Madhuri Chattopadhyay: I was born in Kolkata and grew up in a family of musicians. At our home there was a musical circle called ›Reyaj‹ (practicing music) where most of the acclaimed Indian musicians used to perform regularly. I acquired my first vocal lessons from my father Sri Subodh Kumar Chatterjee, a disciple of the destinguished North-Indian Kirana School of music. My mother is also a musician though she was an artist of the Drama Department of All India Radio for a fairly long time.
My musical career began with the renowned violin-maestro Pandit V.G.Jog who was not only my Guru but guided me in my musical development like a father. His demise in 2004 has left me a deep sense of a personal loss.
I studied at the Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata, where I completed my Master Degree in Musicology under the guidance of Professor Sisirkana Dhar Chowdhury. At this point my special gratitude goes to Pandit Swapan Chowdhuri who initiated me into the rhythmical side of Indian music.
In 1976 I made my concert debut at the Meta-Music-Festival in Berlin. Here I met my future husband, Pankaj Chattopadhyay, who is a journalist living in Berlin. After my marriage in 1982 I returned to Berlin and since then I have been teaching Indian classical vocal and instrumental music in various cultural institutions, besides giving concerts in different European cities.
Since 2001 I am engaged in receiving new orientations from the revered Ustad Ali Akbar Khan in California and Basel.
My close contact with Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Vilayat Khan, Ustad Keramatulla Khan, Ustad Alla Rakha Khan, Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty and Begum Parvin Sultana has enriched my musical career in a most inspiring way.
At present I am deeply involved in broadening my musical spectrum by performing with Jazz musicians in Berlin. These experimentations with fusion-music are of great interest to me.
The practice in the give and take between varied cultures and their musical heritages and thus enriching one‘s own musical versatility is based on my faith in Tagore’s famous humanitarian words - dibe ar nibe, milabe milibe (do give and take, mix and mingle).