Queen of Ghazal Penaz Masani conferred Padma Shri Award
Deepak Gaur | 28 Apr 2009

The unprecedented queen of Ghazal, Penaz Masani receives the prestigious Padma Shri Award from President Ms Pratibha Patil at Rashtrapati Bhawan in a glittering ceremony

THE UNPRECEDENTED queen of Ghazal, Penaz Masani has received the prestigious Padma Shri Award from President Pratibha Patil at Rashtrapati Bhawan in a glittering ceremony. Penaz was a beaming self, after receiving the award and thanked God for bestowing on her so much of honour from the nation and her fans equally. She dedicated the award to her mother, who passed away just few days before the award ceremony.

She vowed for the true woman empowerment, as she received the award from the nation’s first woman President. An elated and equally humble Penaz said, “Today’s children and youth are getting more opportunities in music and dance through musical contests and television programmes with instant recognition than what they had in her times.”

Penaz Masani was born into a Parsi Zorastrian family, which had its roots in Indian classical music. Her father Doli Masani was a disciple of Aftab-e-Mausiqui Ustad Faiyaz Khansahib of the Agra gharana and he guided young Penaz to take her first lessons in Indian Classical Music under Ustad Amanat Hussein Khan. Her talent was noticed by the eminent Indian music director Jaidevji at the Sur Singar contest in 1978. He introduced her to her mentor, guide and guru Madhuraniji - India's famed and finest ghazal exponent. A Commerce graduate of Mumbai University, Penaz has also extended her scholarship to a complete mastery over the Hindi and Urdu languages and perfected the art of ghazal gayaki, to give well-rounded expression to her rendition of Indian classical music. Penaz, a true-blood child prodigy , cut her first solo album in 1981 and till dated she has cut over 28 discs and sung in over a dozen languages.

On the world stage as India's goodwill and cultural emissary Penaz has performed, numerous concerts commencing in 1985 with a USA tour and since then has performed successfully in the UK, Germany , Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Khyrgystan, Middle East, the entire African Continent, Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Nepal, Mynmar, Srilanka, Bangladesh.

Penaz's sensuality, love and passion clearly appear to be drawn together by her extraordinary vocal range. This unique talent has brought a shower of accolades from renowned institutions of Indian music and reputed maestros and practitioners of the art.