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.
Born in Calcutta to a family of rich cultural and musical heritage he developed a distinct and unique playing style of his own after receiving extensive training from various Maestros. He received his first Sitar lessons from his elder brother Pandit Biswanath Chatterjee and Pandit Aparesh Chatterjee. Beginning in 1965 he received extensive training from the Sitar Maestro Padma Bhushan Pandit Nikhil Banerjee until his passing in 1986. Additionally, in 1968 Pt. Chatterjee was summoned by Padma Bhushan Smt. Annapurna Devi from whom he received rigorous daily training in Calcutta and in Bombay for many years. He then became a “Ganda Bandhan Disciple” of the World Famous Maestro and Legend the late Padma Vibhushan Ustad Ali Akbar Khan in 1986.
Performance Profile :
Pt. Chatterjee belongs to the Senia Maihar Gharana and plays in the style of Pt. Nikhil Banerjee. For more than 35 years he has been performing in major Music Concerts all over India and abroad. In India, he was invited to perform in all major Music Conferences such as; Dover Lane Music Conference, Tansen Music Conference, Sadarang Music Conference, Radio Sangeet Sammelan, National Programme of Music at All India Radio & Doordarshan (TV), and Bishya Banga Sammelan . 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 has 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. In Canada Pt. Debi Prasad Chatterjee has performed at the Bangla Utsav 2007. Art Festival of India at Calgary in 1986, LMBC conference in 2006, 2010 at Vancouver, B.C.
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 Journalists' Association.
“SANGEET PRAVIN” (Master’s in Music) Stood First Class/First Position from Prayag Sangit Samity, Allahabad, India in 2008-2009.
He has received a prestigious Award from the organisation 4Culture in Seattle, USA in 2012 with the Title given "Ragas on Sitar in Seattle - Debi Prasad Chatterjee.
Teaching Experience :
From 1977-2001, Debi Prasad Chatterjee was the Professor of Rabindra Bharati University, Calcutta, then from 1994-2001 he held the position of the Head of The Department of Instrumental Music & Percussion. 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., and for the 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. 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 development over the years, it explains the anatomy of Sitar, the basics of tuning the instrument, relationship of different “Ragas” with life, and seasonal Ragas and their appropriate performance times.
Offices held :
For many years he held positions such as Examiner and Moderator for Doctor of Music, Master of Arts (Music) programs as well as serving on the Selection Committee of many Universities (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) and many more.
Awards & Recognition : Debi Prasad Chatterjee is a "Top Grade Artist" of All India Radio and Doordarshan (Indian National Television), 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 and “National Scholar of Music” from the Indian Ministry of Education for his contributions in Indian Classical Music.
Debi Prasad Chatterjee has released numerous CDs 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” , and 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 & directed by the 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.
LIVE CONCERT RECORDINGS
- Komal Ashabari : Alap, Jod & Jhala, Nat Bhairab : Tabla Accompanied by Pt. Anindo Chatterjee
- Kousiki : Alap, Jod / Tabla Accompanied by Pt. Anindo Chatterjee
- Darbari : Alap, Jod , Manj Khamaj : Tabla Accompanied by Pt. Anindo Chatterjee
- Ahir Bhairab : Alap, Jod :/ Tabla Accompanied by Pt. Anindo Chatterjee
- Yaman Kalyan : Alap, Jod, Yaman Kalyan : Tabla Accompanied by Sankar Prasad Choudhury
- Malkoush, Puria Kalyan : Tabla Accompanied by Sankar Prasad Choudhury
- Rageshree, Abhogi : Tabla Accompanied by Sankar Prasad Choudhury
- Bilashkhani Todi : Alap, Jod, Misra Piloo : Tabla Accompanied by Sankar Prasad Choudhury
- Kirbani, Hansadhani, Folk Dhun : Tabla Accompanied by Sankar Choudhury
- Patdeep, Manj Khamaj : Tabla Accompanied by Swapan Sib
- Ahiri, Misra Kafi, Desh, Sindhu Bhairabi : Tabla Accompanied by Pt. Anindo Chatterjee
- "Narmada" with Neil Welch, solo sitar