Wednesday, June 16

Almost Famous

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Debanjan Bhattacharya | sarod player

Age | 33

Gharana | Senia Maihar

Disciple of | Ustad Aasish Khan, late Vidushi Ameena Perara, late Ustad Dhyanesh Khan

About him | A post-graduate in electronics and communication engineering from Indian Institute of Engineering, Science and Technology, Debanjan is a recipient of the President of India’s Gold Medal Award in 2008. He has already performed in 18 countries and has represented India at the United Nations Congress 2012 (Bahrain), where he performed in front of the then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and His Excellency the King of Bahrain. “I also conceived a new form of recital called Dhrupad Sarod, where the sarod is accompanied by a pakhawaj. I have presented this recital in front of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Debanjan says.

Why we should watch out for him

He is one of the most promising torchbearers of the Maihar gharana. He has got good talim and his music is a beautiful blend of both technical brilliance and aesthetic appeal. He is very good with laya and maintains a good balance between melody and rhythm. The fact that he took up music as a career despite being a qualified engineer also shows his seriousness and passion for our music — Pt Tejendra Narayan Majumdar | sarod player


Ayan Sengupta | sitar player

Age | 29

Gharana | Senia Maihar

Disciple of | Pt Partha Chatterjee,

Pt Ajoy Chakraborty

About him | An ITC Sangeet Research Academy musician scholar, Ayan has been pursuing music from the age of eight. In 2003, he won the Government of India’s junior scholarship. “I started learning from my grandfather, Subimal Sengupta, and have also received lessons from Pt Manilal Nag and Pt Kushal Das,” Ayan says. Described as a sensitive, serious and hardworking musician, Ayan has also performed at various concerts in India, the UK and Bangladesh. He has also been a part of a television show, where he was a part of a band by sitarist Purbayan Chatterjee.

Why we should watch out for him

Ayan has tremendous potential to grow into a responsible sitar player if he continues with his present thought process, his riyaaz and the assimilation of all the repertoire he has acquired so far while exploring further depths of Indian music, including sitar music. I like his maturity, which is seen through his thehrao (poise). At a time when plenty of compromises are being done by youngsters to achieve quick popularity, Ayan stands out because of his seriousness and restraint. People with such qualities last longer in the music scene — Pt Nayan Ghosh | sitarist

He shows great promise. I would be happy to see another Bengali come up in the field of sitar — Kaushiki Chakraborty | vocalist


Pratik Srivastav | sarod player

Age | 32

Gharana | Maihar

Disciple of | Pt Rabi Chakraborty, Dr Rajeeb Chakraborty, Pt Ajoy Chakraborty, Pt Tejendra Narayan Majumdar

About him | Pratik was just 12 when he received the Ånun Lund Rej Memorial Foundation Scholarship from Norway. Apart from playing at various festivals in India, he has the distinction of performing in countries like Jordan, France, Germany and the UK. In 2001, he went to Australia to play at the Woodford Folk Festival. Last year, he performed in Paris at a tribute concert to legends Pandit Ravi Shankar and Phillip Glass. “The concert had six Indian musicians along with Anoushka Shankar and the Orchestre de Chamber de Paris. Together, we presented all the compositions from Panditji and Phillip Glass’s world famous album titled Passages,” said Pratik, who has also been invited to perform at the forthcoming centenary concert for Panditji in the UK and the US.

Why we should watch out for him

Among young sarod players, I like his sense of aesthetics. He tries to present a raga in a picturesque way — Pt Ajoy Chakraborty | vocalist

His playing is mature for his age. His tonality is special and his style has the emotions that can connect with the audience — Kaushiki Chakraborty | vocalist


Anubhab Khamaru | vocalist

Age | 17

Gharana | Patiala

Disciple of | Pt Ajoy Chakraborty

About him | Anubhab was initially trained by his father. Subsequently, he joined Shrutinandan and then ITC Sangeet Research Academy as a junior scholar. A rare talent, Anubhab’s YouTube video has received more than 2 lakh views. Curiously enough, many have even misidentified him as Pt Bhimsein Joshi’s grandson. “I am a student of Mathurapur High School and will write my HS exams this year. My guruji insists I maintain my individuality. That’s what I try to do,” Anubhab says.

Why we should watch out for him

Musically, Anubhab is extremely gifted. He doesn’t have the mind-set of learning music to become famous. I would want him to shape up as a unique musician. Only time, destiny, luck and perseverance can say where he will go — Kaushiki Chakraborty | vocalist

His taans and gayaki remind me of Rashid (Ustad Rashid Khan) during his younger days — Pt Tejendra Narayan Majumdar | sarod player


Sreemoyee Acharya | vocalist

Age | 12

Gharana | Patiala

Disciple of | Pt Ajoy Chakraborty

About her | Sreemoyee, a student of Mahadevi Birla World Academy, started to learn singing from her parents when she was just two-and-a-half years old. Having already earned acclaim for her performance in Mumbai and Delhi, she has also performed at 2019’s ITC Sangeet Sammelan. “I try to balance music and studies. My daily routine includes five hours of riyaaz,” says Sreemoyee, whose primary aim is to become a professional singer while being a doctor on the side.

Why we should watch out for her

Her father was my student. Her mother sings well too. One day, she had come home and I heard her sing. She was so good that I invited her to sing at the Saraswati Puja programme that I organise at home. It’s a blessing that she has such a sweet and tuneful voice. She is also very flexible. It is rare to come across a child who can attempt the kind of high-level ornamentations that she does at her age. If she is trained well and maintains her cool, Sreemoyee will have a bright future — Pt Swapan Chaudhuri | tabla player

I hope she has the strength, perseverance and commitment to make it, come what may, as a girl — Kaushiki Chakraborty | vocalist


Source: Times of India

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