Aana Sharma

Aana with Uday Guruji 2006

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 at HSR Rapperswil. 

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 Pandit Uday Bhawalkar 2004, where she studied Dhrupad 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.

2008-2009 Aana studied with the Padmashree Gundecha Brothers and their brother Pandit Akhilesh Gundecha on Pakhavaj in India, where she refined her technique and knowledge in Raga music. 

with Chote Guruji 2009

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.

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. 

2012 after her reimmigration to Switzerland

Back in Switzerland with her husband and two children in 2012, Aana founded the company Dhrupadsoundyoga, later named Indian Music and Food. Aana also created a demo- lecture for the Zürich-state program “Schule & Kultur”, a set of Nada Yoga exercises and a new Jugalbandi-concept. 

performing for Prajnaparamita and Lodrö Rinpoche in Ganden

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.

Unfortunately Aana was forced to make a break from singing between 2015 and 2018. After an operation in 2012 she faced several health issues. She was also multiple burdened taking over the intense family management and the intire management of the business. Aana also started to work as an engineer again. After a jobless period from 2017 Aana started in 2019 to sing again, she is promoting herself and she is very active as a composer, teacher and performer.

Now Aana is mostly autodidactically refining her performing-art and her teaching-program. She is also reconnecting again to India and her teachers.