion of each note fully engraved in his heart and mind during the tough training with Mataji. This continued for more than fourteen years. During this period he stopped all public performances. He was awarded a fellowship as first master fellow, music (sitar), from the National Centre for Performing Arts, Bombay, 1971-76 and Mataji received the fellowship as Guru of this little first master fellow. On completion of his education, Pandit Ravi Shankar certified the training by both himself and Mataji. To this date Chandrakant remains an exceptional student taught by two legendary musicians, Guruji and Mataji.
It was during his music studies with Pt. Ravi Shankar that he became aware of Japan and the depth and beauty of its culture, ancient history, music and arts.
To Whom It May Concern,
This is to certify that Sri Chandrakant Prabhakar Sardeshmukh alias Chandu had been learning Sitar with me since his childhood from 1963 but when I started touring abroad, he began taking lessons from my wife Smt. Annapurnadevi Ravi Shankar and continued until 1976. He is a very promising and talented Sitar student. I wish him success in his life
Chandrakant was very popular as a youth performer. He played with well-known tabla players like Kashinath Mishra and Chandrakant Kamat. In 1980 he celebrated, the 75th birthday of his Mothi Aai (elder mother) Smt. Hirabai Badodekar with deep gratitude.
Since early childhood Chandrakant had esteemed people in his audience, such as the well-known singers Pandit Vasantarao Deshpande, Smt. Mogubai Kurdikar, Smt. Kishoritai Amonkar and Sanskrit Scholar Pandit Vasantrao Gadgil. He became well known for his exceptional performance with accompaniment of Tabla and Pakhawaj, jointly.
Pandit Shri. Raj Rajeshwar Shastri Dravid, the guru of today’s Jagadguru Shankaracharya blessed Chandrakant on listening to his performance. He was felicitated by His Holiness Shri Jagadguru Shankaracharya from Sringeri as Darbari Sitarvadak (Royal Sitarist), in 1981 and performed many concerts for Shri. Jagadguru.
Convocation for Sangeet Vibushan Degree and Mangalarambha Concert, Udaipur, 1976.
Rajasthan University awarded him Sangeet Vibhushan (Sitar Pravin). This was done in a fully traditional way performing a Homa. Kulguru Janardan Rai Nagar, presented the award.
The award winning performance was attended by Kalanidhi Shri Samar and mother of the chancellor who was a disciple of Shri. Mahatma Gandhi. The Ceremony was performed in the traditional sanctity with the offerings in fire (Homa)
To felicitate this honor, Air India Maharashtra Mandal arranged a special concert presided by Bombay High Court Chief Justice B. N. Deshmukh
In 1979 Soorsingar Sansad, Mumbai awarded him Soormani which was presented to him by Pandit GopiKrishna, the world famous dancer.
Dr. Chandrakant embarked on his first overseas concert tour in 1982 performing throughout Germany including Munich, Regensburg, Nurnberg and Bremen for which he received glowing reviews..
Following university studies and academic involvements at Pune University in 1990, he began touring abroad again.
In 1991, he performed throughout Japan including Hiroshima, Kobe, Shizuoka, Chiryu, Tokyo, the Okinawa International Music Festival and the Kawasaki International Music Festival.
He appeared at the Australian Festival of Asian Arts, 1992 and in North America during 1999 performed in San Jose, Pittsburg and San Francisco.
In Chiryu and Tokyo in 2000, he performed sitar duets with shakuhachi, shamisen, koto, jushichigen and taiko.
On a SPICMACAY tour to India in 2001, he performed at Indore, Mandsaur, Bhopal, Satna, Rewa, Maihar and Jabalpur. Also in that year, he visited Australia for several appearances including a concert for sitar and jazz group as part of Jazz Series 2001, Adelaide. He was the featured artist in Resonating Ragas, Brisbane, 2002.
Concerts in India, Australia and North America continued up to 2006 when he commenced a series of events in Tokyo as part of the New Wave concert series celebrating the Japan-India Friendship Year, 2007. Through his organization Darshanam these concerts featured collaborations with Japanese artists performing traditional Japanese and Indian music. They included events for sitar with koto, Bharatanatyam dance, harmonica, Kathak dance, shamisen, bansuri, piano and santoor.
