Ustad Ghulam Mohammad Saaznawaz
The legendary Sufiana music Artist and instrumentalist, Ustad Ghulam Mohammad Saaznawaz passed away Thursday afternoon. He belonged to the famous Saaznawaz Gharana of Kashmir which has a long and rich tradition in sufiana music. He was 74.
A recipient of Sangeet Natak Academy Award, Saaznawaz was considered an exceptional musical talent of the state. He had been a member of the Academy’s general council. His contribution was acknowledged at a highest level through Academy Award and the State Award.
Saznawaz could play all instruments like santoor, sitar, tabla, saz-e-Kashmir and madham used in Sufiyana orchestra called Panjhatheyari. He was employed in Radio Kashmir as a staff artist and was one of most popular musicians of Kashmir.
He was presently heading an institution namely Saznawaz Sufiyana Training Institute where he used to impart free training to students to keep the Sufiyana music alive.
In November 2008, SaMaPa (Sopori Academy of Music And Performing Arts) announced the prestigious ‘SaMaPa Sher-e-Kashmir Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah Award’ to him.
In 2013, Saznawaz was honored with the prestigious Padma Shri Award by the President of India for his “lifetime contribution in Sufiyana Music of Kashmir.” He was the first Kashmiri Sufiyana musician to receive the award.