Respectful Tribute to the memory of V.Balsara, the legendary pianist and music composer, on his 96th birth anniversary today.
V. Balsara, who was a wizard with instrumental orchestration had composed music for 32 Bengali films and 12 Hindi films during his career and has over 200 albums to his credit. He was known for his versatility with an array of musical instruments including piano, univox and melodica.
Vistas Ardeshir Balsara, known as V Balsara in the music world was born on June 22, 1922 in Bombay to a Gujarati speaking Parsi Zoroastrian family. From the childhood, he was inclined towards Western music.
His filmy music career started with Hindi film Baadal (1942) in which he assisted music director Ustad Mustaq Hussain. Later he assisted Master Ghulam Haider, and Khemchand Prakash. His first independent assignment was for the film Circus Girl (1943) in which he composed music along with another music director Vasant Kumar Naidu. In all, he was the music director for about a dozen Hindi films most of which were released in 1940s and early 1950s. From the obscure ‘Circus Girl’ in 1943 to O Panchi, Rangmahal, Madmast, Talash, Char Dost, Vidyapati and Pyar in Hindi to Madhu Shraboni, Joy Baba Baidyanath, Maa, Chalachal, Panchatapa, Subho Bibaha, Manik, Kanchan Kanya, Panna and Pathey Holo Dekha in Bengali, he had an enviable repertoire. He had many music albums to his credit particularly as an instrumentalist and symphony orchestra music composer.
In 1947, he joined HMV as Orchestra Director and worked for R. K. banner and Naushad. V Balsara was one among such music directors who started his career in Hindi films but could not sustain it for long as a music director. But he changed the track of his career and became a famous instrumentalist, orchestra conductor, a music teacher and the music director of non-filmy songs and a few Bengali films during rest of his life.
Being a well respected musician, he became the founder secretary of Bombay Cine Musicians’ Association and Bombay Cine Music Directors’ Association.
Immersed in music, Balsara led a lonely life in his last days. He suffered the misfortune of attending the funeral of most of his loved ones, including his wife and two sons.
V.Balsara, the gentleman musician passed away on 23 March, 2005. His music, according to many stalwarts, will remain a treasure trove for future generations.