Rahul Deshpande is an Indian classical music singer from Pune and the grandson of the well-known late Pandit Vasantrao Deshpande of Patiala Gharana.
He developed his interest in vocal music by studying the music of Pandit Kumar Gandharva. Initially, he sought guidance from Ushatai Chipalkatti and Pandit Kumar Gandharva's son Mukul Shivputra. He further learned music under the tutelage of Pandit Gangadharbuva Pimpalkhare and Dr. Madhusudhan Patwardhan. He also learned playing tabla from Pandit Suresh Samant. The legacy of Kumarji's search of including Nirguni Bhajans in the conventional form of music has been brilliantly carried on by Rahul.
Rahul’s repertoire includes renditions from classical ragas to khayal, thumri, dadra, natyageet, bhajan, gazal and bhaavgeet. He feels that by binding oneself to one Gharana system limits an artist’s growth and thinking. There are many good styles different Gharanas have, which can be included in one's singing in order to enrich it.
He has achieved prominence as a creative musical performer from an early age. Several eminent critics have noted the similarity between Rahul’s approach and that of his grandfather’s. But a lot of his singing style, looks to be influenced by Kumar Gandharva's style of singing, especially when he sings Nirguni Bhajans. Rahul’s performance at the ‘Sawai Gandharva’ won much appreciation from his listeners.
A few achievements:
- Rasikagrani Dattopant Deshpande Award, presented to him at the Sawai Gandharva Music Festival
- Sudhir Phadke Award for his outstanding achievements at a young age.
- Rahul has given several national and international performances, and has released a number of audio cassettes of his classical and semiclassical performances. He is regularly featured in TV programs like Soor Taal and Nakshatranche Dene on Indian channels such as E-TV, Alpha TV, and Doordarshan. He currently serves as a judge for Idea SaReGaMaPa Little Champs-2, a musical show on Zee Marathi.
Every year he arranges the VASANTOTSAV in memory of his grandfather Shree Vasantrao Deshpande. Various singers and musicians demonstrate their skills and are applauded by a very worthy audience