Pooja Goswami Pavan, Ph.D.
Dr. Pooja Goswami Pavan is a Minneapolis-based performer, composer, teacher, and scholar of Hindustani (North Indian classical) vocal music. She received her early training in Hindustani classical vocal music from her father, Pandit Surendra Goswami, and later from Prof. Ajit Singh Paintal. Currently, she receives training in Khayal from her elder bother, Dr. Shailendra Goswami. Pooja earned a Ph.D. in Indian Classical Music from the University of Delhi in 2005, under the supervision of Prof. Ajit Singh Paintal, for her thesis on the life and music of Pandit Amarnath, who was one of the prime disciples of the iconic vocalist Ustad Amir Khan.
Pooja is also trained in semi-classical music by the eminent vocalist Vidushi Shanti Hiranand, the reigning queen of Thumri and Ghazal and the universally acclaimed successor of the legendary vocalist, the late Begum Akhtar. The versatility in Pooja’s repertoire is evident in her ability to sing Thumri, Dadra, Ghazal, Bhajan, Sufi, and various folk inspired genres such as the Hori, Chaiti & Kajri, besides the Khayal.
Pooja has received prestigious National Scholarships in Hindustani classical music awarded by the Ministry of Human Resources and the Sahitya Kala Parishad in India. The prominent venues at which she has performed include the India Habitat Center (New Delhi), the Sangeet Natak Academy (New Delhi), the Indian International Center (New Delhi), the Vietnam International Tourism Festival (Hanoi), the Guthrie Theater (Minneapolis), the Ordway Center for Performing Arts (St. Paul), and The O’Shaughnessy (St. Paul). She has performed widely and lectured at several premier academic institutions across the United States. Pooja has been the recipient of the Artist Initiative Grant and the Folk and Traditional Arts Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Next Step Grant from the Metro Regional Arts Council, and the Submit Grant from the American Composers Forum for her various projects. An active composer, she frequently collaborates with many leading music, dance, and theater organizations, including the Pangea World Theater, Ananya Dance Theater, and the Katha Dance Theater. Pooja was recently honored with the prestigious McKnight Fellowship for Musicians by the McKnight Foundation in Minneapolis.
Pooja has several recordings to her credit, including a CD of Sufiana Kalam (“Piya Based Kaun Des (In What Land’s My Beloved)”) and a CD of Ghazals (“Kaise Keh Duun (How Shall I Say)”), both featuring several original compositions of her own. Pooja has also been an adjunct faculty member at the School of Music, University of Minnesota, and at Macalester College, where she has taught several courses in Indian music and culture since coming to Minnesota in 2006. poojagoswamipavan.com