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Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty :: Kaushiki Chakrabarty :: Subhasis Bhattacharya

Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty
Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty is one of the most talented and versatile vocalists of India. Born in 1953, he showed his extraordinary promise in music at a very young age. He took his initial training from his father, Shri Ajit Chakrabarty. Later he took his music lessons from Shri Kanai Das Bairagi in 1960. His music career flourished under the guidance of Pandit Gyan Prakash Ghosh. He joined the Rabindra Bharati University where he stood First Class First in both BA and MA. His score in MA is still unsurpassed. In 1971, he became a disciple of Ustad Munawar Ali Khan, the son of the great Patiala Maestro Ustad Bade Gulam Ali Khan. Due to his love and dedication for music, Ajoy ji is now regarded as an authentic and leading exponent of the Patiala Gharana.

Ajoy ji's outstanding and brilliant performances enabled him to be honored with several awards. He is the first recipient of the 'Kumar Gandharva' award, the most prestigious national award for the best musician under forty-five years of age. He is the first classical vocalist of India who received the President's Award for the best male playback singer in 1990 and many State Awards for film songs. He is the first Fellow to receive a Gold Medal from the Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata, a premier music institution of India devoted to the promotion of classical music in India and abroad. He is the first Indian classical vocalist to be invited by the government of Pakistan to perform in Pakistan.

Over fifty LP, cassette, and CD albums published in India, Pakistan, Europe and USA endear him even to those listeners who do not understand the language of the lyrics.

Bharat Ratna and Oscar winner, Satyajit Ray, who was a regular listener of Ajoy Chakrabarty observed that of all the classical artists he had heard, Ajoy is the only vocalist who knows where and when to stop and he is sure to go far.

Padma Bhusan, Desikottam Guru Jnan Prakash Ghosh, an all time great sangeet guru who taught students of three successive generations, maintained that Ajoy is the best of all his students as he is the only artist who brings his highly educated attitude to bear upon his music.

Press comments on Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty:

  • "Ajoy Chakrabarty is something of a mioracle of natural gifts and tireless self-culture." -- The Hindu
  • "Ajoy's music is beyond criticism." -- The Statesman
  • [On the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of India's Independence at Carnegie Hall] "Ajoy Chakrabarty held a rare summit meeting." -- The New York Times
  • "Ajoy Chakrabarty has become the principal transmitter of the style of Bade Ghulam Ali Khan." -- The Boston Globe
  • "Vocalist Ajoy Chakrabarty and his Ambitious Dream: Chakrabarty is trying to do what no one has done before in India. He is making a systematic attempt to seek the best child musical talent and have them trained and guided by a top-class vocalist -- himself." -- India West Magazine (California)

Ajoy Chakrabarty is the founder of 'Srutinandan', a school of music, located in Kolkata - India. The aim of Shrutinandan is to impart practical knowledge of the basics of all forms of Indian vocal music to musically gifted young children in order that they may realise their potential as worthy artists who will perpetuate the rich musical tradition of India. For more information you may see the web site of Shrutinandan.

Kaushiki Chakrabarty
Born in 1980 in the campus of Sangeet Research Academy, Kolkata, Kaushiki Chakrabarty is now a scholar of the academy. The gurus of the Academy and the members of its Expert Committe repose a great hope in Kaushiki and have blessed her for a glorious musical future.

By the grace of God, she could reproduce any musical and rhythmic phrase when she was only two years old. Kaushiki's mother, Chandna Chakrabarty was her first guru and very soon, Kaushiki became a "ganda-bandh" sagird (disciple) of her father's guru, Jnan Prakash Ghosh according to India's ancient system of guru-shishya parampara. On account of the old age of her guru and with his consent, she resumed her training under her father, Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty.

She performed and was very well appreciated when she visited a number of places abroad in USA, Canada and Europe along with her father from 1987. In an interview with 'The Telegraph' in October 1996, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, the senior and legendary classical vocalist of India maintained, "Kaushiki Chakrabarty is one of the very few classical vocalists who will make a mark in the 21st century; she has really a very bright future if she practices hard to realize her great potentiality."

