Kaushiki Chakrabarty

Decades: 1990s 2000s


1980, Calcutta, India. The daughter of leading musicians Pandit Ajoy and Chandna Chakrabarty, Kaushiki was raised at the Sangeet Research Academy, which is where her father taught. She sang from the age of two, with her mother her first teacher, and also toured nationally and internationally with her father, sometimes singing at his concerts. From age 10 she studied with Gnan Prakash Ghosh, before beginning a period of study with her father at his Shrutinandan music school.

Like her father, Chakrabarty performs one of the two major divisions of Indian classical music. This is north Indian, which is also known as Hindustani music. (The other is the Carnatic music of south India.) Ancient Hindu music, known as dhrupad dhamar, was exclusively religious, plain to the point of austerity and performed to strict rules including firm adherence to 7/8 time. Towards the end of the fifteenth century, the region’s new Mongol rulers brought with them...

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