Adhiraj wants to tread on the path shown by grandfather Pt Debu Chaudhuri

 Adhiraj wants to tread on the path shown by grandfather Pt Debu Chaudhuri

Tem L&M

Adhiraj Chaudhuri, 14, started learning Sitar at 6. Well, this is not surprising at all, for, he is the son of internationally-acclaimed Sitar Maestro Pandit Prateek Choudhuri and the grandson of Padma Bhushan Pandit Debu Chaudhuri.

The young achiever has been carrying on the Jaipur Seniya Gharana tradition of playing the Sitar with 17 frets – all other gharanas play sitar with 19, 20 or sometimes even with 21 frets. The tradition of playing Sitar with 17 frets started from Maseet Sen who belonged to the family of the Doyen of Indian Classical Music Mian Tansen. Significantly, Adhiraj happens to be the 10th generation Sitar player from Maseet Sen.

“Right from the time when I was small, the melodious sound of sitar abound at home. Since both my father and grandfather used to hold teaching classes through the day, and their students practiced at home. Soon I started loving the music emanating from Sitar, and I began fiddling with my grandfather’s Sitar,” says Adhiraj, a class 10 student of The Mother’s International School, New Delhi.

Fiddling with the Sitar, Adhiraj often made it go out of tune, much to the chagrin of the grandfather, who, of course, never scolded the little boy. But to solve this problem, he got Adhiraj a new Sitar! “I was about four when I got my first Sitar – it was smaller in size than the regular Sitar, and I enjoyed playing with it,” he says, adding that he started learning the Sitar seriously from his grandfather when he turned six. “Later, my father taught me,” he says. “At present I am learning under Vidisha Smt Anupam Mahajan, Shri Neel Ranjan Mukherjee and from the Maestro Pandit Niladri Kumar,” he adds.

Adhiraj gave his first performance in 2106 at the Swar Samarpan event, and since then has given scores of performances, including the one at Sangeet Sankalp Saptah Festival in 2019, Shilp Utsav Noida and the 3rd Strings and Steps Youth Festival in 2019, Jashn-e-Adab Cultural Kaarvan Virasat in 2022, and at Bharat Parv at Red Fort, New Delhi early this year, among others. This May 30, he will be performing for UMAK Festival at New Delhi.

Despite his Class 10, Adhiraj makes it a point to devote enough time to his passion. “I do riyaaz daily, at least for two hours. I want to be a professional Sitarist and perform all over the world just like my father and grandfather,” he says. Other than playing Sitar, he loves watching cricket, and even indulge in the game “with my friends when I get time”.

Agnipath Kala Shree Samman in 2019 by AGNIPATH
Bal Pratibha Award in 2020 by the Tarana Art and Music
Swarveni Kumar Kaushalam Award by Swarveni Music Academy
Pandit Jotin Bhattacharya Smriti Samman-2022 by Baba Allauddin Khan Music Foundation, Delhi in 2022

Edited by Upasana Kaura 



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