Padmabhushan Nikhil Banerjee (1931-1986) was undoubtedly one of the finest sitarists of his time. His music earned deep respect among India's classical music connoisseurs as well as gaining him a devoted international following. He was the disciple of the two greatest forces in 20th Century Indian classical instrumental music, Padmavibhushan Allauddin Khan and his son Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. Though he recorded a number of LPs, few were of live concerts, in which his leisurely, majestic raga development was unsurpassed. Mr. Banerjee disliked being recorded, feeling that the process distracted and somewhat compromised the inner meditative quality of his music, so high-fidelity live recordings are rare. Raga Records is releasing a series of concert recordings to help preserve Mr. Banerjee's legacy.
Legendary tabla player Kanai Dutta began to study as a child under Satish Das. Later he was a student of the noted Calcutta teacher Jnan Ghosh for over ten years. He first travelled to the West with Ravi Shankar in 1955. He recorded a number of LPs with Mr. Banerjee for EMI India.
Rag Hemant, an evening raga also associated with spring, was created by Allauddin Khan and was often played by Mr. Banerjee.