Girija Shankar Chakrabarty
Girija Shankar Chakrabarty was born at Behrampur, West Bengal on December 18, 1885. His father Bhavani Kishore was a lawyer from Mymensingh. Talented in music, acting and painting, he began his study in a music school founded by Radhika Prasad Goswami with financial assistance from the Nawab of Kasimbazar.
Girija Shankar found himself fascinated by the Bol-Banav-ki Thumri style in which the emotional contents of songs are effectively brought out through the beauty of the notes, voice modulations note combinations and a specially emotion-charged style of singing. Bhaiya Ganpatrao, Moujuddin, and Shyamlal Khatri were some of the innovators of this modern orientation to Thumri and Girija Shankar spent hours at Shamlal Khatri`s home, attending thumri soirees. He trained under several renowned musicians including Badal Khan, Chhamman Saheb, Inayet Khan, Muhammad Ali Khan, Muzaffar Khan and Pramathanath Banerji, but his mastery over thumri can be attributed to Shyamlal Khatri and Bhaiya Saheb Ganpat Rao. With time and dedicated practice, he became a great vocalist, with equal command over dhrupad, khayal and thumri.
He was a devoted music lover and a generous teacher, teaching anyone who wished to learn from him. Noted among his disciples were Anil Home, Arati Das, A. Kanan, Binod Kishore Ray Chowdhuri, Bishweshwar Bhattacharji, Brajendra Kishore Ray Chowdhuri, Dakshina Mohan Thakur, Geeta Das, Ibha Guha (Datta), Ila Mitra (Dey), Jnan Prakash Ghosh, Jnanendra Prasad Goswami, Joykrishna Sanyal, Devaprasad Bhattacharji, Pannalal Ghosh (Flute), Rani Ray, Rathindranath Chatterji, Sudhirlal Chakravorty, Sukhendu Goswami, Tarapada Chakravorty, Sunil Bose and Jamini Ganguly.
Girija Shankar Chakrabarty passed away on April 25, 1948 in Behrampur.