Sudhakar Karandikar (my first guru and a key influence in my music education) was born in 1944 in Satara, Maharashtra, in a family that had deep roots in the Gwalior school. His father, Shivrambuwa, was a disciple of Anant Manohar Joshi and later, of Sureshbabu Mane of Kirana.
Sudhakar Karandikar imbibed the basics of Hindustani vocal from his father and by age 16 had attained the Sangeet Visharad degree. Great musicians often called on his father and stayed at their home, among them Narayanrao Vyas, Nivruttibuwa Sarnaik, Gajananrao Joshi, Vinayakrao Patwardhan, Ram Marathe and so on. Karandikar greatly benefited from these associations and access. Vinayakrao Patwardhan’s guidance and encouragement were especially fruitful.
In 1970, at the age of 26, Karandikar moved to Goa and assumed a teaching position at the Swami Vivekananda School of Music in Panjim. With this choice he effectively forsook a career as a performing artiste and immersed himself in the task of developing the next generation of musicians. In due course, he came to be recognised as a teacher of great distinction. Hema Sardesai, the well- known Indian pop and playback singer, cut her singing teeth under Karandikar, as did Nisha Nigalye-Parasnis, the Hindustani vocalist. Balkrishna Kelkar, Chandrakant Vernekar, Sumedha Desai, accomplished vocalists well-known in Goa and its surrounds, were all groomed by Karandikar. It is significant that with almost all of his pupils, Karandikar began from ground zero; few had any prior training in music.
Later, Karandikar served on Goa University’s Faculty of Music until his retirement a few years ago. Today, he is active doing what he loves most: teaching.