The death of Pandit Raghunath Seth, a flutist of international fame, has come as a big shock to the music lovers of Allahabad especially because he had worked here in AIR Allahabad for quite long during the period of its infancy. He was posted here as programme executive at All India Radio, Allahabad during its heydays.
The news was broken to me by Raja Zutshi who said that Pandit Raghu Nath Seth was indeed one of the finest masters of flute and had carved out a niche for himself in this particular branch of music; and during his stay here had been a source of inspiration to flute players of the city. His brother-in-law , Kaushal Behari Lal, hilself a great artist of AIR Allahabad, told me on phone from his Allahabad residence that Mr Seth had been ailing for quite some time. The death came at 5am at Mumbai on Saturday. About a month and a half ago, he suffered from spinal chord infection. He was put on ventilator. He went into coma, And he never regained consciousness again. He was 83 at the time of his demise. One of his CDs is titled, ‘Musical Therapy for Peaceful Sleep’. He now lies in peaceful sleep from which there will be no awakening. His mortal remains will be consigned to the flames today. By then one of his sons and daughrers, settled in the USA would be reaching India. Shankar Sohail, a close relative. Has also rushed from here to Mumbai to pay his last homage to the great artiste.
It may be mentioned that when Lata Mangeshkar was to visit Albert Hall for a prestigious performance, sheespecially requested him to bepresent in her troupe. There were some formalities acting as hurdles. But Lata managed to get call those cleared. It may be mentioned that Raghunath Seth made rich contributions to the music section of AIR Allahabad. In Mumbai he joined the Film Dvision.
Music runs in the family. Mr Raghunath Seth has recorded an album with his son and grandson which is noteworthy for the excellent contributions to the wealth of flute recordings by three generations of the same family. I remember listening to his flute when he broadcast from here . He had given company to several ustads in the field by accompanying them on the flute. As music director he had the privilege of directing no less a singer than Sonu Nigam. We hope the family will preserve his legacy. All that we can say is that he was a legend among fruit players. May his soul rest in peace.