Sangeet Natak Akademi has nominated Prof Kartar Singh, director of the local Gurmat Sangeet Academy, for the national award-2008. The octogenarian, known as living legend in the field of gurmat sangeet, will be honoured for his contribution to gurbani. Prof Kartar Singh has penned four books on gurbani and related issues. His four books are “Gurbani Sangeet Darpan Part I”, “Gurbani Sangeet Darpan Part II”, “Gurmat Sangeet Darpan” and “Guru Angad Dev Sangeet Darpan”. He has to his credit 372 compositions of ragas. Born in Ghumman Ke village in Lahore, Pakistan, Prof Kartar Singh started to learn kirtan in 1941 from Giani Gurcharan Singh and Bhai Dalip Singh. He has taught music at Guru Nanak Girls College, Ludhiana, for 27 years and also remained head of the music department for sometime at the same college. He has also taught at Malwa Central College in Ludhiana. In 1999, he was appointed director of Gurmat Sangeet Akademi at Anandpur Sahib (run by the SGPC) and since then has been teaching children gurmat sangeet. “The award comes as Guru ki data (gift of the Almighty) for me. I was never in the race for any kind of award or citation. Few days ago, I got some documents and letter from Sangeet Natak Akademi that asked to fill a questionnaire pf around 23 questions. And a few days later, I was told that I would be conferred the prestigious honor,” said Prof Kartar Singh while talking to The Tribune. The award symbolises highest standard of excellence and achievements on a national basis, recognises sustained individual work and contribution to the practice and appreciation of arts through performance, teaching and scholarship. The Akademi Ratna carries Rs 1,00,000 and Akademi Puraskar Rs 50,000 besides a tamrapatra and angavastram. These would be awarded to Prof Kartar Singh in March.