Tarun Bhattacharya

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Tarun Bhattacharya
Tarun Bhattacharya - Kolkata 2015-01-02 2129.JPG
Pt. Tarun Bhattacharya
Background information
Genres Indian classical music
Instruments santoor

Pandit Tarun Bhattacharya (born 23 December 1957) is an Indian classical musician who plays the santoor,[1] a type of hammered dulcimer. He has learnt from Ravi Shankar[2]

Early life[edit]

Bhattacharya was born on 23 December 1957 in Howrah (the twin city of Calcutta), India. A commerce graduate from one of the most reputed colleges of Calcutta, young Bhattacharya followed the call of his heart i.e. music after a few brief years of professional life. His early talim (music instructions) was from his father Rabi Bhattacharya, honed his skills under the strict vigil of Pt. Dulal Roy and finally the culmination of his learning curve was when the greatest musical icon of India to the world stage Bharat Ratna late Pt. Ravi Shankar accepted young Bhattacharya as his only disciple on Santoor of the Maihar Gharana.


Bhattacharya has been a pioneering and revolutionary musician who has changed the face of Indian classical music, he has been truly an unparalleled music ambassador of India. One of the most celebrated torch bearers of Indian classical music he has virtually traversed the globe many times over performing in some of most awe inspiring venues and cities as Royal Albert Hall, Palace-de-beaux (Brussels), Theater- De-La-Viile (France), Apollo Theatre (Spain), Jubilee Auditorium (Canada), Kremlin (Russia). The mesmerized list of admirers include Prince Charles, George Harrison, Paolo Solaris and many more of respected figures across the Globe.

The famous Maihar Gharana's only santoor maestro, Bhattacharya has revolutionized santoor, the instrument, as well as its style of play. He displayed for the first time ever (1980) that one could 'meend' or glide notes at the lower octave in a hammered instrument like santoor. He changed the art of playing santoor forever.

Bhattacharya is the inventor of "mankas" or fine tuners that help in the tuning of this 100-stringed instrument fast, with a long-lasting effect and a very high degree of accuracy. His innovative techniques of playing the santoor also facilitates in the playing of "Krintans, Ekharatans, Boltans" broadening the utility of the santoor in various traditional art forms. His improvisations on the shape and string arrangements have resulted in deeper and more classical sound for the santoor. Bhattacharya is recognized the world over for his wizardry in Ragdari, as well as, Layakari (mathematical calculations) and plays music that touches the inner soul.

His santoor thrills all his listener transcending countries, cultures, gender, religions and age. He is one of the few contemporary classical musicians who reach out to connoisseurs and the general public as he has been able to adapt to the changing times despite keeping to the classical genre of music.

Bhattacharya has released over 100 CDs and cassettes. He has been the recipient of numerous felicitations like pre Grammy nomination in 97, excellence in world music USA, and his CD "Kirwani" has been acclaimed as the top 10 in the world.

He has actively endorsed the End Polio Now campaign of Rotary International as its ambassador and he has been recognized by the Indian National Polio Plus Committee both at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi and Calcutta Press Club for his invaluable role in promoting the cause.

Awards and citations[edit]

1. Best Critic Award – Germany 2. Pre Grammy Nomination-1997 3. 'Excellence in World Music' from Music of the World - USA 4. Mahakal Samman – Madhya Pradesh., India 5. Surrender Paul Award - Kolkata, India 6. Bhakti Kala Khetra Award - Iskcon, India 7. Jadu Bhatt Award - Kolkata, India 8. Pt. Monmohan Bhatt Special Achievement Award - New Delhi, India 9. Vishnu Pad Alankaran Samman - Gaya, India 10. Vocational Excellence Award -Rotary International District 3291, India 11. Rotary Peace & Goodwill Ambassador- Rotary Club of Calcutta Metro City

His dreams[edit]

Bhattacharya is a visionary who prefers to call his instrument 'Shata Tantri Veena', the original Vedic name. He has set on a mission to realize his dream to revive the age-old Indian name of this very traditional classcal instrument, (reference of which has been found in the 'Vedas'), instead of the derived Persian name. Bhattacharya strongly believes that Indian Classical Music is like a therapeutic (positive) drug. The early introduction of this 'drug' in schools and colleges shall help in bringing forth and develop the sensibilities of a young adolescent mind, making him/her more humane and also help negate the bad influences. He doesn't believe in making musician out of every individual, but he strongly believes that through the power of music individuals can be made compassionate, peace-loving and of course musical. Bhattacharya is firm believer in the continuance of legacy and rich heritage of Indian classical music and in the Guru-Shishya parampara. To further this dream and belief he set up a unique institution Santoor Ashram a traditional 'Gurukul' in a village near to Calcutta. He dreams that one day, quite soon, Indian classical music will be introduced at the grass root level, in schools and colleges. Bhattacharya's humanitarian nature is manifested through his efforts of imparting music lessons to very talented yet financially underprivileged music students. The Ashram provides them free stay and hospitality instruments and of course music lessons thereby maintaining the purest form of Guru Shishya parampara. Santoor Ashram, situated amidst the peaceful tranquility and greenery of rural Bengal, has helped shape the careers of some of the recognized musicians of today. Despite financial constraints Bhattacharya continuously strives to develop and shape young, promising classical music careers



  1. ^ Martin, Janine (2006-01-14). "Never Missing a Beat". The Telegraph (Calcutta, India). 
  2. ^ Borah, Prabalika M. (2009-02-12). "Soul Stirring Music". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 

External links[edit]