Pandit Ritwik Sanyal

Pandit Ritwik Sanyal (born 1953) is an outstanding Dhrupad Singer, Guru, Professor, Composer and Writer. During the last 40 years, he has immensely and extensively contributed to the propagation and revival of Dhrupad in almost every part of India and in around 50 countries of all the continents across the globe. This includes his performances and workshops in around 600 prestigious and prominent concert platforms and various music organizations and institutions. From grass-root levels to apex professional platforms, his untiring work and achievements in music speaks of his quality and personality.
Early Life:His musical journey started at a very young age with his mother Mrs Ranu Sanyal, writer and vocalist followed by rigorous training of Dhrupad in Mumbai with Ustad Zia Mohiuddin Dagar and Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar (1963-1974). Academic studies of philosophy nurtured his mind and soul for conceptualizing and experiencing beauty from his illustrious father Prof. B. S. Sanyal of IIT Mumbai. The practice (prayog) of Dhrupad got confirmation in the theory of Music (Saṅgīta Śāstra) with his Ph.D. research under Prof. Premlata Sharma.
Pandit Ritwik Sanyal performing jugalbandi (Dhrupad Duet) with Ustad Zia Fariddudin Dagar
Major Performances:
International: Around 250 Concerts Internationally since 1975.
  • Promenade Concert - Royal Albert Hall London (BBC) 1983.
  • 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.
  • 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 100 other concerts in UK, USA, Germany, Austria, Australia, Switzerland, Sweden, France, Holland, Italy, S. Korea, Israel, Croatia, Brazil, Lithuania etc.
  • Asian Contemporary Music Festival 2002 Seoul, South Korea.
(Sponsored by ICCR, Govt. of India).
  • 7th Mediterranean Musical Dialogue, Jerusalem, Israel 2002.
  • Sangeet Utsav, Mauritius, 2005.
  • Music Composers Forum, Mittersill, Austria 2008.
  • North Carolina State University, North Carolina, U.S.A 2008.
  • Festival of Indian Music, Jerusalem, Israel, 2011.
  • Rovigo, Rome, Italy 2011.
  • Basel, Switzerland 2011.
  • Vicenza Conservatory, Milano, Verona, Assisi, Italy 2012.
  • University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 2013.
  • Encounter India, Queensland Conservatory, Brisbane, Australia 2013.
  • Concert & Workshop Mahatma Gandhi Institute, Moka, Mauritius
2013 & 2014.
  • Diwali Festival, Italian Induista Union, Turin & Sala Sinopoli, Rome, 2019.
  • Concert Tour in Tokyo, Kyoto, Saitama, Nagoya, Japan 2010, 2017, 2018, 2019.

