Padmabhushan Nikhil Banerjee (1931-1986) was one of
the greatest sitarists of this century. His music earned deep
respect among India's classical music aficionados as well as gaining
him a devoted international following. He was the disciple of
the two greatest forces in 20th Century Indian classical instrumental
music, Padmavibhushan Allauddin Khan and his son Maestro Ali Akbar
Khan. Though he recorded many LPs, few were of live concerts,
in which his leisurely, majestic raga development was unsurpassed.
Mr. Banerjee disliked being recorded, feeling that the process
distracted and somewhat compromised the inner meditative quality
of his music, and high fidelity live recordings are rare.
To help preserve Mr. Banerjee's legacy, and to show the full scope of
his musical vision, Raga Records is reproducing a series of concerts.
photo: John Wilton
Swapan Chaudhuri is one of today's finest tabla players. He has long been associated with Nikhilda. Critics have described his playing as having a high degree of confidence, elegant clarity and laya accuracy. Born in 1947, he received his training from Pandit Santosh Krishna Biswas of Calcutta, the eminent exponent of the Lucknow Gharana. He is the tabla master at the Ali Akbar College of Music, and has performed and recorded extensively with Ali Akbar Khan and many other leading musicians.