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Nikhil Banerjee

When Nikhil Banerjee died in 1986, India didn't just lose one of its greatest sitar players, but one of its most influential classical musicians. A former child prodigy who won the All-Bengal sitar competition at the age of nine, Banerjee grew up to earn international acclaim as a highly skilled musician. According to The San Francisco Chronicle, Banerjee's "technique is a phenomenon, faster than cheetahs, more secure than the dollar." Music And Musicians observed that "his improvisations always sound completely natural and spontaneous.." In an obituary published after his death, The New York Times wrote "the extraordinary fluidity and assurance of his rhythmic ideas and phrasing set a standard that would have left the more international 'stars' of Indian music behind."

The son of an amateur musician, Banerjee was fascinated by his father's playing. Although he wanted to try his hand at an instrument as early as the age of four, he was discouraged by his father and grandfather. At the age of five, however, they relented and he acquired a small sitar. Banerjee took to the instrument immediately. In addition to winning the All-India sitar competition, he became the youngest musician employed by All-India Radio at the age of nine. He remained a featured radio performer for five years. One of 15 children, Banerjee was greatly influenced by Ustad Amir Khan, who would come to his family home to teach his older sister. Banerjee also studied with Mustaq Ali Khan for three months and Jnan Prakash Ghosh, who taught him to play tabla. His greatest teacher, however, was Baba (Allaudin Khan), with whom he apprenticed, along with Ravi Shankar, from 1947 until 1952. Following Khan's death, Banerjee went on to study with Khan's son, Ali Akbar Khan, for an additional five years. Banerjee subsequently performed an estimated 1,000 concerts in India as Khan's accompanist. Banerjee performed his first concerts outside of India in 1955 as a member of a cultural delegation sent by the Indian government to Poland, Russia, and China. He made his United States debut in 1967. For many years, Banerjee spent three months each summer teaching, performing, and lecturing/demonstrating at U. C. Berkeley.

In 1968, Banerjee was awarded the honorary title Padma Shri. The same year, he was named India's "outstanding musician of the year" by the Sangeet Nagat (music and dance) Academy. ~ Craig Harris, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Pandit Nikhil Banerjee: India's Maestro Of Melody Live Concert Vol. 3

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Track List: The Genius Of Pandit Nikhil Banerjee - Live Concert Series 3

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Track List: Immortal Sitar Of Pandit Nikhil Banerjee

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Track List: Fond Memories

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Track List: Nikhil Banerjee -- India's Maestro Of Melody

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Track List: The Genius Of Nikhil Banerjee: Live Concert Series 5

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Track List: The Genius Of Pandit Nikhil Banerjee

Comments

Divine , soothing, mastery
Omg
new discovery --love it..omg so good and differently unique
hamburger.ti m e
Thanks for all the music you left us! Unfortunatel y you passed before I was even born but your music influences me everyday! much love!
SLOW RUPAK. it cooks with gentle waves of excellence
Calming, deep, soul searching, healing.
You died too soon. Forlorn beauty and joyful.
One of the professors of music from University of Arizona described Indian Classical Music as An ultimate music
So true!
Dkimball99. Ravi Shankar's daughter's name is Anushka (sp?). This is incredibly pure music.
1250122349
what would us visual artists do w/out GREAT musical artists?
bawlb76107
Well put borg2752 and thank you :)
Thank You!!!! :-)
It's totally transcendent a l . There's nothing else like it. I just love it!
There is a deep calming listening to the Sitar. Watching Ravi Shankar at Woodstock was mesmerizing.
Hey,I'm just here for the music...don' t let go. I got my first Ravi Shankar album (vinyl) in 1967 when I was 15. I have loved this music ever since. It kinda stays with you. Now my 17-year-old daughter listens to it. Just the fact that you're listening to it earns my respect.
this is hard music for a white, teenage girl metalhead to get into, but I shall do my best! Music like this requires incredible talent and enormous practice, two things that automaticall y earn my respect.
He was my Guru. I miss him very much!
I FELT PRIVLEDGE TO HAVE HEARD IT.
WHAT AN INSPIRING MUSICIAN. THAT WAS MANY MANY YEARS OF EXTREME PRACTICE
PADMA SHRI SAYS IT ALL.
if you need another dollar holler cause i got whole stack
Bruce Dickinson demands more cowbell!
tamoghna.bha t t a c h a r y a
anybody else here hail from Calcutta?
a friend a new friend turned me onto nikhil just yesterday. so great to be alive n hear the masters one tune at a time
What is the of his Daughter that plays as well as Ravi(Setar)?
Greatest sitarist of the 20th century, amazing musician and composer.
what an amazing musician. soul searching, divine.
gbanerjea
he is my uncle. I am so proud of what he represented - music, india and talent..list e n and be at peace.
fstuit
Delete this station
damn i love classical indian
More secure than the dollar?
you died too soon. take me there.
djwalsh72
I'd like to read my obituary.
dpolefka
Thank you very much.
"In an obituary published after his death"? When else would they publish an obituary?
evefything i could have asked for at abeautiful sunset

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