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Pandit Vikash Maharaj (born 1 July 1957 in Varanasi, India) is an Indian sarod player and composer. In his childhood, he initially learnt to play the tabla and then discovered and studied the sarod as his preferred instrument.
|Born||1 July 1957|
|Genres||Indian classical music, jazz|
|Labels||Hammer Musik, Panchnaad|
|Associated acts||Prabhash Maharaj, Abhishek Maharaj, Joshua Geisler, Tom Bailey, Vishal Maharaj, WISE GUYS|
Life and workEdit
Early life and backgroundEdit
Vikash Maharaj was born in Varanasi in 1957 into a family of musicians. He was instructed on the sarod by Rajesh Chandra Moitra of the school of Hindustani classical music Maihar Senia Gharana. His formal schooling was complemented by lessons from his family including his uncle Kishan Maharaj.
In 1976, at the age of 16 Maharaj became the youngest sarod performer to play on All India Radio. He has earned international recognition in Indian classical music, Jazz and Crossover between Indian music and Jazz. Vikash Maharaj regularly tours and participates in international crossover festivals such as the WOMAD, the Diwali festival in New Zealand or the International Leprosy Eradication Festival. During his tours through California, Vikash Maharaj was accompanied by his son and tabla player Prabhash Maharaj.
Vikash Maharaj performed and cooperated with musicians such as Prabhash Maharaj, Abhishek Maharaj, Joshua Geisler, Tom Bailey, Vishal Maharaj or the German a cappella group Wise Guys. On initiation by German music journalist and author Joachim-Ernst Berendt, Vikash Maharaj participated in the crossover Jazz record "Raga" in 1996. The work was composed by Patrick Bebelaar, and participating musicians were Patrick Bebelaar, Frank Kroll, Prabhash Maharaj and Subhash Maharaj. In a second cooperation with Bebelaar, Vikash Maharaj and his son Prabhash contributed to the crossover album "Point of View". "Point of View" was a commissioned composition by the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart and premiered in Stuttgart in 2001.
Philanthropy and teachingEdit
Pandit Vikash Maharaj is founder of the Music Institute of Banaras in Varanasi and U.S.A., teaching in the Guru-Shishya Parampara style. Maharaj also founded the philanthropic Panchnaad Trust fostering arts, culture, community and social activism.  
Awards and honoursEdit
- Music Ensemble of Benaras (LP) (1983)
- Music Ensemble of Benaras (CD) (1984)
- 10 Years of Music Ensemble of Benaras (CD) (1989)
- Raga (CD) (1996)
- Best of Open Jazz Festival Stuttgart (DVD) (1998)
- Pandit Vikash Maharaj (DVD) (2009)
- Sapna (CD) (2001)
- Point Of View (CD) (2003)
- Vikash Maharaj (CD) (2006)
- Path (CD) (2009)
- Yaaraa (CD) (2010)
- Holiwater (CD) (2012)
- MAYA(CD) (2014)
- CELEBRATION (CD) (2015)
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- (Ex)Chairman "Cultural Forum Bachpan Bachao Andolan"
- Chairman "Bhagan Buddha Mahavidyalaya"", Sarnath, Varanasi.
- Vice-Chairman "People vigilance Committee on Human Rights"
- Director "Panchnaad Group" dedicate to promote Indian Classical Music and Culture.
- Member "Gudia"
- (Ex)Member of United Nations Youth Organization
- (Ex)Member U.P. I.A.S. Association,India.
- Holiwater Project - INDIA/U.K./NEW ZEALAND
- Founder of "Artists against Child Labour"
- "Pandit Vikas Maharaj: Biography of Pandit Vikas Maharaj". varanasi.org.in. 26 September 2012.
- Raghuvanshi, Lenin. "Pandit Vikash Maharaj: Icon of Banaras Gharana of classical music". Saddarlaq. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
- Deva, Arun. "Sitting Down With: Pandit Vikash Maharaj and Prabhash Maharaj". La Yoga Magazine. BLISS NETWORK, LLC. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
- "Wise Guys Magazin, No.24, April 2013" (PDF). Wise Guys. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
- "Vita Frank Kroll" (PDF). Frank Kroll. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
- Porter, Lewis. "Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians". Jazz.com. Jazz.com. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
- "Bebelaar - Point of view". http://www.dml-records.de/. dml-records. External link in
- "यश भारती से 56 हस्तियां अलंकृत (56 celebrities from Yash Bharti)". Dainik Jagran (in Hindi). 9 February 2015.