Nepali Sitar Virtuoso Bijaya Vaidya Dies

Legendary musician Bijaya Vaidya is no more. The sitar virtuoso, who had been admitted at TU Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu two weeks ago, has been declared dead.

Vaidya was one of the founding members of the globally popular musical group Sur Sudha, established in 1991. He later left the group and continued playing music as a solo artist. He used to love experimenting with his music and made rock sitar and electrical sitar popular in the country. He made an electric sitar for himself in mid 2000s that could be played while standing as most of the sitars in general are too big and heavy to be carried and hence the artist needs to be sitting while playing them.

Vaidya released a number of solo albums in his career including Sitar Sudha (2001), Sitrance (2003), Music of Peace (2006), Rock Sitar (2011), Chants of Himalaya (2011), and Bijaya (2013). Various albums like Images of Nepal (1999), Festival of Nepal (1995), Melodies of Nepal (1995), The Third Eye (1996) and Mountains of Nepal (1999) were released by Sur Sudha while he was a part of the group. He is also credited with introducing Nepali music to the world as he played hundreds of concerts all around the world — over 500 concerts in France, over 200 concerts in Germany, about forty concerts in Japan, twenty concerts in Belgium, ten concerts in Netherlands and a number of concerts in Nepal, Finland, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Denmark, Austria, India, England, USA, China, Turkey, Qatar and Switzerland, among others.

He was also honored with a number of international awards including the first prize for Musical Composition at International Advertisement Awards in London, Descartes Gold Medal for Best Performance by a Foreign Musical Group at Folkloric Festival in France, the Medal of Honor in Avignon, France and more. He had completed his Master’s degree in music from Prayag Sangit Samitee in Allahbad, India in mid 1980s.

Bijaya Vaidya playing in France (2006).


This is one of the saddest days in the history of Nepali music.

Rest in peace, maestro!


Neeraj Pun (NEO)

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