14th ITC Sangeet Sammelan - Kolkata, 2006

Ajoy Chakrabarty
Pt. Ajoy Chakrabarty is one of the most important vocal musicians of his generation and a popular concert vocalist of India today. He showed such great potential as a child that his father Shri Ajit Chakrabarty initiated him early and afterwards oversaw his training under great teachers like Shri Kanaidas Bairagi, Pandit Jnan Prakash Ghosh and Ustad Munawar Ali Khan. Awarded gold medals in the BA (Honours) and MA examinations of Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata, there is hardly any form of Indian vocal music where his impeccable presentation has not been a mesmerising success. Since June 1983 he has been a guru of the ITC Sangeet Research Academy, which he had joined in 1977 as the first research scholar. In 1993, his deep interest in propagating music among children, prompted him to begin ’Shrutinandan’, a non-profit society that offers a holistic approach to the teaching of music to young people.


Alam Khan
Alam A. Khan, twenty-four year old son of Swara Samrat Ali Akbar Khan, has been studying sarode with his father since he was seven. At his first performance he accompanied his father at a recital in Portland, Oregon and received blessings from Swami Chetanananda. His first public performance was in 1998 at the Spirit of India Festival that celebrated the Ali Akbar College of Music’s 30th Anniversary in America. In 1999, Alam accompanied his father in India at the Jodhpur Palace, the Dover Lane Festival in Kolkata, as well as several full-length performances in the United States. In 2001 as well as in 2002-3003, Alam and his father went on performance tours of Europe and India. In June, 2003, he received an Individual Artists Grant from the Marin Arts Council. Since 2004, he has played numerous solo concerts throughout the US and India, while also accompanying his esteemed father in concerts around the world. He currently teaches at the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael, CA.


Girija Devi
Shrimati Girija Devi, the prima donna of the Benaras tradition, has an amazing proficiency in all the vocal forms of northern India, namely khayal, thumri, dadra, tappa, kajri, hori, chaiti and bhajan. Born in Benaras, Pandit Sarju Prasad Mishra christened her into classical music almost instantly as a child, the mantle to be taken up later by Pandit Shri Chandra Mishra. Apart from performing at the most reputed of music conferences and festivals all over the world, Shrimati Girija Devi has also appeared in immensely successful jugalbandis with Shrimati Shobha Gurtu and Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, a rare phenomenon in the Indian musical tradition. Padmabhushan and Sangeet Natak Akademi award winner, her care for students is reflected in her successful career as a Guru for over a decade at the ITC-SRA, followed by that of a visiting Professor at the Benaras Hindu University. In 2003, she again joined the faculty of the ITC Sangeet Research Academy and presently imparts training in thumri and other semi-classical forms to some of the ITC SRA scholars.



Harsh Narayan
Harsh Narayan is the most recent and truly phenomenal musical offering from Pandit Ram Narayan’s family. As son of Pandit Brij Narayan and grandson of the legendary Pandit Ram Narayan, Harsh Narayan has chosen to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps. His recent debut performances both solo and in accompaniment with Pandit Ram Narayan, have won critical acclaim. Apart from several concert venues in India, he has performed with his grandfather at the Purcell Room in London. Recently he performed with Pandit Ram Narayan and Aruna Narayan in Portugal, Spain, France and Germany. He is undoubtedly a talent that will go a long way in furthering the cause of the sarangi in the international platform.


Manas Chakraborty
Pandit Manas Chakraborty was born in a traditional and illustrious family of scholars and classical musicians. He received his training from his father Sangeetacharya Tarapada Chakraborty, himself a renowned and highly respected vocalist. He has mastered the fundamental and pervading spirit of Indian classical music and has earned for himself a significant place among the best known performers today. His performance career began when he gave vocal support to his father at conferences all over India. Today he is an institution in himself, known for his distinct ragadari. His contribution as a guru is also great. Attached to the West Bengal Rajya Sangeet Academy, he has many disciples already established in the music world. Along with Pandit Jnanprakash Ghosh, he released a cassette ‘Gan-Shikhi-Gan-Gai’ from the Rajya Sangit Academy. He has several records, cassettes and CDs to his credit, released by HMV, EMI, CBS and other recording companies.  


