Moumita Mitra - Among the Finest of Contemporary Young Indian Classical Hindustani Vocal Singers
Daughter of Sri Jytoi Prosad Mitra and Susmita Mitra, Moumita was born in Dec. 1980 at Kolkata. Her father, apart from being in Bank service, is a musician, a Spanish guitar player. Initially, Moumita used to learn Kathak dance when she was a 5 yr old kid. But gradually, under the influence of the musical environment in her house, she started developing taste for music, especially vocal music. She is a natural singer and sang in tune whatever melodies she heard. This continued for years and eventually her album on Bengali Modern songs got recorded in 1997 and her debut Bengali songs album was released from HMV (now Saregama) in 1999.
It was at a much later age that her formal training in Indian Hindustani Classical Vocal Music started. In the year 1998 she started learning Classical Vocal Music from the doyen of Kirana Gharana Lt. Pt. A.Kannan. Judging and recognizing her potential and talent as a singer, she was chosen by Lt.Pt.A.Kannan’s student Sri Anjan Majumdar under whom she is still receiving guidance and training. It was Mr. Majumdar’s foresight that Moumita would prosper the most in Indian Classical Music. He recognized that Moumita has an outstanding natural voice which would get even better and beautiful with proper training and riyaaz. He also recognized that Moumita’s listening and imitating ability was also naturally very good and that she was intelligent. He stressed more on her aesthetic development with regard to Indian Classical Music and taught her the nuances of Classical Music. Hence it was him who inspired and helped Moumita in becoming a mature musician of the present stature.
Moumita’s initial aim was to do her masters in Computer Science and then become an IT professional, because academically she has always been a good student. She completed her graduation with Computer Science (Hons.) from Calcutta University with a first class. Knowing her potential, her Guru, Sri Anjan Majumdar suggested her to take up Music as her profession rather than do her masters and become an IT professional. She underwent rigorous training under him for years. All over her learning years and her musical career she has quite a number of achievements which include winning the Dover Lane Music Competition in Khayal and Thumree, winning the title “Adwitiya” conferred by Shalimar & Anandabazar, receiving National Scholarship from the Dept. of Culture of the Govt. of India, having received the opportunity to publish two audio CDs of Classical Vocal Music, and many other prestigious achievements. Moumita is also academically qualified in the field of Music. She has done her masters in Classical Vocal Music from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata.
Apart from mother and father, Moumita has her sister and brother in law who are residing in France presently to pursue their research work. Her sister is also a keyboard/synthesizer player.
A very supporting family and music teacher (Guru) have always helped Moumita to pursue her career in Music. She has and has been performing in many prestigious concerts in and outside India. No doubt she has got rave reviews on her performances. She has had the honour to be the first female vocalist from India, after 1960, to be invited to perform at Lahore in a concert organized by The All Pakistan Music Conference & Rauf Ansari Foundation.
When asked what message she has for young generation artists, "I am myself an artist of the younger generation, hence I am none to advice, but I wish to convey that strong will and wish for self-development is the key to success," says Moumita. "With quality singing and performance I wanted to or still want to prove wrong the present notion – that, it is only the marketing ability that can make a musician successful. Proper knowledge and Good Music can never be replaced by any substitute.”
Below are few comments by eminent personalities on Moumita and few press reviews :
“I will be surprised if this girl doesn’t make a name for herself in future.”……by Guruji, Lt. Pt. A.Kannan about his disciple Moumita Mitra.
“The girl(Moumita Mitra) who sang on stage just now, if she gets the right opportunity, she will sing all over the country sooner or later. She has a flawless voice.”……..quoted by Pt. Jasraj on stage at the inaugural ceremony of 50th year of Doverlane Music Conference. 22nd Jan., 2002.
“You have excellent taleem, and are obviously a very hard working young lady. You are a first rate musician, who also uses her brains…..I have heard several Calcutta vocalists of your generation in the last three years…….in my opinion, your foundation of Khayal is the strongest I have found so far.” ……..by Mr. Deepak Raja, musicologist for the Ustad Enayet Khan Music Foundation, Secretary and Member of The Music Forum, an organization devoted to preservation and promotion of cultural traditions and senior Music Critic.
“The Golden Jubilee of Doverlane Music Conference initiated with Vande Mataram. A musical inauguration. A memorable moment was gifted by an upcoming artist Moumita Mitra.”…………….Anandabazar Patrika, India 16th Feb., 2002
“Sur Sangeet Ka ethraam yeh hi hai key usay puray khazoo o khushoo kai saath sun na chah hi yeh. Magar is baar kalkatta say aaiye huwee Momita Mitra nay to yeh ehtraam khud hee kara liya. Is chooti si dubli patli larkee nay aisay rachaao say gaiya keh agar main yeh kahoon tow mughalaba na ho ga keh sunnanay waley saans laiyenaa bhool gaiya. Kiya meethi aur sureekey awaaz hai; kiya pukhtagi hai aur kitni quadrat kai fun ki baraakieyon par. Yaqeen nahi aata keh is umar main is nay yeh maqaam hasil kar liya hai…. Agar usay Hindoostan main kai inaam milay hain tau bilkul sahee milay hain. Momita nay Raag Bageshri say shoroo kiya aur Bhairveen par Khataam Kiya. Beech main Dadra bhi gaaya. Mehfdil khatam howiey to kisey ka wahan say uthnaa ko ji nahi chaah raha thaa wahaan say. Yeh hi Moumita ka kamaal thaa.”….
