Dr. Sudipta Chattopadhyay, a current resident of Cleveland, Ohio, is a doctorate in Chemical Engineering and a scientist by profession, on top of all these she is a passionate aficionado of Indian Music. Sudipta is a professional, versatile singer, actress, reciter, creative writer, anchor, and music teacher. Her passion for music has taken her all over the world as an invited singer-performer-anchor.
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Dr Sudipta Chattopadhyay took talim of Indian Classical music, Rabindrasangeet and Najrulgeeti from several gurus including Pta. Tripti Mukherjee, Mrs. Swastika Mukhopadhyay, Sumitra Sen, Mrs. Bani Ghosh of Dakshini, Mr. Prabhas Ghosh, Sukumar Mitra and Pt. Ajoy Chakraboarty at various stages of her life, since when she was four.
She has performed Indian Music in different forms several times in India, Germany, and in USA.
Dr Sudipta Chattopadhyay performing in her home city of Cleveland, Ohio
Dr Sudipta Chattopadhyay at Durga Puja, Koln, Germany
Dr Sudipta Chattopadhyay at India Festival, Essen, Germany
Performance in India includes stages and television. In USA, she shared her voice to amaze the audience of Rabindramela 2003, NABC, 2004, 2005, Bangomela 2008, to name a few. Sudipta sang several Rabindrasangeet in Gitabitan Live-II as NRI artist under Dakhshini’s guidance. Those songs were well acclaimed by the listeners. To summarize her so far musical journey, it needs to be mentioned that she performed a wide variety of songs ranging from semiclassical, bhajan, rabindrasangeet, najrulgeeti, Bengali folk, and adhunik bangle songs.
She also has performed in several dramas, audio-dramas of Rabindranath Tagore and other modern Indian authors in India and USA. In recent past, she as a member for Shukti Antorjatik Shilpi Gosthi, performed in Kankal, the audio-drama presented by Washington bangle radio.
Sudipta’s creative genres have been published in various magazines including Padakhyep (Sharodiya, Pittsburgh, 2005), Joyaar (North American Bengali Conference, Detroit, 2007), Samahar (Bangomela, Columbus, 2008), Stabak (Sharodiya for Antorik, Dallas, 2008), Sharad-Arghya (Bengali Cultural Society, Cleveland, 2008,2009), www.boipara.com, www.parabaas.com, www.kaurab.com, to name a few.
There are a few previews of video and audio clips of her performance featuring her as a vocalist, anchor, reciter that you can watch online using the player at the top.
Singing and recitation in Bengali and Hindi languages are Sudipta’s life’s fervor in true sense.
Washington Bangla Radio recently spoke with Dr. Sudipta Chattopadhyay.
Washington Bangla Radio: Tell us about your childood. Where did you gorw up ?
I was born in late 70’s in a place called Asansol, a metropolitan in dist. Burdwan. My grandfather (maternal) had a humongous abode in that town near Raha Lane. My mom gave my birth at around 3 o’clock in the early morning on February 4. Next morning, I happened to be sleeping most of the time. Around noon, my mom found out that I was almost frozen, but nurses couldn’t figure out the reason of the quick fall-off of my body temperature. In the evening, when doctor came in, it was found that the nurse on duty fed me two sleeping pills instead of giving it to my mother. However, that good start of my life encouraged me to sleep as much as possible.
Washington Bangla Radio: Your parents and early artistic influences ?
My childhood mostly was spent with my paternal grandmother, my parents, my uncle-aunt, and my cousins, who were more than 20 years older than me. My father, Mr. Swadhin Kr. Chatterji was a professor of Chemistry and spent his whole life teaching thousands of students before his retirement in 2008. I call him Papai with love. Only due to his strong principles, I got a very good foundation on humanity. He has been actively involved in reciting, acting and directing Bengali dramas, since his young age. My mother also was influenced by him and participated in acting with me. My beloved mother, Mrs. Laxmisree Chatterji, the homemaker, was my first guru to make me acquainted with the seven notes, SaReGaMaPaDaNi, of Indian music. Not having any siblings, I was the center of the attention of my family.
During celebrating Durgapujo at our paternal house, Suri (Birbhum), I used to sing bengali songs, when I was around 5 years old. My cousin Mr. Swaraj Chatterji was another inspirer behind my singing. I got an ever-lasting, sweet fragrance spending my childhood in a joint family.
Washington Bangla Radio: How did you get into music ?
When I was 3, my mother noticed that I could sing a song that I have heard to be played on the loudspeaker during any Bengali festival. She asked my father to make me involved in music, and started teaching me the basics of Indian music. She hailed from a cultural family, so music was threaded into her blood vessels. That’s how I got into the music and started my talim in Indian Classical Music.
Washington Bangla Radio: Who were your tutors ? What did they think of you ? Your advantages and drawbacks from your teacher's eyes ?
My early age local tutor was Mr. Prabhas Ghosh of Bishnupur Gharana. Simultaneously I started learning Rabindrasangeet from Mrs. Swastika Mukhopadhyay. As soon as I graduated from school, I was trained on Najrulgeeti and light classical music from Pt. Sukumar Mitra, Rabindrasangeet from Mrs. Sumitra Sen and Mrs. Bani Ghosh of Dakshini. During my 8 years stay in USA, I took lessons from Pta. Tripti Mukherjee of Pt. Jasraj School of Music, and have been very fortunate to receive a novel training on classical music by Pt. Ajoy Chakrabarty. This long story talks about my wide range of musical talims, which nurtured my inner sense to connect with the environment.
My early-age tutor Mr. Prabhas Ghosh was the first one to identify me as a child performer, who found immense musical potential in me. I have been always told that I have a god-gifted melodious voice, which I could make good use of. Music is a journey and I am a learner in this field, so always try to improve myself.
Washington Bangla Radio: Who foresaw that you would be as successful as you are today ?
My parents first and then my successive gurus time to time.
Washington Bangla Radio: Your current family ...
My current family evolves around me and my beloved husband Subhendu Goswami. He is a portfolio manager by profession, and is extremely passionate about the Indian music of any kind. His colossal encouragement helps me to keep my passion for music alive.
Washington Bangla Radio: About your songs - what goes on in your mind when you sing or write songs, what messages do you want to convey through your music that you try to express through songs ?
I love to sing, and whenever I sing I feel like painting the song in the air with the tune. After my gurujee showed me the way I started believing in connecting singing with touching the feet of the almighty. My mind floats in the air and I feel very spiritual then.
With time, antagonism, and power are taking over the mankind, which requires to be stopped by any means to make a peaceful world. I imagine of an ideal world which will be avid of joy and peace, and that is possible to achieve only through music.
Washington Bangla Radio: Advice for younger and upcoming singers ?
Learn properly, practise and then sing. Regular practicing is indispensable to become a true performer, irrespective of the cultural wing that the person wants to be involved in.