Biography of Nikhil Banerjee:

Nikhil Banerjee was a renowned Indian classical sitar player, known for his mastery of the instrument and his contributions to Hindustani classical music. He was born on October 14, 1931, in Calcutta (now Kolkata), India, and passed away on January 27, 1986.
Early Life and Training - Musical Career - Legacy - Awards and Recognition - Death of Nikhil Banerjee
Nikhil Banerjee

Early Life and Training:

Nikhil Banerjee was born into a musical family with roots in the Atrauli-Jaipur tradition of North Indian classical music. His father, Jitendranath Banerjee, was a noted classical singer. Nikhil Banerjee began learning the sitar at a young age from his uncle, the sitar maestro Pt. Aftabuddin Khan. Later, he became a disciple of the legendary sitar player Pt. Ravi Shankar.

Musical Career of Nikhil Banerjee:

Nikhil Banerjee’s early career was marked by his performances at prestigious music festivals and his association with All India Radio. He quickly gained recognition for his exceptional skill, deep understanding of raga intricacies, and soulful expression through the sitar.

Style and Technique:

Nikhil Banerjee was known for his unique style, combining elements of the Etawah and Maihar gharanas. His playing was characterized by a rich tone, intricate melodic patterns, and a profound sense of emotion. He was particularly acclaimed for his renditions of evening ragas.


In addition to his performances, Nikhil Banerjee was an influential teacher. He taught at the Ali Akbar College of Music in California and had students from around the world who sought to learn the intricacies of sitar playing from him.


Nikhil Banerjee’s contributions to Hindustani classical music, especially in popularizing the sitar, have left a lasting impact. His recordings, both solo and collaborative, continue to be revered by connoisseurs of Indian classical music.

Awards and Recognition:

Nikhil Banerjee received several awards and honors for his outstanding contributions to music, including the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and the Padma Bhushan, one of India’s highest civilian honors.

Death of Nikhil Banerjee:

Nikhil Banerjee passed away on January 27, 1986, at the age of 54. His untimely death was a great loss to the world of classical music.
Nikhil Banerjee is remembered not only for his technical brilliance on the sitar but also for his deep emotional expression and the spiritual quality he brought to his music. His recordings and contributions to the sitar tradition continue to inspire aspiring musicians and enthusiasts worldwide.