Narendra Datar began his formal musical training in 1976, at the age of sixteen, under the highly respected teacher and Agra gharana vocalist Pandit Vasantrao Kulkarni. While still competing in school, he won several first prizes in Inter-Collegiate and Inter-University vocal music , held at state and national levels. In recognition of his musical promise, he was given a special gold medal by his own high school, the Raja Shivaji Vidyalaya. A few years later, on the occasion of that institution's 75th anniversary, Mr. Datar was again celebrated as a distinguished alumnus.
He came to Canada in 1984, completing an M.Sc. in computer science at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton and B. Tech. (Electrical Engineering) from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. Since 1986, he has resided in Toronto, where he has been active both as a teacher and a performer of Hindustani (North Indian) classical music. His concert appearances have taken him across Canada, from Vancouver to St. John's, and he has also given concerts in numerous U.S. cities, including Chicago, Dallas, Raleigh, Detroit, New Jersey, Boston, Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, Rochester, and Buffalo. He participated in the Music Events at numerous Brihan-Maharashtra-Mandal (BMM) Conventions, which were appreciated very much by the audience. Closer to home, he performed in the 'Rhythms of India', a HarbourFront presentation in Toronto, in 1993, and 1994. As a part of the 25th Year celebration of the Marathi Bhashik Mandal, Toronto, he had helped organize and participated in various Musical Events.
As a recipient of the prestigious Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute Senior Performing Arts Fellowship in 1989, he was able to return to Bombay for one year, from September 1989 until October 1990, in order to receive advanced vocal training from Pandit Kulkarni. During that same period, he also gave a number of classical music concerts in Bombay and other locations. He has finished making two recordings of his Music, Classical as well as Devotional Songs, which has been made available to the Public. A recording of his Classical Music was done with the help of a grant from the Ontario Art Council.
Many of his students have achieved very impressive standing as performers of their own and perform regularly in Canada and USA. Three of his students have won the North American level music competitions held by the BMM Conventions. In addition to his achievements as a performer of classical, and light classical (Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati, Kannada) music, Mr. Datar is a composer of merit. His most recent project entailed the musical setting of a series of devotional songs, based on texts by Mr. Kishan Varma of Halifax. Mr. Datar is also an active member of the Indian community in Toronto, and has frequently participated voluntarily in local cultural events. In November 1993, the Marathi Bhashik Mandal (Maharashtrian Cultural Organization) presented him with a plaque in honor of the contributions he has made to music and to cultural life in general.