In 2007, Chandrakant Sardeshmukh performed in Vienna and at the Sibiu International Festival of Theatre including an appearance in the Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival. In 2008 and in 2010 he performed Indian jazz concerts in Australia with a quartet made up of saxophone, violin, bass and western drums. Concerts in India included appearances at Bangalore in 2007 and 2009.
He continues to travel the world extensively performing concerts, teaching and conducting therapeutic music programs. For Dr. Chandrakant, the music he loves, that began centuries ago in pure worship, still has connotations as being sacred, free and joyous.
It was Dr. Chandrakant’s father who emphasized that an education in Sanskrit would enable him to specialize in music compositions of Sanskrit prayers, chants and hymns. He insisted that his son gain a Ph.D. in Sanskrit to understand the long heritage of the Vedas so as to demonstrate the Samavedic tradition of Indian music and something of the Vedic tradition inherited by the Sardeshmukh family. He was awarded a doctorate in Sanskrit in 1987 for his thesis titled Samavedic Basis of Indian Music
His international research projects include use of electronic technology and, Performing Arts, Analytical and Computerized Music Composition with Reference to Samavedic Gana Text, published in the IEEE Transactions on Acoustic Speech and Signal Processing, New York and training Oriental and Occidental musicians in Classical Indian music
Attended many seminars and presented his research at forums, some of which include University of Adelaide, South Australia, World Sanskrit Conference held in Bangalore in 1987 and the CONNECTing with..International Music Symposium, Brisbane, 2003.
Healing Through Music
Music can be a source of entertainment, but for Dr. Chandrakant music can also be applied therapeutically as it has been known to cure imbalances in the mind and body.
In 1998 in Adelaide, Australia a research project with an Ayurvedic practitioner was undertaken to study the effects of Dr. Chandrakant’s sitar music on patients suffering from different ailments. Repeated music sessions showed convincing results in certain mental conditions reducing the effects of stress and trauma, restoring balance and hope to the patient. Their physical disturbances also lessened with a more relaxed mind.
Similar results were noted in Japan in such sessions conducted in 2005, the Japan Brain Institute and Shichida Child Academy performed experiments on the effects of Dr. Chandrakant’s sitar music on brain development. Their tests proved that alpha brain waves increased in the listener creating deep relaxation.
Children with multiple disabilities, including deaf and blind children have benefited from Dr. Chandrakant’s music. In Australia, St. Patrick's Special School and Kilparrin School for children with multiple disabilities, Townsend School for vision-impaired children and in India the Kamayani Institution for mentally challenged children and the Asha School for special children have all given positive reports on the effects of his sitar music.
He now hopes to give relief to people who have suffered from natural disasters that have become now more a rule than exception, alleviating their traumas and shocks through his music.
It was his dream to link the glorious past of Indian heritage to the future generation with the help of advanced technology. For many years, Chandrakant Sardeshmukh has been connecting to the new generation through his music. In both Japan and Australia he has given many concerts and educational programs for school children to give them an idea of the richness of India's culture, including its dance and drama.
His other activities include:
Started presenting the Award of Sardeshmukh Maharaj Scholarship to be given annually to a young aspiring artist from 2008.
Workshops and lecture demonstrations in Australia (Canberra, Brisbane, Sydney and Adelaide) and Japan (Gifu, Nagoya and Tokyo)
Awarded grant from the Helpmann Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts in 1999 to conduct lecture-demonstrations, workshops and performances for a joint project involving dance, drama and music.
Visiting professor to various Institutes and Universities inland and abroad.
He took an initiative in forming Music and Drama Arts Circle on campus as a student at the University of Poona and guided many talented artists for various competitions winning many awards in various state and national level competitions (1982–1990).
His activities were appreciated by Pandit Bhimsen Joshi who supported him in setting up a new performing arts department, the Lalit Kala Kendra Centre for Performing Arts) on the Pune University campus of which he became the founder and first coordinator. He was ad hoc board member and member of the advisory committee for this department from 1987-1990.
He is one of the Trustees of the Bharatiya Sanskriti Darshan Trust since 1979 and Director of the Sama Sangeet Sabha and Research Centre, Wagholi, Pune. When he started touring abroad in 1990, he founded an international organization, Darshanam to promote Indian culture through music, dance, drama as well as Ayurveda, Sanskrit and Yoga in foreign countries like Japan and Australia.
