Profile of Nancy Kulkarni Ji

Profile of Nancy Kulkarni Ji

We are fortunate that today we are having a dynamic guru like Nancy Lesh Kulkarni Ji who is a classically-trained cellist who has devoted herself to the study and performance of dhrupad music of India on the cello for the last 30 years. Before pursuing dhrupad, she was Co-Principal Cellist of the Rome Festival Orchestra, and Section Cellist with the Chicago Civic Orchestra, and Orchestra del Maggio Musicale of Florence, Italy.

Since 1982, Nancy Ji has been playing only dhrupad on her cello. She is deeply grateful for the training she received from senior dhrupad vocalist Pandit Ritwik Sanyal in Varanasi, and from renowned veena and vocal brothers Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar and Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar in Mumbai. She has also received valuable guidance from her gurubhais Ustad Bahauddin Dagar, Pandit Pushpraj Koshti, Pandit Uday Bhawalkar, Pandit Nirmalya Dey, Pandit K Sridhar, and the Gundecha Brothers.

Nancy Ji has given hundreds of dhrupad recitals and lecture/demonstrations in US universities and concert halls, and in major cities in India. She was twice awarded the Senior Performing Arts Fellowship by the American Institute of Indian Studies, and was the featured artist in the films, "Before My Eyes" by Mani Kaul, and "Vihir" by Umesh Kulkarni. Nancy’s playing has been presented several times on National Public Radio, All-India Radio and TV, and she has released three solo CDs.

Nancy Ji resides in Pune, India, where she continues her dhrupad study, performance and teaching. She teaches dhrupad cello to students of all ages and levels, in Pune and on skype.