Ram Narayan
Pandit Ram Narayan and sarangi have become inseparably synonymous. Hailing from an unbroken chain of five generations of great musicians, he was inspired by his father Pandit Nathuji Biawat, a master of Dilruba. His talim took place under Ustad Mehboob Khan, Pandit Udayalal, Pandit Madhav Prasad and Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan. A staff artist of A.I.R Lahore at the mere age of fourteen, he continued later at A.I.R Delhi, and in no time emerged as the most sought after accompanist. His astounding command over the sarangi soon rose to such a level that he rightly felt constricted in the role of a mere accompanist. While working for the film industry in Mumbai, in the early fifties, aided by his brother Pandit Chatur Lal the great tabla player, Pandit Ram Narayan embarked on a mission to elevate the sarangi to the position of a solo instrument. Soon he cut a solo disc for HMV, and with time, his persistence bore fruit and his performances won the hearts of innumerable music lovers and critics alike, giving the sarangi the recognition it deserved. He has performed everywhere in India and abroad, winning accolades and several awards, notable among which are the Padma Bhushan, the Sangeet Natak Academy Award, the Kalidas Samman and the ITC Award. His children and grandchildren have kept the family tradition alive.


Rupak Kulkarni
Initiated by his father late Pandit Malhar Kulkarni, Rupak Kulkarni has blossomed under the tutelage of flute maestro Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia. As a ganda bandh shagird since the tender age of 12, he has mastered dhrupad, khayal and tantrakari ang equally well. He has performed at almost all the prestigious music conferences in India including Sawai Gandharva, Pune; Tansen Samaroh, Gwalior; Vishnu Digambar Paluskar Samaroh, New Delhi; Times of India 150 years celebration concerts and Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Kolkata; Hirabai Badodekar Smriti Samaroh and Gunidas Sammelan, Mumbai. With concerts across the globe in countries such as Australia, America, Russia, Japan, Africa, England, France and others, he is fast becoming a name to reckon with.



Sadhana Deshmukh Mohite
Born in Yavatmal near Nagpur, Sadhana Deshmukh Mohite was initiated into the world of music by Shri D V Pandke. She continued her training under Shrimati M Sumantai Chowdhury of Amaravati. Awarded a gold medal for her Master’s in music, she was a lecturer in the subject till her intense desire to acquire more knowledge brought her to the ITC Sangeet Research Academy in November 1992. She joined as a scholar under the celebrated ITC-SRA guru Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar, performing creditably at Kolkata, Amaravati, Jaipur, Agra and other places in India. In 1998 her performances at the ITC-SRA 20th anniversary celebrations at Kolkata and ITC Sangeet Sammelan, Delhi won acclaim. She graduated from the Academy in April 1999. She later received talim in tappa and ashtapadi from the venerated Pandit Bala Sahib Poochwale. She continues to visit her guru Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar to keep abreast of her talim.



Sameehan Ulhas Kashalkar -
(Scholar, ITC Sangeet Research Academy)

Born in 1986, Sameehan Ulhas Kashalkar is the son and disciple of the renowned vocalist of the present generation, Pandit Ulhas Kashalkar. Growing up in a musical environment, in June 2003, he became a scholar at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata. He is receiving authentic talim from his celebrated father who has been a guru of the Academy since 1992. Sameehan has performed solo at Wednesday recitals at the Academy and elsewhere, and has also given his father vocal support at several concerts.



Shujaat Hussain Khan
Shujaat Hussain Khan ranks high amongst the finest sitarists of the younger generation. Son and disciple of sitar maestro Ustad Vilayat Khan, Shujaat Khan represents the seventh generation in an unbroken lineage of musical stalwarts of the Imdadkhani (Etawah) gharana. Shujaat started learning the sitar at the age of three and was already giving public performances by the time he was six. He has since been regularly performing on stage as well as All India Radio and Doordarshan. He has enthralled audiences on every major stage in India and abroad, cutting a number of very successful discs and winning prestigious awards. At present he is a faculty member of the University of California, Los Angeles.



Swapan Chaudhuri
Swapan Chaudhuri is one of the best known tabla players of India and a highly sought after artiste all over the world. Held in high esteem both as a soloist and an accompanist, he has travelled throughout Europe, North America and Asia accompanying some of the greatest Indian artistes including Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Vilayat Khan, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Ustad Amir Khan and Pandit Nikhil Banerjee. Although noted for his eclecticism, the style of Swapan Chaudhuri reveals an unmistakable impact of long training under his guru, Pandit Santosh Krishna Biswas of Kolkata, an eminent exponent of the Lucknow gharana. Chaudhuri earned a Master’s degree in music and has received numerous trophies and honours for his musical accomplishments. During the past several years, he has appeared frequently on American and European television, and made recordings with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and other recognized artistes. He has taught Indian percussion at many American Universities as Visiting Professor, and is the composer and director of performing ensembles in California and India. Swapan Chaudhuri is the resident tabla master at the Ali Akbar College of Music, USA.


