Dhrupad singer Ashish Sankrityayan studied Dhrupad - the ancient North Indian court and temple music genre for nearly twenty years from various singers associated with the Dagar style. Based on his studies with many traditional singers of the Dagar vani, and his own researches on Dhrupad, Ashish has developed a syncretic and highly eclectic view of the Dagar style, combining influences from many maestros he has studied from or heard.
Ashish Sankrityayan's main teachers have been Ustad Rahim Fahimuddin Dagar, Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar and Ustad Hussain Sayeeduddin Dagar. He has also received valuable guidance from Ustad Nasir Aminuddin Dagar and Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar. He has also studied vedic recitation in the Shukla Yajurveda Madhyandin branch from Prof. Hriday Ranjan Sharma of Varanasi and Kathak dance from Pandit Ramlalji Bareth of the Raigarh Gharana. He is presently the Guru and director of the Ustad Alauddin Khan Academy's Dhrupad Kendra in Bhopal where he had studied under Ustad Z. F. Dagar from 1991 to 1996.
A postgraduate in Mathematics, Ashish Sankrityayan started his musical education at an early age - first learning the Sitar as a child and later vocal music. While studying Mathematics and Physics at the University of Bombay, he was inspired to start learning Dhrupad when he heard a recording of the Elder Dagar brothers singing Raga Darbari. He was fascinated by the depth and grandeur of their voices and their slow, majestic and contemplative style of singing, and started looking for a teacher who could teach him this ancient art. Over the next twenty years he learnt Dhrupad in the traditional way from many teachers, travelling and living in many places in India in search of various sources of this ancient art.
Ashish Sankrityayan was awarded the National Junior Culture fellowship by the Sangeet Natak Akademi/ Ministry of Culture in 2003 for pursuing his research in Dhrupad.
Ashish Sankrityayan started giving public performances of Dhrupad in the year 2000 after a very long period of study and has since then given over 500 concerts of Dhrupad in India and Europe. Notable among the many venues and festivals where he has performed or is scheduled to perfom are
Treffunkt der Kulturen Ritterhaus Bubikon (2015)
Festival Poussière du Monde Geneva (2015)
Khajuraho Festival (2014)
Ustad Ameer Khan Festival, Indore, India (2013)
Sharngdeva Festival, MGM Aurangabad, India (2013)
Great Guid Hall Riga Latvia, Sursadhana Festival (2012)
Tansen Festival, Gwalior, India (2011)
Dreikönigskirche, Dresden, Germany (2011)
Octogone Pully Amdathtra, Lausanne (2011)
Kesarbai Kerkar Memorial Festival Panjim India (2010)
Gasteig Munich (2010)
Musica Sacra Festival Germany (2010)
Dunkers Kulturhus Helsingborg Sweden (2009)
Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler, Berlin (2006)
Kronborg Castle, Denmark (2008)
Fredriksborg Castle, Denmark (2008)
Round Tower of Copenhagen (2006, 2007, 2008)
International Festival of the Voice, Wales (2008)
Festival of World Music, Kornhaus, Bern (2004)
Esrum Monastery, Denmark (2007)
St. Ethelburga's, London (2008)
Landes Bibliothek, Bregenz (2003)
Synagogue, St. Poelten (2003)
Hitzacker Summer Festival Germany (2008)
Roskilde Cathedral Denmark (2008)
Ravindra Natya Mandir Mumbai (2009)
India International Centre, Delhi (2008)
India Habitat Centre, Delhi (2007)
Ashish Sankrityayan was also privileged to work for the Maharana of Mewar Foundation of Udaipur for the restoration editing and archiving of their collection of recordings of the Elder Dagar Brothers. The study of these archival recordings of these legendary singers was a transforming experience for him as a Dhrupad singer.
Ashish has a great interest in the theoretical and musicological foundations of Dhrupad and has taught Dhrupad and given lecture demonstrations in academic institutions like the Free University Berlin, Humboldt University Berlin, Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin, UdK Berlin, Universität der Künste Berlin (UdK), The University of Copenhagen, Anton Bruckner University Linz, Hildesheim University. He is the author of a forthcoming book 'Dhrupad of the Dagars - Conceptual Foundations and Contemporary Questions'.