Aana Sharma

Aana Sharma, Dhrupad vocalist, teacher and composer
Uday Guruji

Aana grew up in Switzerland. She enjoyed a solid music education at the music college in Chur specialising in vocals, violin and flute. Later she studied Architectur at ETH Zürich and Urban Planning. 

In 2001, after completing her postgraduation in Urban Development she had an “inner call for music”. She started the journey to find ‘the music of her heart’. After having explored Persian music, overtone and mantra singing, she finally discovered Dhrupad. 

Aana went to Uday Bhawalkar 2004, where she studied under the “Gurushishya Parampara” system. In this ancient system, student and teacher live in very close proximity. With Uday she experienced the deepness and spirituality contained in this music. Unfortunately Uday left in 2006 to teach in the US for a longer period.

2008-2010 Aana studied with the Padmashree Gundecha Brothers and their brother Akhilesh Gundecha on Pakhavaj in India, where she refined her technique and knowledge in Raga music. 

Ramakant Guruji
Umakant Guruji

The training in India involved 365 days a year with each day containing 6-12 hours of singing and studying, starting at 4 am with “Karaj”. Aana learnt more than 50 Raagas plus a variety of techniques and many songs and compositions. This system of teaching requires learning only by listening, no books or verbal explanations are available. Her analytical skills and musical pre-knowledge helped her to de-code the mysteries of Dhrupad music. 

Aana in a students concert

In 2006 Aana started to teach Dhrupad after her time with Uday. In 2008 she started to give concerts together with other Indian students. She performed for the first time together with Gundechas bandhu in 2009 in Switzerland.

Students with Ustad ZF Dagar and Gundecha brothers

During her time in India, Aana also studied with the late Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar, the teacher of Uday and the Gundecha brothers. Ustad ZFD died in 2013. He was one of the famous “Dagar” exponents, one of the two most highly recognised Dhrupad families in Northern India today. 

Amit and Aana in Ravindra Bhavan

Aana and Amit met and both studied under the Gundecha bandhu. They fell in love and married in a Hindu temple. Soon afterwards they started to perform together, in India and abroad. The Jugalbandi (duet) “Aanamit” was born! Aana and Amit are amongst the very few couples performing Dhrupad together worldwide.

after her return to Switzerland

Back in Switzerland with their two children in 2012, Aana and Amit founded a music school. Aana also created a demo lecture for the Zürich-state program “Schule & Kultur” (schools and culture), a set of Nada Yoga exercises and a new Jugalbandi-concept. 

performing for Prajnaparamita and Lodrö Rinpoche

Not only is Aana passionate about music but has gained a lot of experience in Buddhist Vipassana, Zen and Dzogchen meditation. Here she learnt about awareness and concentration. Combining her two passions, she has developed a number of musical intonations of Buddhist Sutras and Mantras.

Aana has developed a concept of merging the Christian Ave Maria with Indian Classical music. She has further explored the possibility of creating a Dhrupad choir.

Nada Yoga & Dhrupad at Stilles Zürich 2019

Unfortunately, due of health problems, Aana was forced to make a break from singing between 2015 and 2018. Happily, in 2019 she started to sing again.

Now she is back and more active than ever. She is now developing a new teaching program NAAD, focusing on Nada Yoga, Mantra Chanting and Dhrupad Music. She also aims to document her musical time in India. The most important change for her is that she has started to perform and teach again.