Today Dr. Chandrakant wishes more than anything else to hand over his knowledge and art of Indian traditional music to the new generation. He considers this his mission in life.
A Multi Talented Personality An Innovative Musician
Many audio cassettes and compact discs of traditional Indian sitar music, Vedic chanting and other compositions are presented by Dr.Chandrakant. They include Pure Joy, Celebration, Inspiration, Devotion, Rainbow, Sitar and Tsugaru Shamisen, Sakura, Sweet Serenity, Hanabi, Koyo, Healing Chants, Divine Touch and Melodies from Within.
Several of his compositions rated highly on the music download website MP3.com during 1999 to 2003.
He has composed music and directed many cultural programs, feature films, drama serials for national TV network of India in Marathi, Sanskrit, Hindi and English.
One of the films with soundtrack music by Dr. Sardeshmukh won the President’s Award at the New Delhi Film Festival in 1991.
He has composed music for 150 films in Country Wide Classroom program of EMRC, Pune, prepared for UGC in the years 1984-1988.
He composed a version of Vande Mataram (National Anthem) and Pune Vidyapeeth Geet (theme song of Poona University)
Perhaps the most important aspect of his multi-faceted personality is his inquisitive mind that urges him on to experiment with new directions. His spirit remains deeply rooted in Indian philosophy and religion.
…a boy barely 9 years old, playing on the Sitar, today. His command of rhythm and his imagination in raga elaboration is truly remarkable. Special Officer (Music), Sangeet Natak Academy, National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama for India, Dr. B. C. Deva, 1 Oct. 1963.
…boy of 9, but has already acquired great proficiency in music. In fact, the performance he gave would have done credit to any of our first rate artists. He played with feeling and imagination and if one shut one's eyes, one would think that a master was playing on the Sitar. Chandrakant Sardeshmukh has musical gift of an exceptionally high order. His success has not in any way affected him and he has a child's simplicity and gentleness.…Minister for Petroleum and Chemicals, Govt. of India, New Delhi, Humayun Kabir, 7 July 1964
…He played the Sitar at four. His music wafts me into another world. Ramesh Menon, Times of India, 9 July 1978
…Sitar prodigy takes Germany by storm…Unfolds rich tapestry of musical expressions that delights both the uninitiated listener as well as the cognoscenti. German News, 16 December 1982.
…Melodies make a journey…Dr. Sardeshmukh played ragas that were melodic, meditative and jubilant his music transported the audience into another world. Allison Clements, Herald-Sun, Melbourne Australia, 4 June 1992
…He was a virtuoso sitarist before he was 10. In Okinawa at an International music festival he was accompanied by a Japanese player (on Tabla). He has featured Japanese drums along with his Sitar, and sought sessions with groups of Japanese school children to propagate Indian culture through dance drama and music.... Vivienne Kenrick, The Japan Times, 3 January 1999
..He dazzled all of us with his pure, sacred, free and joyous music… Shailendra Kumar, India Heritage Centre, Riverdale, MD, USA, 26 July 1999
…I was particularly moved by the sublime exploration of pitch and timbral nuance of the various modes. It was as if Dr. Chandrakant was 'inside' the notes and playfully teasing out their meaning and expressivity! Further, Dr. Chandrakant's percussive flourishes on his instrument assisted me in appreciating rhythmic structures… Claudio Pompili, Associate Professor, Wollongong Conservatorium of Music, Wollongong, Australia, 17 April 2000
…His playing was truly virtuosic…The students were captivated by his generosity of spirit, modesty and genius…. Jonathan Barrington Roach, Head of Music, Mercedes College, Adelaide, Australia, 16 May 2000
…..Dr. Sitar helps align elements with music…For a stethoscope he carries a sitar and for medicines he has the raag and raginis. He knows music heals. No? Experience and then you will 'feel'. Dr. Chandrakant Sardeshmukh, has made music a medicine for many… Free Press Journal Indore, Saturday, 2 August 2003
….Music is therapeutic too… Snehalata Shrivastav, Times of India, Nagpur, 16 August 2008
....Sitar exponent enthralls the audience… Hindustan Times, Indore, 1 August 2009