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Musical Profile

Asit was born in a musical family and had an upbringing among well-known musicians. In his childhood, Asit had the unique and rare fortune of learning directly from the Veena and Dhrupad exponent Ustad Muhammed Dabir Khan of Beenkar Senia gharana. Ustad Dabir Khan, the last notable daughter-side descendant of the legendary Miyan Tansen, was the grandson of the great Ustad Wazir Khan of Rampur who was the guru of Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan and Ustad Allauddin Khan. Asssociation with Ustad Dabir Khan continued till he died, and, in addition to the most rigorous and traditional introduction to Hindustani ragas, it also gave Asit the opportunity to regularly listen to some of the true greats from close quarters. Later, Asit learned Khayal for long periods also from Pandit Amiya Ranjan Bandyopadhyay of the Vishnupur gharana of Bengal and from Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty of the Patiala-Kasur gharana. A big inspiration of Asit was the continuous guidance of his eldest sister Mrs. Sabita Ghosh who died recently at the age of 78 and was herself a long-time disciple of Ustad Muhammed Dabir Khan. Asit learned also from his sister from a very early age, especially the Thumri and various other semi-classical forms. Asit has formal training of nearly 30 years in classical vocal music.


Although seriously constrained by his academic career, Asit has performed Khayal and semi-classical forms of music at several prestigious venues, and also in the US and in Europe during his younger days, and received high acclaims from both critics and general audience. Asit also performed in the Festival of India in the USA in the mid-80s.


Asit has a keen interest in Musicology and has taught a Master’s level course on Indian Classical Music at the Music Department of The Ohio State University while he himself was a PhD student in Theoretical Physics at the same University. Asit has given lectures on his work on Musicology at several places in Kolkata including the British Council, Rabindra Bharati University and his own Institute. He has served for many years as an external expert in the Higher Degrees Committee of the Department of Instrumental Music of Rabindra Bharati University.


Asit taught music at the Tagore Institute in Bonn, Germany around 1990 continuously for about three years while his wife Bratati, a disciple of Vidushi Amala Shankar, Guru Kalamandalam Venkit, Vidushi Thankamani Kutty, and Vidushi Alokananda Roy, and an ex-member of the Mamata Shankar Ballet Troupe, taught dance there.


Recently Asit was invited to write an article on the musical part of the discussion between Albert Einstein and Rabindranath Tagore as a contribution to a book published by the famous publishing house ‘Sahitya Samsad’ of Kolkata. The book was launched during the International Book Fair 2014 in Kolkata and currently in its second print.


Asit has many faceted interest in music. He has some training in Carnatic classical music as well (having learned from the Late Lalitha Swaminathan, a disciple of the legenadry Maharajpuram Santhanam). Asit performed in the Thyagaraja festival in Washington DC, USA and also sang for several full-fledged Bharatanatyam concerts in his younger days. Asit has also learned Rabindrasangeet, Najrul-geeti and other forms of Bengali vocal traditional music from well-known gurus.


While a student in the US, Asit composed the music of a full two-hour-long dance-drama based on the epic Ramayana where the music and the dance were strictly in different Indian classical forms, both Carnatic and Hindustani. The dance-drama received very good reviews from experts and general audience alike.

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