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An artiste of outstanding versatility and range, Shrimati Asha Kaul is the recipient of the prestigious Begum Akhtar Award: India’s highest national award given for Ghazal singing.
Asha Kaul received her training from Pandit Shambhu Nath Sopori of Srinagar and Pandit Chandrakant Apte of Jamshedpur. She has dual graduate degrees in Music (Sangeet-Visharad) from India’s two top music schools: Gandharva Mahavidyalaya of Mumbai and Prayag Vishwavidyalaya of Allahabad. She performs Hindustani classical music with equal dexterity and charisma as Ghazals, Bhajans and Geets.
Ashaji has composed innumerrable songs, classical khayals and ghazals of her own and has rendered tunes to the lyrics and shayri of some of India’s great poets. She has also groomed her son Anurag Harsh, into a fine Hindustani Classical vocalist.
She began her musical quest as a child prodigy at the age of 5 from her home state of Jammu & Kashmir. Ever since, Ashaji had been a regular performer on Indian Radio and T.V. for over 50 years and has given performances all over India. Besides being a gifted singer, she is also a versatile Stage and Drama Artiste. She was an active member of the Song and Drama Division of the Government of India. She represented Jammu & Kashmir in the 9th Inter University Youth Festival. She was the Cultural Ambassador of Jammu & Kashmir and has performed before eminent dignitaries such as Presidents, Prime Ministers, Governors and Heads of State. She participated and organized many cultural shows for Indian Defense Service Personnel in Front Areas. She also taught music at Government Women’s College in Srinagar.
Ashaji's innumerable and priceless songs are now Treasures in the Music Archives of Akashvani Delhi & Srinagar. The songs sung by her in the First Kashmiri Film-“Shair-e-Kashmir Mahjoor” were so popular that they still continue to charm music lovers. She has also rendered her voice for Light & Sound Programs of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs under the Music Direction of Mr. Satish Bhatia. She was the most sought after and popular Ghazal Singer of her time and has sung many great Kashmiri Operas.
The deep dimensions of her evolving vocalism reveal themselves in all their dignity and charm. Her extremely flexible and well modulated voice with an amazing wide tonal range can conjure up an exciting variety of musical effects – from tender nuances to swift melodic figures. There is grace and charm in her Ghazals, Bhajans, Folk and Stage Songs. Her songs are gems of rare and fascinating artistry. Endowed with the gift of imagination, she has evolved a style of her own. She has a sweet and mellow voice and makes judicious use of it by laying emphasis on the more profound virtues of traditional and versatile singing. A clear and perfect pronunciation adds charm.