Rekha Chitre, Pioneer of Hindustani Classical Music in Boston, Passes Away at 78

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Rekha Chitre (Photo: Facebook)

BOSTON—Rekha Chitre, an early pioneer and promoter of Hindustani classical music during 1970s and 1980s in Boston, passed away of heart attack on Thursday morning. She was 78, and lived in Bedford, MA.

Under the name of Kalavati, Ms. Chitre organized concerts and musical performances in Boston by India’s leading musicians, including Pandit Jasraj, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Kishori Amonkar and Zakir Hussain, among others. She is survived by two daughters–Nanda and Priya–and a son: Yash.

“She was a great music lover and a promoter of Hindustani classical music,” said Pradeep Shukla, president of Waltham, MA-based LearnQuest Academy of Music. “She was a pioneer in organizing Hindustani classical music under the name of Kalavati during 1070s and early ’80s.”

Mr. Shukla said that Ms. Chitre was the first person in New England to start organizing Hindustani music concerts and inviting Indian’s top musicians. He said that today’s leading music organizations such as MITHAS and LeanQuest were built upon the foundation laid down by Ms. Chitre.

“She was a great patron of the Hindustani classical music,” said George Ruckert, founder of MITHAS. “She and her husband, Sharad, hosted Indian artists at their big house and organized concerts at Harvard’s Paine Hall.”

Mr. Ruckert said that Ms. Chitre’s organization was precursor of MITHAS.

Rekha Chitre With Zakir Hussain

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