Ustad Nasir Aminuddin Dagar (Indore, India 1923 - Kolkata, India 2000) was an Indian dhrupad singer in the dagar-vani style.
He is also remembered as the younger brother in the legendary jugalbandi or duo of Senior Dagar Brothers. He along with his elder brother Ustad Nasir Moinuddin Dagar was responsible in reviving the dhrupad tradition that had fallen to a nadir after the death of their father Ustad Nasiruddin Khan Dagar. Ustad Nasiruddin Khan had an early premonition of his own death and spend ten years training his two elder sons Moinuddin and Aminuddin so as to impart all his musical knowledge to them. Subsequently after Ustad Nasiruddin Khan's demise the two brothers trained under Ustad Riyazuddin Khan and Ustad Ziauddin Khan Dagar.
Senior Dagar Brothers:
Young Aminuddin gave his first performance at the age of eleven. It was however the 1940s that saw the meteoric rise of Moinuddin and Aminuddin as the Senior Dagar Brothers--two of the brightest stars in the Dhrupad firmament. Within themselves they not only transformed the art of Dhrupad singing but also breathed new life to the form of duet or jugalbandi singing. Previously jugalbandi in the field of classical music had degenerated into a competition between the two singers where each tried to outdo the other in exhibitionism. Moinuddin and Aminuddin on the other hand brought back the concept of a harmonious synchronization between the two singers. In a typical performance by the Senior Dagar Brothers, the honey rich voice of Aminuddin will draw the audience into a deep meditative mood by gradually descending the notes of the lower octaves and Moinuddin would dazzle the listeners with his alankars or ornamentations in the upper octave. After having established Dhrupad in a pedestal of glory in India, they were invited to perform abroad. The two brothers visited Russia and Japan mezmerising the audience of both East and West with their divine music. Their music proved to be so charming that Alain Danielou the renowned musicologist and the then director of UNESCO invited them to tour Europe and perform under the UNESCO banner in Berlin Venice and Paris. In 1964 the European audience listened enthralled to their singing and newspaper after news paper declared the glory of Dhrupad and of the Senior Dagar Brothers. A review of their performance published in Le Monde of Paris dated 17 November 1964 perhaps best expresses the mood of the western audience: "...we will remain under the deep impression of an art of such greatness and intensity that... we feel touched and moved to the deepest of our being." Ustad Nasir Moinuddin Dagar died soon after this concert in 1966. Aminuddin who had regarded his brother as his greatest guru and his father substitute was left completely devastated but he continued his journey as a solo performer.
Dhrupad Sangeet Ashram:
The next phase of Aminuddin's life unfolded in Kolkata where he came in January 1966 as the founder principal of Birla Academy Swar Sangam. In 1975 he founded his own Dhrupad institute and named after his elder brother Ustad Nasir Moinuddin Dagar Dhrupad Sangeet Ashram. He planned it as an Ashram where disciples will stay close to their guru and learn the subtle nuances of Dhrupad through the age old guru sishya parampara. It is now the oldest surviving institute solely dedicated to the preservation and propagation of dagar-vani Dhrupad. It is here that Aminuddin trained some of the best dhrupad singers of the next generation including Alaka Nandy, Ashoka Dhar (famous as the Nandy Sisters),Sujata Moitra and Anu Burman.
Ustad Nasir Aminuddin dagar had been honoured with numerous awards and accolades. Below is a list of some important awards that he received:
Padma Bhushan award (one of the highest civilian honours in India) in 1986,
Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (the most prestigious award in India the field of performing arts) in 1985 ,
Swami Haridas Award in 1979,
D.Litt. from Rabindra Bharati University in 1991,
Producer Emiritus of All India Radio and Doordarshan (the Indian national television network) from 1986-89