As a debutante, Kaushiki has earned unqualified eclaim from maestros like Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Ustad Asad Ali Khan, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Ustad Alla Rakha Khan, Ustad Zakir Hussain, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma and Pandit Vijay Kumar Kichlu. These musical luminaries sincerely believe that Kaushiki with her promise and zeal will in the new millenium establish herself as one of the finest musicians if she persists in her unflinching riaz.

Press comments on Kaushiki Chakrabarty:

  • "Teenage prodigy's dazzling recital -- Kaushiki Chakrabarty provided the curtain raiser to the three day 27th annual ITC Sangeet Sammelan at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. Her honeyed voice maintains a broad open 'aakar' giving no quarter to any kind of curb or repression without ever lessening its euphony or appeal." -- The Hindu (March 20, 1998)
  • "A voice is born -- like father like daughter Kaushiki Chakrabarty: Kaushiki's performance, however, put all the raised eyebrows back in their place. That she has been groomed rather well by her father, Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty and Sangeet Research Academy was beyond doubt what was also apparent was her undeniable talent. That with the choice of songs helped clinch the evening for her. Along with the rest of the audience, the 80-year old maestro Ustad Allah Rakha Khan spontaneously stood up to applaud her performance. What more can a 16-year old ask for?" -- Intian Express (March 5, 1998)
  • "Kaushiki Chakrabarty's depiction of raga Malkaus was the most enjoyable part of the night-long session...the young singer exce;s in style and form" -- The Telegraph (August 28, 1998)

Awards and honors:

  • 1999: Memento from the Governor of West Bengal after her concert at the Governor House (Raj Bhavan) Kolkata on September 11, 1999.
  • 2000: Outstanding performer award for the Dover Lane 'Nabin Pratibha' (New Talent) series.
  • 2000: Outstanding Young Person Award for the year 2000 for her success in the field of music from Calcutta Rotary Club.
  • 2002: Priviledge and honor of performing in the Golden Jubilee of Dover Lane Music Conference.
  • 2002: Akash Barsho Samman from Akash Bangla (Sky-B) -- a TV media of the Government of West Bengal.

Subhasis Bhattacharya
Subhasis Bhattacharya is a new but beaming signature in the scores of Indian Music. Melody and rhythm run in his blood since father Shri Sunil Kumar Bhattacharya taught him the alphabets of tabla and mother Smt. Manjushree Bhattacharya lended him with melodies when he was a toddler. He started to make his presence felt in the musical scene from 1975 as a promising table player froomed tenderly by Shri Prabir Bhattacharya, Pt. Samir Chatterjee and Pt. Shyamal Bose. Now Subhasis is training under the great table maestro Pandit Anindo Chattopadhyay of national and international fame.

The exploration of Indian music for Subhasis is not confined to knowledge and practice of tabla only, his avid interest in the various aspects of music has endeared him to the great classical vocalist Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty of international acclaim under whose sagacious guidance he has been learning the subtle technicalities of the difficult art of accompaniment to vocal music. Subhasis has not only had the opportunities of accompanying Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty on the tabla in his many vocal recitals in India and abroad, he has also played on the tabla and other Indian drums in many of Panditji's CD's and Cassettes as well.

Besides, his elder brother Shri Debasis Bhattacharya a classical Slide Guitarist acclaimed equally in east and west has largely contributed to his success as an accompanist of Indian classical instrumental music and of various other Indian and world music. It was a great honour for Subhasis to be invited by the "Historical Collaboration of East and West in the world of Slide Guitar" where he performed with Bob Brozman, Debasis Bhattacharya and Martin Simpson. Another prestigious performance of Subhasis with Debasis was held in the "Indian Auspicious Fifty Years Celebration of Independence in 1997." Till the end of 1999, Subhasis has performed in more than 100 concerts including his overseas programmes held in USA, Canada, Kuwait, Bangladesh and Holland.

That he is an illustrious performer even at this young age is pronounced in the enthusiastic reviews of his concerts both in India and Abroad. The Nagpur Times observed: "Subhasis on the Tabla has the audience going into raptures." The Telegraph, The Hindu, and The Indian Express have unreservedly acclaimed Subhasis as a very deft accompanist and solo performer too., On several occasions the name of Subhasis has been pronounced in regard to his tabla performance by Bengali and even some other regional newspapers while reviewing various musical recitals and concerts, which may precisely be expressed in a few words as - "propulsively percussive, blindingly fast."