JANG, Pakistan, 24th March, 2008.
“ ….By now Moumita was getting into her stride after the finale, the thunderous applaud verified that the several colors of the raga (bhopali) had been painted very well by the youthful troupe.
A piece in raga Naiki kanada followed, opening sadly and with a magnificent slurring display of notes up and down its scale. Soon came, a thaan in slow and measured notes, changing abruptly to a fast and swinging rendition and ending with the raaga’s signature tune, while the harmonium echoed the singer from time to time. The excellent and clear repetition of bols throughout, regardless of the tempo, was greatly appreciated by the gathering.
After a short break, we were treated to Moumita’s interpretation of thumri, with the added dimension that the classical singer inevitably gives….”…. THE DAWN, Pakistan, 8th April, 2008.
“Doverlane Music Conference celebrated its Golden Jubilee with oft heard artists. Rather inaugural Vande Mataram by Km.Moumita Mitra with a mellifluous voice, who also stood first in Khayal in this year’s Young Musical Talent Search Contest organized by the organization, added to the prestige of the organization on its Golden Jubilee. Doverlane audience probably hasn’t heard Vande Mataram of this height and richness before. ”………..Sambad Pratidin, Kolkata, 22nd Feb., 2002.
“The festival opened with a vocal performance by Moumita Mitra, a young singer from Kolkata. She sang a Khayal in evening Raga puriya Dhanashree that enthralled the audience. Her expressive and melodious voice and her capacity to create a perfect mood of the raga impressed the audience. It was followed by a Durga composition and she concluded her performance with a Dadra in Mishra Mand…. Speaking to Thane Plus, Moumita said “For the last eight years, I have been making effort to learn classical music under guidance of Guru Pt. Anjan Mazumdar”…. Times of India, Mumbai, 2007.
“Moumita Mitra chose Ragesri. From the very beginning, the temperament and character of the raga became prominent. Good control over “taankaari”. The Mand Thumri sang by her was also remarkable.” …. Review of Youth Conference ( by Subhas Sanskriti Parishad), Bartaman, Kolkata, 18th Oct., 2003.
“……..while pocket sized Moumita Mitra took away the top honours in the Indian Classical vocals section with her powerful voice.”……..review of “Adwitiya” Award. The Telegraph, India, 9th Aug., 2004.
“ ……. Moumita Mitra’s Khayal and Thumri presentations reflected her deep devotion and command in Music.”…….review of Aanandi’s programme. Aajkal, Kolkata, 9th Sept., 2006.
“As a young upcoming artist Moumita Mitra presented the songs with command and vivacity. With her trained voice, she has expressed the lyrical emotions with enchanting beauty and grace.”…….review of HMV music album, Ganasakti, Kolkata, 19th Oct., 1999.
“At last, some genuine melody, thanks to the courageous effort in today’s “Bengali modern songs” market by Subrata Bhattacharya. The ar tist who carries his melodies on her young shoulders is Moumita Mitra blessed with a good timbre.”…….review of HMV music album. The Telegraph, India, 10th Dec., 1999.
“……Moumita Mitra’s presentation of Khayal and Thumri was perfect with her excellent tonal quality…..” …. Review of Aanandi’s programme, Bartaman, Kolkata, 15th Dec. 2006.
“….next programme of the evening was of an upcoming artist Moumita Mitra. Her confident yet melodious voice was a pleasant surprise. Her thoughtful, intelligent and mature approach in demonstration moved the audience. Being accompanied by Pritam Polley on the tabla and Pradip Palit on the harmonium, Moumita presented khayal in raag Puriya Dhyanashree followed by thumri in raag Sohini. Expectations will be high in future from Moumita….” …. Review of Madhyami’s programme, Jansatta, India, 23rd Aug., 2007.
“Young Moumita Mitra’s khayal and thumri renditions during Madhyami’s Guru Purnima celebrations and at the revered stage of Satyananda Devayatan during Sreethakur’s birth anniversary in March this year were very reassuring. This is probably because she was initially trained by none else but Pandit A. Kanan and later continued with his disciple Anjan Mazumdar.
Her delicate, mellifluous voice is like the caress of cool breeze. She uses it to the optimum while improvising in true Indore style, revealing an impressive melodic thought process. The cascading taans with well-modulated grains of varied weight and glide during slow and faster tempo flow with such disarming ease that the intrinsic charm of the voice does not change even a bit. No wonder she got rave reviews wherever she performed. A successful trip to Pakistan last year has encouraged her immensely.” … The Hindu, 29th May, 2009.