Ruchira Panda carries with her vocals, the heritage of the 1000­ year ­old Kotali Gharana , a style of Indian classical music  native to East India, especially Bengal, characterized by an open voice, high melodic content, fast  taans  and improvisations. The lineage of Pandit Manas Chakraborty and Sangeetacharya Tarapada Chakraborty continues with her, as we experience her artistry either onstage at the major music  festivals in India and abroad or at the teaching  podiums of Ali Akbar College of Music, San Rafael; Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, London; and Departments of World Music at various Universities in the USA. Ruchira’s cerebral approach to classical and semi-­classical music weaves a new tapestry at each performance, and, is much adored by the connoisseurs. Her repertoire: Khayal, Täp Khayal, Thumri, Tappa, Dadra, Kajri, Chaiti, Birha, Jhoola, Phaag, Hori, Bhajan, Bengali Thumri and Raag pradhaan.


Her  Training:

An environment of classical music in the family ensured her initial trainings in ce early childhood. Subsequently, she came under the tutelage of the Kotali Gharana torchbearer and stalwart, Pandit Manas Chakraborty . Twenty four long years of mentoring by her guru shaped her gayki (style), finesse and purity of rendition inimitable in the current generation of classical vocalists.

Her  philosophy:

“Never sacrifice your music for money or fame. It  is better to be the unknown servant of music than be a famed one whose music has been sullied by envy, greed or gimmicks”. Ali Akbar Khan

The  improvising  purist:

As  they  say,  it  takes  an  artist  to  create  an audience. Instead  of the  short­cuts  in  vogue, including  rehearsed  phrases, set  ­piece   taankari for instant public applause, and a general disregard for the raagdari , Ruchira devotes a lot of attention to ensure the purity of the Raga, often chosen on the stage itself, depending on the of time, season and mood, and creates music in the quintessential free improvisation style that is nuanced and aesthetically robust. Her creative talent manifests itself in the numerous classical Bandish compositions crafted on ­the ­fly while singing on stage, when the venue or the mood would demand a particularly innovative melodic approach to a Raga with matching lyrics to boot.

The  composer:

Ruchira is a composer of Vilambit, Madhyalaya and Drut Khayals, Thumris, Taranas, Nirgun Bhajans and experimental light classical items. Her live performances are sprinkled with compositions of her Guru, her own creations, and traditional compositions, in that order. She is currently recording a two ­CD set of her own avant-­garde light classical compositions to be released in 2016. She, like her Guru, is well known for having the gift of creating superlative classical compositions on ­the ­fly and while teaching her students, thus creating a treasure ­trove of new ­style lyrics and melodies for future generations.

The  Guru:

Ruchira has been teaching Indian Classical Vocal for many years. Very strict and tireless perfectionist that she is, she is a much sought­after teacher for anyone looking to learn the purest form of the art. Her senior students are already making their entrance in the Indian Classical circuit.

The  Social  Worker:

Ruchira, is the founder and general secretary of PARAMPARIK , a non­profit organization engaged in the fields of education and medical care of the poorer sections of society. So far more than four thousand students have been supported by the program, some of them are now very well settled in India and abroad.