Ritwik Sanyal

Prof. Ritwik Sanyal is one of the virtuosos of the north Indian vocal classical style, Dhrupad and a professor and head of the Department of Vocal Music in the faculty of performing arts at Banaras Hindu University. He received training in this very difficult, revered and ancient style of vocal music from the Dagar brothers, the direct descendants of Haridas Dagar who lived in the fifteenth century and trained the legendary Tansen. He is known for his austere rendition of Dhrupad singing. Prof. Ritwik Sanyal is also a composer of Dhrupad lyrics, and is very actively involved in the resurrection of this glorious, but dying tradition.


Prof. Sanyal was born in April 12, 1953. Between 1963 and 1975, he received his training in Dhrupad under the senior Dagar brothers, late Ustad Mohiuddin Dagar and Ustad Fariduddin Dagar in Mumbai, India. Subsequently, he received an M. A. in philosophy from Mumbai University and a Master in Music from Banaras Hindu University, securing the gold medal. He completed his Ph.D. in musicology from the same university, 1980 under the supervision of Prof. Prem Lata Sharma.

He is a Professor & Head of the department of vocal music and Dean at Faculty of Performing Arts Banaras Hindu University.


Prof. Ritwik Sanyal has assimilated the Dagarvani tradition of Dhrupad and evolved a distinctive style of his own in the rendering of Dhrupad. He has specialized in advanced technique of "Alap" - "Jod" - "Jhala", "laykari", voice culture and pedagogy both traditional and institutional. His music is refreshing as well as dynamic- highlighting several musical layers of variations. His music naturally evokes tranquility, exuding "Santa-Rasa" in the performance. A judicious blend of the tonal-inflection and rhythmic interplay makes the improvisation of his song-text of Dhrupad virtuosic and meaningful and his performance enlightening.

Major Recordings

* [http://makar-records.com/fr/html/CD015.html Ritwik Sanyal:Makar Records, France]
* [http://www.makar-records.com/siteus/15page.html Hori:Makar Records, France]
* [http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000007YS Dancing to the Flute, Australia]
* Nada Records, South Korea (SEM Nada DE 0267)
* [http://myspace.com/zahyrus Ritwik Sanyal & Gianni Ricchizzi (Raga Shree)]
* [http://www.itcsra.org/audio/dhrupad/dagar/ritwiksanyal_ahirbhairavalaap_dhrupad.ram Ritwik Sanyal (Raga Ahir Bhairav)]


* Casual Artist Grade "A" (Dhrupad) All India Radio, Varanasi.
* Broadcasted for BBC London, Radio France, Austrian Radio, Doordarshan Delhi/Bombay. 1979-2007
* Appeared at National Program of Music twice 2000, 2005.
* National Programme Doordarshan DDI, New Delhi 2001.
* Radio Sangeet Sammelan, Bhubaneshwar 2002.

Major Performances


*Indian Voices-Performance and Workshop University of London and Asian Music Circuit London, 1998 and 1999.
*Represented Asia and India at the Ravenna Festival Italy 1997.
*Promenade Concert - Royal Albert Hall London (BBC) 1983.
*Durham Oriental Music Festival 1982.
*UK University Circuit for Indian Classical Music 18 concerts 1987.
*World of Music & Dance-Bath UK. 1982.
*Summer School for Oriental & African Music University of Cambridge 1983.
*11 Summer Concerts Austria, Germany & Switzerland 1979.
*Around 50 other concerts in UK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, France , Holland, Italy., S. Korea and Israel.
*Asian Contemporary Music Festival 2002 Seoul, South Korea. (Sponsored by ICCR, Govt. of India)
*7th Mediterranean Musical Dialogue, Jerusalem, Israel 2002.

In India

*Around 200 concerts in leading concert platforms in India since 1975.
*Gwalior (MP). Tansen Samaroh 1980, 85, 90, 95, 2000,2003.
*Dhrupad Mela-Varanasi 1975-2007
*All leading Dhrupad Festivals in Vrindavan, Maharashtra, Madhaya Pradesh., Uttar *Pradesh, Gujrat, & Rajasthan 1979-1999.
*Behram Khan Dhrupad Samaroh 1981, 88, 92, 2002,
*Sangeet Research Academy Calcutta 1990,1994,2004
*Mandu Utsav 1991.
*Dhrupad Samaroh Bhopal 1981- 89.
*Several Concerts in Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, Hyderabad, Bhubaneshwar, Kanpur, Delhi, Ayodhya, *Lucknow, Baroda, Goa, Allahabad, Aurangabad, Patna, Bhopal, Gwalior....
*Harballabh Sangeet Samaroh, Jallandhar (Punjab ) 2003.


*Honoured by Kashiraj Trust, Varanasi and Maharaja Travancore Svati Tirunal Award at the Dhrupad festival of Banaras for outstanding contribution to Dhrupad, 1995.
*Honoured by Indian Social & Cultural Lover's Organisation (ISCLO)-Varanasi/Calcutta 1990.
*Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Natak Akademi Award 2002.
*Siti Vaijayanti Samman Siti Mahotsav Varanasi, 2004.


* "Philosophy of Music" - Somaiya Publication -Mumbai 1987.
* Dhrupad Tradition and Performance in Indian Music -Ashgate, UK, 2004.
* Biography of Ustad. Z. M. Dagar (under process).
* Around 50 published papers in leading and outstanding Journals (Vishwabharati Journal Dhrupad Annual, National Centre for Performing Arts, Sangeet Research Academy, Sangeet Natak Academy, 1981-2005).

External links

* [http://www.ritwiksanyal.com/ Ritwik Sanyal] official website
* [http://dhrupad.tblog.com/ Dhrupad: Art Music of North India]
* [http://www.makar-records.com/siteus/indexa.html Makar Records]
* [https://www.ashgate.com/shopping/title.asp?key1=&key2=&orig=results&isbn=0%207546%200379%202# Dhruapd Tradition and Performance in Indian Music]
* [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rpl3sFPDVPA Dhrupad Rag Jog, Pt Ritwik Sanyal, Shloka]

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