Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty is poised today as nearly a cult figure among all hitherto legendary Indian Classical Vocalists. Although a doyen of Patiala-Kasur style representing Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Sahib’s gayaki, he can equally portray the key features of other major classical gharanas like Delhi, Jaipur, Gwalior, Agra, Kirana and even Carnatic music. This is perhaps besides his early gurus - his father Late Ajit Kumar Chakraborty, Pannalal Samanta, Kanaidas Baigari and later on the all time great Guru Jnan Prakash Ghosh, Ustad Munawar Ali Khan (son of Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan), he had learnt from different other maestros like Ustad Latafat Hussain Khan, Pt. Nibruttibua Sarnaik, Vidushi Hirabai Barodekar, Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna to name a few. Despite having such pure classical “talim” in Dhrupad-Khyal he is strangely adroit, rather a trend setter, in rendering genres of lighter veins like Thumri, Tappa, Geet, Bhajan, Keertan, Folk, Film/Non-Film numbers of different times in languages like Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Tamil, Telegu, Persian and even English which all together has given him a single distinguished entity as being an absolutely solitary example in the music scenario of our country.
With the highest results of being first-class-first both in B.A and M.A from Rabindra Bharati University of Kolkata he joined the ITC Sangeet Research Academy in 1977-78 as being its first ever scholar and rose to the positions of its only Gold Medallist Fellow, a member of the Expert Committee and a senior Guru now, serving as a prime mover in all its promotional courses ever since for the last 34 years.
Recipient of as many as 4 prestigious awards of highest order from the President of India - Padma Shri (2011), Sangeet Natak Akademi (Delhi, 1999-2000), Kumar Gandharva (National Award, 1993) and the Best Male Playback Singer (Bengali Film “Chhandaneer”1990), he has received felicitation from both the former and present Chief Ministers of his own State, West Bengal. But this time in April 2012 and May 2012, felicitation from the hands of Hon’ble Chief Minister, Smt Mamata Bandopadhyay, has added special glory with Maha Sangeet Samman and Bangavibhusan Sammanana being conferred on him which really deserves to go a long way in the memory lane of all his music lovers and connoisseurs.
The first Indian vocalist invited by Pakistan and China governments and also BBC in its Golden Jubilee Celebration of India’s Independence, Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty has performed in innumerable concerts and is still participating in all prestigious music conferences & festivals - home and abroad, in most respectable auditoria - Dover Lane, Rabindra Sadan, Kala Mandir, Science City in Kolkata; Sanmukhananda, Nehru Centre, NCPA in Mumbai; Kamani and Sirifort in Delhi; Carnegie and Kenedy Centre in USA, Royal Albert and Queen Elizabeth in England; Theatre De La Ville in France to name a few - mostly being honoured as the concluding artiste. Abroad, in New Orleans "Preservation Hall", USA, the birth place of Jazz Music , he performed with the Jazz musicians there and was awarded the Honorary Citizenship with the Golden Key.
Recorded albums have already crossed 100 till date, mostly published from India, USA, Canada, UK, Germany comprising pure classical numbers including live performances and various other genres - Thumri, Dadra, Bhajan & other devotional songs like Shyamasangeet and many Bengali numbers including songs of Tagore and Qazi Najrul Islam which got immense popularity. The first Bengali title “NANA RANGER GAAN” and subsequently some special albums are still loved as collectors’ items by millions of music lovers all over the world.
Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty didn’t stop here at this point, just for his own name and fame only. He thought of posterity and the future of this world treasure - the priceless tradition of Indian Raga music. He firmly believes, that without a number of good successors, this kind of traditonal element of an art form cannot be sustained & flourished. These inner musings were enkindled by the great ideals and inspiration from none other than his great Mentor and Guru Jnan Prakash Ghosh, a visionary and a multi-faceted musical genius of our country. To disseminate the seeds of this perennial property and then perpetuate it through successive generations, he thought of Shrutinandan - A Music Kingdom. By the late 90s he started to nurture only the most young & budding talents here, which has developed into a 1000 plus strong body over almost a period of a decade and half. Still today, the whole activity of Shrutinandan, particularly the development of each student is closely monitored by himself & a group of 35 teachers, personally trained by him. His research for over 3 decades tasted success when his daughter and disciple Kaushiki was accepted globally as the torch-bearer of Shrutinandan Concept and also as an accomplished and renowned female vocalist of our generation. Along with her, Shrutinandan has produced a dozen other A-Grade Vocalists and Instrumentalists of international acclaim in this period of time. This apart, a number of young students of Shrutinandan are also showing excellence and performing regularly. Some most effective talents of them have been picked up and recommended to ITC Sangeet Research Academy by Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty himself. They all are now higher grade performing musician scholars and tutors of ITC Sangeet Research Academy - only waiting their turn of time to come to limelight.
World renowned personalities like the legendary Pandit Ravi Shankar, Sarod Maestro Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and famous Sarodiya Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Tabla wizard Ustad Zakir Hussain and Pandit Kishen Maharaj, Santoor Samrat Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, all-time great vocalist Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna, genius music directors and composers like Rahul Dev Burman, Janab Naushad Ali and Mr. Illayaraja, great singers likethe Nightingale of India Lata Mangeshkar and Shri Manna Dey, , one of the greatest filmmakers of all time and Bharat Ratna Shri Satyajit Ray, Nobel Laureate Prof. Roald Hoffman, have all eulogised that Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty is an unprecedented phenomenon in the scenario of Indian music as a performer, visionary, guru and creator of Shrutinandan - the only music institution of its kind.