10 May : Pandit Debi Prasad Chatterjee is a distinguished name among Indian musicians as an outstanding Sitarist and a highly regarded teacher of Indian Classical Music. He is widely respected for his devotion to music and his control over the Ragas with systematic exploration which has placed him among the top instrumentalists of his era.
Training :Born in Calcutta, hailing from a family of rich cultural and musical heritage that has produced musicians like Pandit Anindo Chatterjee (Tabla), he developed a distinct and unique style of his own after receiving extensive training from various Maestros. He learnt his first Sitar-lessons from his elder brother Late Pandit Biswanath Chatterjee and Late Pandit Aparesh Chatterjee. From 1965, he received extensive training from the Legendary Sitar Maestro Late Pandit Nikhil Banerjee for 20 years – while also receiving extensive training from Smt. Annapurna Devi. Since 1986, he became the “Ganda Bandhan Disciple” of the World Famous Maestro and Living Legend Ustad Ali Akbar Khan.
Performance Profile :Pt. Chatterjee belongs to the Senia Maihar Gharana and draws inspiration from the playing style of Pt. Nikhil Banerjee. For many years he has been successfully performing in major Music Concerts all over India and abroad. In India, he was invited to perform in all major Music Conferences namely Dover Lane Music Conference, Tansen Music Conference, Sadarang Music Conference, Radio Sangeet Sammelan, National Programme of Music at All India Radio & Doordarshan (TV), Bishya Banga Sammelan etc. Overseas, he took part in North America Bengali Conference (NABC), Art Festival of India in Canada, Lowell Folk Festival and International Folk Festival in U.S.A. and also performed in numerous concerts across U.S.A., Australia, Canada, UK, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Italy, France, Austria, Iceland, Ireland, Belgium and Luxemburg to propagate Indian Classical Music in the western World. In numerous occasions Pt. Chatterjee has represented India at major music festivals around the world like the Inter Cultural School of Music in Venice, Italy. Recently Pt. Debi Prasad Chatterjee has performed at the Bangla Utsav 2007, Edmonton, Canada (Link-BanglaUtsab2007/DPC)
Titles & Awards :
" President’s Award " received from the President of India Dr. S. Radhakrisnan at
Delhi in 1962.
" SUR MANI " Title awarded from SUR SINGAR SAMSAD, Bombay – in 1970.
" DISARI " Title awarded as Best Artist for the years 1974 & 1997 by the West Bengal
Academic Credentials :
From 1977-2001, Debi Prasad Chatterjee was the Professor of Rabindra Bharati University, Calcutta, and held the position of the Head of The Department of Instrumental Music & Percussion from 1995-2001. He has conducted numerous workshops and demonstrations on Hindustani Music & its techniques – at many Universities and Institutions in India and abroad, including, University of Pennsylvania, University of Central Florida, University of Texas at Austin in U.S.A., International Institute for Music Comparative Studies (Berlin). He has also guided many research Scholars to obtain their Doctoral Degree (Ph.D.) and has trained a number of his disciples to a successful career in Indian Classical Music, who are now credibly performing all over the world. Currently he has numerous students both in India and abroad who are learning the art of playing the Sitar and other instruments under his able guidance. He has also authored a book on the evolution of Sitar named “Sitar – Sekal Ekal” (Sitar’s Past and Present). The book presents the history of Sitar and it’s gradual transformation over the years; explains the anatomy of Sitar; basics of tuning the instrument; relationship of different “Ragas” with life; choice of Raga w.r.t. seasonality and various time spans of the day and night.
Offices held :
For many years he has successfully held responsible positions at different levels namely as Examiner and Moderator for Doctor of Music, Master of Arts (Music) programs as well as being on the Selection Committee of many reputed Universities like Delhi University, Benaras Hindu University (BHU), Burdwan University, Rabindra Bharati University, Selection Committee of National Scholars, Govt. of India, Staff Artist Selection Committee & Local Audition Committee of All India Radio, Govt. of India and Audition Committee, Doordarshan (Indian National TV channel) and many more.
Awards & Recognitions : Rated as ‘Top Grade’ artist by All India Radio (highest possible grade), he has been honored with various titles and awards throughout his illustrious career. Some of his key achievements are, receiving the Indian ‘President’s Award’ as an outstanding Sitar artist as well as “National Scholar of Music” for his contributions in Indian Classical Music.
Debi Prasad Chatterjee has released numerous CDs to his credit that have been widely appreciated by music lovers all over the world. He also has the rare distinction of playing in the background scores in timeless Classic Hindi movies namely “Aradhana”, “Kati Patang”, “Amar Prem” etc. working with legendary Music Directors & Musicians namely S.D. Burman, R. D. Burman and many more. He has also played and recorded in ‘Shankarscope” composed by famous dancer Uday Shankar (brother of Living Legend Pandit Ravi Shankar). He is loved by all musicians, music lovers and music critics for his mesmerizing music.