Venkatesh Kumar
Sri Venkateshkumar hails from Lakshmipura, a hamlet in the Bellary District. Born and brought up in a rural ambience with ancestral folk tradition was strongly influenced by his father, a renowned folk artist. Impressed by his genuine dedication to music, Pandit Puttaraja Gawai tutored him in the Gurukula system and he has effectively inherited the Gwalior gharana with all its nuances. He has completed his post graduate degree in Music from the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya. He has featured in the National programme of music, and has been an “A” grade Artist of All India Radio since 1988. A recipient of the Karnataka State Rajyothsava Award and the titles “Swara Sree”, “Sangeeta Sudhakara” and “Sangeeta Ratna” conferred by established Cultural Organisations, he has more than 10 Audio commercial cassettes and CDs. He has authored the text book of Music prescribed for the Examination conducted by the Govt. of Karnataka.At present Sri Venkateshkumar is serving as a faculty member at Music College, Dharwad University and teaches Music to degree classes.


Ananda Gopal Bandopadhyay
Initiated into music by his father, Ananda Gopal bandopadhyay was later trained by Pandit Mahadeo Prasad Mishra of the Benaras gharana. A top graded artiste of All India Radio today, Ananda Gopal has had a brilliant and successful career as a tabla player, who is adept both as a soloist and an accompanist. He is a widely traveled artiste and has played with virtually all the leading performers of Hindustani music at festivals all over the world. Apart from his performances, he has been associated with prestigious organizations like the Song & Drama Division (Delhi), Faculty of Music &Fine Arts (Delhi University) and the Amir Khusro Society, Chicago. Ananda Gopal is a senior faculty member of the ITC Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata.


Gopal Mishra
Hailing from a family of traditional tabla practitioners of Benaras, Shri Gopal Mishra has proved himself not only as a soloist but also as an accompanist and is a well-known name in his generation. He was trained by his father Pandit Damodar Mishra, son of Pandit Bundi Maharaj,. His repertoire in the Benaras style got further enriched after he became the son-in-law of the great maestro Pandit Kishen Maharaj. A regular artiste of All India Radio and Doordarshan, he has performed at major festivals all over the world and is currently a staff musician at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy.


Samar Saha
For years now, Pandit Samar Saha has been widely known for his dexterous tabla playing and rare musicianship. With a brilliant sense of accompaniment he contributes immensely to any raag sangeet performance. Samar Saha was initially trained by his father Shri Sudhangshu Bhusan Saha and elder brother Shri Tarak Saha. Later he received extensive talim from Shri Satchidananda Goswami and Shri Krishna Kumar Ganguly (Natu Babu) of the Benaras gharana. A much sought-after artist today, he has played with the greatest stalwarts of Hindustani music and has participated in all the prestigious music festivals in India and overseas. Pandit Samar Saha is a faculty member of ITC-SRA.


Samir Chatterjee
Samir Chatterjee is a virtuoso tabla player who began his talim early under the guidance of Pandit Bankim Ghosh, Pandit Balaram Mukherjee, Pandit Rathin Dhar and Mohammad Salim. It was under the guidance of Pandit Amalesh Chatterjee (since 1966) and Pandit Shyamal Bose (since 1984) that he perfected his training in the Farrukhabad gharana of tabla-playing. An A-graded artist of All India Radio, he has accompanied most of India's greatest musicians. Living in New York for the last 25 years, he has been teaching and promoting Indian music through his institution ‘Chhandayan’. He has also become a catalyst in the fusion of Indian and Western music, regularly performing with world famous musicians. A masters degree holder in English and History, he won a gold medal for his B.Mus. examination. He is also a musicologist, writing articles for newspapers and periodicals of repute.


Sandip Kumar Ray Chaudhuri
Sandip Kumar Ray Chaudhuri hails from a family of musicians and was initiated into tabla by his father, Late Abani Ray Chaudhuri. Sandip received further guidance from his uncle, Shri Anil Ray Chaudhuri, Professor of tabla at Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata. He has also learned from Shri Manik Pal, Shri Radhakanta Nandy and Shri Debnath Chakrabarty. A Sangit Prabhakar gold medalist, he is quite adept at accompanying both classical and commercial artistes and has played with stalwarts of both the worlds with equal ease. A ‘B-High’ graded artiste of All India Radio and Doordarshan, he is currently a staff musician at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy.


Subhankar Banerjee
Subhankar Banerjee, when he was five, was placed under the tutelage of Shri Swapan Shib, a Tabla artist of Farukhabad Tabla gharana. Over the years he has imbibed the baaj of other gharanas from reputed maestros. He received awards and gold medals from celebrities like Satyajit Ray, Pandit Ravi Shankar as well as the President of India. In addition to being a reputed soloist, Subhankar has been an accompanist of prominent celebrities like Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma and Pandit Jasraj. He has frequently performed at famous venues all over India and in UK, USA, Australia, Africa, Japan, Middle East and all over Europe, as also in South America and South Africa.


