Seeking suggestions for sitar teacher in Kolkata, Maihar Gh.

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Charles
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:26 pm

Seeking suggestions for sitar teacher in Kolkata, Maihar Gh.

Post by Charles » Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:15 am

Greetings to all,

I am a complete beginner and just arrived in Kolkata, where I plan to stay for the next 6 months. While here I would like to study sitar, for three reasons I think: for the simple joy of playing, at whatever level; for gaining a better understanding of the the underlying structure of the music and its subtleties, which I know I am currently missing; and for simply growing a bit more as a human being -- the discipline required to practice on both sunny and cloudy days, cultivating a sensitivity to details, the tangible experience of that constant loop of reward and sacrifice...

I've tried to read as much as I can from this extremely helpful website, and am anxious to avoid repeating questions which have been well-answered earlier. However I'm having some trouble locating some boots-on-the ground details for a complete beginner who happens to find himself in Kolkata.

The "Teachers and Performers" section of this site lists a number of sitar players in the area, but they seem to be largely of the Etawah/Imdadkhani Gharana. It goes without saying that there is much transcedentally beautiful music in that tradition, but I find myself most moved by the playing of Nikhil Banerjee, the Maihar Gharana, and the sound of the Kharaj pancham style sitars.

At the level, essentially, of a 5 year-old, I'm not sure how much it even matters what teacher I may find. I am aware that the instrument demands years of patient practice, and I have no problem if all I do for 6 months is practice 1 scale; but I would prefer to try to learn it as correctly as possible, with the traditional techniques.

On a different note I'm assuming that with a teacher I'll be able to find a decent sitar to purchase here. Ironically, I feel it would be much easier for me to buy a quality sitar back home in the US or in the UK, through the outstanding shops of several of the forum members, than here in Kolkata! I gather there has recently been a kind of change of the seasons here, with Hiren Roy's shop on Rashbehari closed, with Hemen Sen's passing. I'm curious what current shops in the city might be good to explore.

Many thanks in advance for any advice or suggestions!

sitara86
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:51 am
Location: Varanasi

Re: Seeking suggestions for sitar teacher in Kolkata, Maihar

Post by sitara86 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:37 pm

Nikhil banerjee learned a little from Vilayat Khan btw ;)...if you are
a complete beginner, any teacher will be able to show you the basics....it's the same in the beginning, can't really be part of a gharana until years of learning...but if you really want a Maihar teacher, I'm sure you'll find someone in Kolkata...I don't know anyone personally, sorry

Charles
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:26 pm

Re: Seeking suggestions for sitar teacher in Kolkata, Maihar

Post by Charles » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:50 am

Thank you for your reply Sitara -- it's makes complete sense. I had this vague image in my mind that an Imdadkhani player might be thrown into fury at the sight of a bass string on a sitar and hurl it against the wall -- I wasn't really sure :-)

There are many teachers here in Kolkata -- I'll contact them in an open, non-denominational manner :-)

Thanks again.

ahirbhairav
Posts: 178
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:04 am

Re: Seeking suggestions for sitar teacher in Kolkata, Maihar

Post by ahirbhairav » Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:19 am

Charles wrote:Greetings to all,

I am a complete beginner and just arrived in Kolkata, where I plan to stay for the next 6 months. While here I would like to study sitar, for three reasons I think: for the simple joy of playing, at whatever level; for gaining a better understanding of the the underlying structure of the music and its subtleties, which I know I am currently missing; and for simply growing a bit more as a human being -- the discipline required to practice on both sunny and cloudy days, cultivating a sensitivity to details, the tangible experience of that constant loop of reward and sacrifice...

I've tried to read as much as I can from this extremely helpful website, and am anxious to avoid repeating questions which have been well-answered earlier. However I'm having some trouble locating some boots-on-the ground details for a complete beginner who happens to find himself in Kolkata.

The "Teachers and Performers" section of this site lists a number of sitar players in the area, but they seem to be largely of the Etawah/Imdadkhani Gharana. It goes without saying that there is much transcedentally beautiful music in that tradition, but I find myself most moved by the playing of Nikhil Banerjee, the Maihar Gharana, and the sound of the Kharaj pancham style sitars.

At the level, essentially, of a 5 year-old, I'm not sure how much it even matters what teacher I may find. I am aware that the instrument demands years of patient practice, and I have no problem if all I do for 6 months is practice 1 scale; but I would prefer to try to learn it as correctly as possible, with the traditional techniques.