In India: Around 600 concerts in leading concert platforms in India since 1975.
  • Gwalior (MP). Tansen Samaroh 1980, 85, 90, 95, 2000, 2003, 2018.
  • Dhrupad Mela-Varanasi every year since 1975 to 2020.
  • 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, Chennai, Bengaluru and many other cities.
  • Harballabh Sangeet Samaroh, Jalandhar (Punjab) 2003.
  • Several concerts for Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi since 2009 to 2019.
  • Dhrupad Mahotsav, Ramkrishna Mission Institute of Culture , Kolkata 2011, Sponsored by Sangeet Natak Akademi , New Delhi.
  • Many Spic Macay Concerts in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh etc.
  • Kesarbai Kerkar Music Festival Goa, 2019
The Hindu: An interview about Dhrupad Tradition with Ritwik Sanyal
Pandit Ritwik Sanyal receiving Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, 2013
Career:Pandit Ritwik Sanyal is a Retired Professor and has also served as Head of the Department of Vocal Music and Dean of Faculty of Performing Arts Banaras Hindu University. He has dedicated his life to the service of music and has a remarkable contribution in the field of music. He has a huge number of disciples across the globe, nurturing the art of Dhrupad, Khyal and Instrumental Music (Rudra Vina, Flute, Cello……). Around 50 prominent disciples already performing in their own right. He is a ‘Top’ Grade artist of All India Radio/ Doordarshan. He has appeared several times in National Programs of Music, Radio Sangeet Sammelan and also broadcasted with BBC London, Austrian Radio, Radio France and many International channels. He also has several cassettes and CDs to his credit both in India and abroad. Several music and short film producers have also documented his music. His important accolades include the prestigious Kendriya Sangeet Natak Akademi Award Delhi 2013, Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Natak Akademi Award 2002, Uttar Pradesh Ratna 2016, Dhruvapad Samman Jaipur 2007, Swati Tirunal Samman for outstanding contribution to Dhrupad by Dhrupad Mela Varanasi 1995 etc.. He is a distinguished member of several well-known bodies- ICCR, HRD Ministry, All India Radio, Resource person and member of selection committees of several universities.
Style:Pandit Ritwik Sanyal has assimilated the Dagar tradition of Dhrupad and evolved a distinctive style of his own advanced technique of Alap, Dhrupad, voice culture and pedagogy, both traditional and institutional. Apart from the judicious blend of the two Ustads, he cultivated the fineness of the Raga and Dagarvani and evolved an original style in performance that highlights several musical layers of variation evoking the profundity of Dhrupad. He has also created and infused new dimension to Dhrupad performances such as Sanskrit verses, modern poetry, inclusion of cello, flute, vichitra vina with voice, Dhrupad choir and fusion.
  • "Top" grade artist (Dhrupad) All India Radio, Varanasi.
  • Broadcasted for BBC London, Radio France, Austrian Radio,
Doordarshan Delhi/Bombay. 1979-2011.
  • Appeared at National Program of Music many times.
  • Various recordings for National Program of Music for Doordarshan.
  • Radio Sangeet Sammelan, Bhubaneshwar 2002, Allahabad 2007 and Almora 2012, Patiala 2018.

Major Accolades:
  • Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, New Delhi 2013.
  • Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Natak Akademy Award 2002.
  • Uttar Pradesh Ratna, 2016.
  • Honoured by Kashiraj Trust, Varanasi and Maharaja Travancore Swati Tirunal Award at the Dhrupad festival of Banaras for outstanding contribution to Dhrupad, 1995.
  • Honoured by Indian Social & Cultural Lover's Organization (ISCLO)-Varanasi/Calcutta 1990.
  • Siti Vaijayanti Samman Siti Mahotsav Varanasi, 2004.
  • Dhruvapada Samman, Jaipur, Rajasthan, 2007.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Dhrupad Mela, Varanasi 2010.
  • Vocational Excellence Award, Rotary Club, Varanasi 2013.

  • Hori Dhamar: Raga Chayanat, Makar Records, France(1998).
  • Ritwik Sanyal : Makar Records , France, Bilaskhani Todi (1995).
  • Dancing to the Flute, Australia.
  • Nada Records, South Korea (SEM Nada DE 0267)
  • Nomadism Italy: Ritwik Sanyal with Gianni Ricchizzi (Raga
  • Bihan music Kolkata: Raga Bagadhishwari and Raga Basant :
2008, Harisingari: 2014.
  • CD music Excertts in Kofomi, Mittersill, Austria 2013.
  • Part of the film on Allen Daneilou, Rome, Italy 2013.

Major Publications:
  • Philosophy of Music - Somaiya Publication -Mumbai 1987.
  • Dhrupad: Tradition and Performance in Indian Music -Ashgate, UK, 2004.
  • Dhrupad Panchashika- Indica Books- Varanasi, 2013
  • Around 50 published papers in leading and outstanding Journals
(Vishwabharati Journal, Dhrupad Annual, National Centre forPerforming Arts, Sangeet Research Academy, Sangeet NatakAkademi etc.
Pandit Ritwik Sanyal felicitated by Life Time Achievement Award from Hon’ble Governer, Uttar Pradesh Sri Ram Naik
Historic Snap : Pandit Ritwik Sanyal (centre right) with Ustad Zia Fariddudin Dagar(centre left) , Film Director Late. Mani Kaul (Background left in tanpura), Famous Sarangi Player Late Abdul Latif Khan (Extreme right) and on Pakhawaj Late. Pt. Laxmi Narayan Pawar (Extreme Left) in 1980.
Times of India: Review of Harballabh Sangeet Samaroh, Jalandhar, Punjab 2003.