Yogesh Shamsi
Born in 1968 into a rich musical tradition, Shri Yogesh Samsi inherited music from his father Pandit Dinkar Kaikini, a renowned vocalist and also from his mother Smt Shashikala Kaikini, a musician of repute. He learnt tabla initially from Pandit H.Taranath Rao and thereafter was under the tutelage of the renowned maestro Ustad Allah Rakha of the Punjab gharana. An ‘A’ graded artist of A.I.R & Doordarshan, he has given many solo performances and accompanied many musicians of repute such as Pandit Dinkar Kaikini, Pandit K.G.Ginde, Pandit Jasraj, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pandit Ram Narain, Ustad Sultan Khan, Smt Shobha Gurtu, Ustad Shahid Parvez, Ustad Rashid Khan and Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty. He has had the privilege of accompanying his guru Ustad Allah Rakha and Ustad Zakir Hussain in their solo performances. He has performed in prestigious music festivals all over India and in Europe, USA, Canada, Japan & South Africa. In 1992 he accompanied the renowned sarangi player Pandit Ram Narayan in the World Music Festival in Berlin, Germany. In 1997, he participated in the World Music Conference in the Theatre de La Ville in Paris, France.


Jyoti Goho
Inspired by his mother’s melodious voice, Jyoti Goho developed a keen interest in music, which was carefully nurtured by his parents. He was trained in harmonium playing by Shri Deb Kumar Banerjee. He also has profound knowledge of vocal music in which his mentors were Sanat Banerjee, Biren Bose and Pandit A. Kanan. He is thus able to heighten the mood and spirit of any performance. Known for his sensitive playing and appropriate embellishments, his supportive role has been acknowledged by maestros like Pandit Bhimsen Joshi. Shri Jyoti Goho has performed with all the great vocalists of Hindustani classical music, appearing at the major music conferences in India and abroad. He is currently a faculty member of the ITC Sangeet Research Academy.


Ranjan Mukherjee
Ranjan Mukhopadhyay received preliminary vocal music talim from Shri Sambhunath Dey and later by Shri S. M. Yusuf. Later he came under the tutelage of Pandit Manas Chakraborty, disciple and son of Sangeetacharya Tarapada Chakraborty. A reputed harmonium player, Ranjan is also a talented vocalist of the Kotali gharana. He has also been a student of Sri Jatileswar Mukherjee, the renowned Bengali light musician. Ranjan has worked as a music director and lyricist for many artistes of repute and is also a successful music teacher.


Rupashree Bhattacharya
Born into a family of musicians, Rupashree Bhattacharya was initially tutored in vocal music by her father, Shri Durga Charan Bhattacharya. She later learnt from Shri Ashit Bandopadhyay, Smt. Shipra Bose and Shri Sanjoy Chakrabarty. In 1996 she became a scholar of the ITC Sangeet Research Academy under the tutelage of Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty. Noticing her innate talent in playing the harmonium, her guru gradually guided her through the intricacies and exacting standards of accompaniment. Rupashree, a proficient vocalist herself, quickly imbibed his teaching and has been able to attain the perfection that Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty had instilled in her. As an ITC SRA scholar, she received dhrupad and dhamar training from Pandit Falguni Mitra, Guru-Prefect, ITC SRA. She has matured into a sensitive and unobtrusive accompanist. A graded artist of All India Radio, she is a faculty member of ITC Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata.


Gourab Chatterjee
Gourab Chatterjee was introduced to Hindustani vocal music at the tender age of five by his mother, Ajanta Chatterjee. After her demise he started receiving training under Jainul Abedin, ex-scholar, ITC Sangeet Research Academy. As a general class student at the Academy he had trained under Pandit Sunil Bose, a veteran Agra Gharana Guru of the Academy. Later he became a scholar, under the tutelage of ITC-SRA Guru Pandit Arun Bhaduri. Gourab has participated at various programmes in and around Kolkata. Apart from being a promising vocalist, he is a good harmonium accompanist.


Ramesh Mishra
Born in 1952, Ramesh Mishra is one of the outstanding exponents of sarangi from the Benaras gharana and represents the twenty-third generation of sarangi players in his family. Initiated by the great sarangi maestro late Pandit Gopal Mishra and later groomed by his father late Pandit Ramnath Mishra, For several years now, Ramesh Mishra has been under the tutelage of legendary Sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar. The association has brought both the maestro and the disciple together in performances, recordings and projects all over the world. An artiste of All India Radio and Doordarshan, he has accompanied almost all the leading musicians of India and performed in numerous conferences and festivals all over the world both as a soloist and as an accompanist. He has been honoured by the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his sincere service to music.

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