On a different note I'm assuming that with a teacher I'll be able to find a decent sitar to purchase here. Ironically, I feel it would be much easier for me to buy a quality sitar back home in the US or in the UK, through the outstanding shops of several of the forum members, than here in Kolkata! I gather there has recently been a kind of change of the seasons here, with Hiren Roy's shop on Rashbehari closed, with Hemen Sen's passing. I'm curious what current shops in the city might be good to explore.

Many thanks in advance for any advice or suggestions!
Try Purbayan Chatterjee. Maihar disciple who lives in Kolkata.
Next concert: Aditya Sharma (today)
Sandipan Samajpati (9/28)
Shubhendra Rao (10/19)
Rakesh & Friends (Gino Banks, the drummer, tweeted me that they'll be in Oct, so whenever they come here, if they come here.)
Zakir Hussain & company (3/23/14)

Charles
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:26 pm

Re: Seeking suggestions for sitar teacher in Kolkata, Maihar

Post by Charles » Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:33 am

Thank you ahirbhairav - that's an excellent suggestion. I will drop him a line...

Charles
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:26 pm

Re: Seeking suggestions for sitar teacher in Kolkata, Maihar

Post by Charles » Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:02 pm

I know it's always best on these forums to let people know how everything finally worked out.

I sent out emails to teachers of various schools, at peace and unworried about whomever I might get. However in the end Purbayan Chatterjee, whose father I believe was a longtime student of Nikhil Banerjee, agreed to take me on as beginning student.

Mr. Chatterjee called up Suman Karmakar of P & Brothers to alert him that I would be stopping by, and this afternoon I visited the shop on Bidhan Sarani to see an unadorned gourd and stick which he said will be my sitar in a week.

Apparently this weekend, even before the sitar is finished, I will get my first lesson in I don't know what. All things must begin somewhere.

So many thanks for the advice and collective wisdom of the forum, and especially to ahirbhairav for pointing me to my teacher.

ahirbhairav
Posts: 178
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:04 am

Re: Seeking suggestions for sitar teacher in Kolkata, Maihar

Post by ahirbhairav » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:50 pm

Charles wrote:I know it's always best on these forums to let people know how everything finally worked out.

I sent out emails to teachers of various schools, at peace and unworried about whomever I might get. However in the end Purbayan Chatterjee, whose father I believe was a longtime student of Nikhil Banerjee, agreed to take me on as beginning student.

Mr. Chatterjee called up Suman Karmakar of P & Brothers to alert him that I would be stopping by, and this afternoon I visited the shop on Bidhan Sarani to see an unadorned gourd and stick which he said will be my sitar in a week.

Apparently this weekend, even before the sitar is finished, I will get my first lesson in I don't know what. All things must begin somewhere.

So many thanks for the advice and collective wisdom of the forum, and especially to ahirbhairav for pointing me to my teacher.
Hey, it's nothing. I love helping people out (I hate making enemies, as I already unfortunately have) and so I thought why not look for people in Kolkata who are Maihar gharana sitar players. I thought of Purbayan Chatterjee, who was a Maihar player and so I decided to find more about him...and he happened to be living in Kolkata!

Good luck, may the force be with you, and do stick around, there is a very nice forum on the sitar & surbahar.
Next concert: Aditya Sharma (today)
Sandipan Samajpati (9/28)
Shubhendra Rao (10/19)
Rakesh & Friends (Gino Banks, the drummer, tweeted me that they'll be in Oct, so whenever they come here, if they come here.)
Zakir Hussain & company (3/23/14)

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cwroyds
Posts: 2099
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 1:06 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Seeking suggestions for sitar teacher in Kolkata, Maihar

Post by cwroyds » Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:14 pm

Purbayan Chatterjee is a wonderful sitarist.
You are very lucky to get lessons from him.
His father is an amazing teacher too.
I have taken lessons from him when he comes through Los Angeles.
If you get the chance to sit in on his lessons, or take a couple of lessons from the father, you should.
Good luck.

