Sh. Vinod Kumar Chopra
Shri Vinod Kumar Chopra, fondly known as ‘Guruji’, was the guiding light and the main force behind the Bhaatkhande Sangit Vidyalaya. He left for his heavenly abode on May 12th, 2021.
‘Guruji’ was the Director and Principal of Bhaatkhande Sangit Vidyalaya from (date) until the day of his passing. He acquired his Vadya Visharad (Tabla) and Sangeet Visharad from Bhaatkhande Sangeet Vidyapeeth, Lucknow, starting at the tender age of five.
He started his journey as a performer when at the age of 12, he started playing tabla at the Ramakrishna Mission. This proved to be a boon, because there he met several musicians like Pandit Chaturlal, who used to play the tabla with Pandit Ravi Shankar! Three decades later, Guruji switched from tabla to vocal music, and made ghazals his speciality.
During his career spanning over five decades, Guruji has performed for personalities like former President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dixit and former US President Richard Nixon.He has also performed for luminaries and distinguished guests across the globe. He was empanelled with the Indian Centre for Cultural Relations (ICCR) a Top Grade Artist for Ghazals and Light Music.
Guruji’s passion for music also saw him make notable contributions to the development of musical culture and education in India. He served as a Member of several Expert Committees, including:
- National Scholarship Program, Ministry of Culture, New Delhi
- Republic Day Celebrations (School Children Committee), Ministry of Defence
- Sub Committee of ICCR, New Delhi in Light and Popular Music, Ministry of Human Resource Development
Guruji’s musical sadhana also went beyond performance and education – he composed music for over 300 classical Ghazals, Bhajans and Taranas. Bhaatkhande Sangit Vidyalaya was Guruji’s pride, passion and ‘nursery’ – where he was the happiest while nurturing the talent of tomorrow. Such was his dedication, that he personally selected and trained each member of the wonderful faculty at the Vidyalaya – so that they could train each student in the true BSV tradition. He used to personally supervise and monitor the classes. He had the greatest pride in his students – from those who pursued music as a hobby to the academic students who went on to become acclaimed performers – Guruji’s pride in each student was the same!
The Vidyalaya has blossomed under Guruji’s guidance. We know that he will always be there for BSV as the guiding light, the force behind all the students, staff and the music community.