Pandit Birju Maharaj, alias Brij Mohan Nath Mishra, was born in 4 February, 1937. He trained in Kathak under the guidance of his father, Achchan Maharaj, and uncles, Lacchu Maharaj and Shambhu Maharaj. Besides his mastery over kathak, he is also a superb musician, percussionist, composer, teacher, director, choreographer and a poet. Birju Maharaj is a recipient of several honors and awards including the Padma Vibhushan, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, and the Sangam Kala Award. He taught at Sangeet Bharati, Bharatiya Kala Kendra and headed the teaching faculty Kathak Kendra in Delhi till his retirement in 1998.