P.S. It is also lucky that you have a respected sitarist talking to P & Brothers about your sitar. You are much more likely to get a really good one.

ahirbhairav
Posts: 178
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:04 am

Re: Seeking suggestions for sitar teacher in Kolkata, Maihar

Post by ahirbhairav » Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:21 pm

Charles, could you upload a few pics of the sitar or maybe a clip of you playing it??
Next concert: Aditya Sharma (today)
Sandipan Samajpati (9/28)
Shubhendra Rao (10/19)
Rakesh & Friends (Gino Banks, the drummer, tweeted me that they'll be in Oct, so whenever they come here, if they come here.)
Zakir Hussain & company (3/23/14)

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povster
Site Admin
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Location: San Francisco

Re: Seeking suggestions for sitar teacher in Kolkata, Maihar

Post by povster » Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:48 am

cwroyds wrote:Purbayan Chatterjee is a wonderful sitarist.
You are very lucky to get lessons from him.
His father is an amazing teacher too.
I have taken lessons from him when he comes through Los Angeles.
If you get the chance to sit in on his lessons, or take a couple of lessons from the father, you should.
Good luck.

P.S. It is also lucky that you have a respected sitarist talking to P & Brothers about your sitar. You are much more likely to get a really good one.

Yes. His father is Partha Chatterjee. A wonderful sitarist/musician. I have had the pleasure of meeting him many times and he is a very nice fellow.
...Michael
Dasani - the official bottled water of ICM
Panini - the official bread of ICM

Charles
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:26 pm

Re: Seeking suggestions for sitar teacher in Kolkata, Maihar

Post by Charles » Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:53 pm

Greetings!

Attached are some pictures of the new sitar:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/98737340@N ... 594830288/

There are also some pictures from visiting the shop as it was being made.

trippy monkey
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Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2006 7:36 am
Location: Lancs UK

Re: Seeking suggestions for sitar teacher in Kolkata, Maihar

Post by trippy monkey » Thu Jul 11, 2013 4:22 pm

Very beautiful indeed, well done. Just need a sound byte now, please??

Nick

ahirbhairav
Posts: 178
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:04 am

Re: Seeking suggestions for sitar teacher in Kolkata, Maihar

Post by ahirbhairav » Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:24 pm

It's a beauty!!!!!!!

trippy monkey wrote:Very beautiful indeed, well done. Just need a sound byte now, please??

Nick
Already had asked him that one.

I am begging you, Charles, PLEASE, a short clip. Raag Ahir-Bhairav, if possible. :D
Next concert: Aditya Sharma (today)
Sandipan Samajpati (9/28)
Shubhendra Rao (10/19)
Rakesh & Friends (Gino Banks, the drummer, tweeted me that they'll be in Oct, so whenever they come here, if they come here.)
Zakir Hussain & company (3/23/14)

Charles
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:26 pm

Re: Seeking suggestions for sitar teacher in Kolkata, Maihar

Post by Charles » Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:37 am

Greetings!

I understand and appreciate the desire for a sound clip -- after all, making sounds is the entire point of the sitar! I will definitely post one a.s.a.p. At the moment I'm struggling with doing Sa Ri Ga Ma ... with childlike awkwardness and buzzing and missed notes, and realizing that my pain threshold with my index finger is embarrassingly close to zero. Play through the pain, I know.

I'm pretty sure my first post won't be Raag Ahir-Bhairav in its fullness -- that would probably have to be at a minimum, second :-)

Thank you for the encouragement!

ahirbhairav
Posts: 178
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:04 am

Re: Seeking suggestions for sitar teacher in Kolkata, Maihar

Post by ahirbhairav » Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:03 pm

Charles wrote:Greetings!

I understand and appreciate the desire for a sound clip -- after all, making sounds is the entire point of the sitar! I will definitely post one a.s.a.p. At the moment I'm struggling with doing Sa Ri Ga Ma ... with childlike awkwardness and buzzing and missed notes, and realizing that my pain threshold with my index finger is embarrassingly close to zero. Play through the pain, I know.

I'm pretty sure my first post won't be Raag Ahir-Bhairav in its fullness -- that would probably have to be at a minimum, second :-)

Thank you for the encouragement!
It's fine, it was just a joke. But I hope to see Pandit Charles *insert your last name here* someday!
Next concert: Aditya Sharma (today)
Sandipan Samajpati (9/28)
Shubhendra Rao (10/19)
Rakesh & Friends (Gino Banks, the drummer, tweeted me that they'll be in Oct, so whenever they come here, if they come here.)
Zakir Hussain & company (3/23/14)

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