Pandit Vishnu Govind Jog, better known as V. G. Jog (born 1921 or 1922 in Satara district, Maharashtra, India; died 31 January 2004 in South Calcutta, India), was an Indian violinist. He was the foremost exponent of the violin in the Hindustani music tradition in the 20th century, and is credited for introducing this instrument into Hindustani music.
Jog was a disciple of Baba Allauddin Khan. He performed and recorded with many of the greatest Hindustani musicians of the 20th century (including Bismillah Khan) and toured the world. He frequently performed for All India Radio's Calcutta division. He received the Padma Bhushan award in 1982.
Beginning in 1999, he suffered from Parkinson's disease, and also suffered from respiratory problems in his later years.
Pandit Vishnu Govind Jog, whose name is almost synonymous with the violin genre in Hindustani classical music, is a performer with the unique distinction of having occupied the top rungs of the Classical Musicians' hierarchy with three consecutive generations of performers. His career as a highly active and successful performer has spanned almost five decades. Born in Bombay in 1921 (or 22 according to some), he received his early training from S. C. Athavale and the late Ganpat Rao Purohit. Subsequently, he had his training from Vishweswar Shastry, the renowned musician and musicologist Dr. S. N. Ratanjarkar, and for a short time from the celebrated Ustad Allauddin Khan.
Groomed in the Gwalior, Agra and Bakhle styles, Pandit Jog's virtuosity, mastery of ragas and an uncanny realisation of space and time in the construction and knowledge of rhythm are his hallmarks. At a very young age, he rubbed shoulders with all time greats at the Bhatkhande College of Music, Lucknow, in the 1930s--the first great attempt at institutionalizing traditional music instruction.
An unassuming person of infinite charm, he is also regarded as an incomparable accompanist. His duets with Ustad Bismillah Khan have met with spectacular successes in India and abroad. He is gifted with the remarkable ability to sense the pulse and mood of his audiences, and has toured extensively both in India and abroad, significantly in East Africa, Nepal, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, France, the United States, and West Germany. In 1985, he performed to great acclaim under the auspices of the Festival of India in the United States.
Pandit Jog was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1982. After prolonged illness Pandit Jog died on Jan 31, 2004. Some of his famous disciples are Mr. Pallab Bandyopadhayay, Mr. Utpal Chakrabarty, Mr Subal Biswas and so on.
Shri Jog had his early training under Shri Shankar Rao Athavie, Ganpat Rao Purohit, and V. Shastry. Later he received extensive training from Dr. S. N. Ratanjankar and Ustad Allauddin Khan. Groomed in the Gwalior, Agra and Bakhale gharanas, Shri Jog evolved his own characteristic style, which is blending of gayaki and gatkari, noted for purity of melody and tradition, a formidable layakari ability, dignity, crispness and easy musical communications. He has often enlightened audiences according to their taste with lighter themes and folk tunes, flowing with tilting and sparkling grace. His book 'Behala Shiksha',published in 1944, is recognized as a major piece of authoritative literature on the subject. He joined All India Radio in1953 and served as music producer. He retired as deputy chief producer, All India Radio. He received many honors from various cultural institutions, including the Sangeet Natak Academyaward in 1983 and the Padma Bhushan in 1985 by the president of India. He had made successful tours to foreign countries and has got many number of LP/EP gramophone records of solo and jugalbandi with sangeet maestros at his credit.
Hailing from Maharashtra, Pandit Jog began his training at the age of twelve and was subsequently groomed under some of the finest musicians of India, like Baba Allauddin Khan and Pandit S. N. Ratanjankar. To Pandit Jog goes the credit of single-handedly transforming a western musical instrument, the violin, into a major and independent instrument in Hindustani classical music. He was unquestionably the 'Violin Samrat' for all time to come.
Since 1999, Pandit Jog had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease. The disease had not only crippled the elderly maestro by taking away the violin away from his hands, but was also draining away all his resources. Without music, his only source of income, the high cost of medical care became an unbearable burden for the Jog family. Moreover, the untimely death of his son added a blow to the ailing artist and his family. In recent years, several benefit concerts were held to provide him and his family with urgently needed financial assistance.