Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty is poised nearly as a cult figure among all the legendary Indian Classical Vocalists of today. Although considered a scion and doyen of the Patiala-Kasur Gharana (style), primarily representing Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Sahib’s gayaki, he can equally portray even the most subtle features of other major classical gharanas of India like Indor, Delhi, Jaipur, Gwalior, Agra, Kirana, Rampur and even Carnatic music of South India. This is perhaps because of his wide exposure to various genres and their maestros and musicologists besides his own gurus. His father, late Shri Ajit Kumar Chakraborty, Shri Pannalal Samanta and Shri Kanaidas Baigari were the ones, with whom his initial orientation happened, before he was warmly accepted by the ultimate and the greatest Guru of all times, Padmabhushan Pandit Jnan Prakash Ghosh. His training was then continued under Ustad Munawar Ali Khan (son of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan).
Besides that, he had learnt from several other maestros like Ustad Latafat Hussain Khan, Pt. Nibruttibua Sarnaik, Vidushi Hirabai Barodekar and in Carnatic styles from Professor, Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna, that kept enriching his musical expression and repertoire. Despite having such pure classical “taleem” in the Dhrupad-Khyal genre, he is amazingly adroit and a trend setter, in rendering all the lighter forms like Thumri, Tappa, Geet, Bhajan, Keertan, Folk, Film/Non-Film and modern songs, in several different languages, like Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Tamil, Telegu, Persian and even in English, which all together, has given him the single distinguished recognition of being an absolutely one-of-a-kind musical personality, in the music scene of India today.
He graduated top of his class in music, both in B.A and M.A from the prestigious Rabindra Bharati University in Kolkata and joined the ITC Sangeet Research Academy in 1977. Being the academy’s very first outstanding scholar, he became their only gold medalist fellow, a member of their Experts’ Committee and a senior Guru where he still serves as a prime mover in all its promotional courses to date.
Recipient of as many as 4 prestigious national awards – by the President of India - Padma Shri (2011), Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (Delhi, 1999-2000), The Kumar Gandharva Samman (National Award, 1993) and the Best Male Playback Singer (Bengali Film “Chhandaneer”1990) - he has also received felicitations from both the former and present Chief Ministers of his own State, West Bengal.
In April and May of 2012 the Maha Sangeet Samman and the Bangavibhusan Samman, two of the State’s highest awards, were also conferred to him.
He is the first Indian classical vocalist to be invited by Pakistan and China and by BBC for their Golden Jubilee Celebration of India’s Independence.
Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty has performed in innumerable concerts and is perhaps the busiest classical vocalist of his generation today. He regularly, annually participates in all the major prestigious music conferences & festivals – all over India and abroad. He has performed in some of the most prestigious venues around the world like the Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, New Orleans Jazz Preservation Hall – in the US, including being the recipient of Golden Key to the city of New Orleans; The Royal Albert hall and Queen Elizabeth hall in the UK, Theatre de la Ville in France; Sammukhananda, Nehru Center, NCPA in Mumbai, Shirifort auditorium in New Delhi-India, to name a very few.
Pt. Ajoy Chakrabarty has more than 100 albums to his credit, published from India, US, UK, Holland and Germany that feature pure classical and light classical numbers including thumris, dadras, bhajans and other types of devotional songs. He also has numerous recordings of Syamasangeet, Rabindra Sangeet, Nazrulgeeti and Raagpradhan that are widely popular.