Dr. Sanyal was Professor and Head of the Department of Vocal Music at Banaras Hindu University. He was also the Dean of the Faculty of Performing Arts at BHU from 2008 to 2011. He has taught thousands of students during his career of 37 years in musical education. He has guided 27 scholars to PhD. More than 3000 university students benefited from his acknowledged brilliance as a music Guru. Around 100 students have learned under him in the guru shishya parampara. At least 30 students trained by him are notable performers today. He has created new Ragas - Śruti Vardhanī (श्रुतिवर्धनी ), Dīp Raṅjanī (दीपरंजनी ), Bhīm Naṭ (भीम नट) Gopinī (गोपिनी ), Nāgeś Todī (नागेशतोड़ी )

These are prominent among today's musicians and performers. He has also composed many Khayal songs, enriching the repertoire. He has revived lyrics of Baiju, Tansen, Bakshu and from the temple tradition. He has written new song texts reflecting classical themes but also informed by his philosophical approach. His composes songs under his pen name plume - Śrutijñāna (श्रुतिज्ञान)

major accolades

  • Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, New Delhi 2013

  • Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Natak Academy award,2002

  • Uttar Pradesh Ratna,2016

  • Honoured by Kashiraj Trust, Varanasi and Maharaja Travancore Swati Tirunal Award at Dhrupad festival of Varanasi for outstanding contribution to Dhrupad,1995

  • Honoured by Indian social and cultural lover’s organisation (ISCLO). Varanasi/Calcutta 1990.

  • Siti Vaijayani Samman, Siti Mahotsav Varanasi 2004

  • Dhruvapada samman,Jaipur,Rajasthan 2007

  • Lifetime achievement Award, Dhrupad Mela,Varansi 2010

  • Vocational excellence Award, Rotary club Varanasi 2013

  • Sanskar Bharati Abhinandan Samman Gwalior2018.


India: Around 600 concerts on leading platforms since 1975.

  • Gwalior (MP). Tansen Samaroh 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2003, 2018.

  • Dhrupad Mela-Varanasi every year since 1975 - Present Year.

  • All leading Dhrupad Festivals in Vrindavan, Maharashtra, Madhaya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan 1979-1999.

  • Behram Khan Dhrupad Samaroh 1981, 1988, 1992, 2002,

  • Sangeet Research Academy Calcutta 1990, 1994, 2004 Mandu Utsav 1991.

  • Dhrupad Samaroh Bhopal 1981-1989.

  • Performances in Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, Hyderabad, Bhubaneshwar, Kanpur, Delhi, Ayodhya, Lucknow, Baroda, Goa, Allahabad, Aurangabad, Patna, Bhopal, Gwalior, Chennai, Bengaluru and many other cities.

  • Harballabh Sangeet Samaroh, Jalandhar (Punjab) 2003.

  • Performed concerts for Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi since 2009.

  • Dhrupad Mahotsav, Ramkrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Kolkata 2011, Sponsored by Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi.

  • SPIC MACAY concerts in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, etc.

  • Kesarbai Kerkar Music Festival Goa, 2019

Major Performances: International: Around 250 Concerts since 1975.

  • Promenade Concert - Royal Albert Hall London (BBC) 1983.

  • Indian Voices-Performance and Workshop University of London and Asian Music Circuit London, 1998 and 1999.

  • Represented Asia and India at the Ravenna Festival Italy 1997.

  • Durham Oriental Music Festival 1982.

  • UK University Circuit for Indian Classical Music 18 concerts 1987.

  • World of Music and Dance-Bath UK. 1982.

  • Summer School for Oriental and African Music University of Cambridge 1983.

  • Total 11 Summer Concerts Austria, Germany and Switzerland 1979.

  • Around 100 other concerts in UK, USA, Germany, Austria, Australia, Switzerland, Sweden, France, Holland, Italy, S. Korea, Israel, Croatia, Brazil, Lithuania,Japan,Mauritius etc.

  • Asian Contemporary Music Festival 2002 Seoul, South Korea. (Sponsored by ICCR, Govt, of India).

  • 7th Mediterranean Musical Dialogue, Jerusalem, Israel 2002.

  • Sangeet Utsav, Mauritius, 2005.

  • Music Composers Forum, Mittersill, Austria 2008.

  • North Carolina State University, North Carolina, U.S.A 2008.

  • Festival of Indian Music, Jerusalem, Israel, 2011.

  • Rovigo, Rome, Italy 2011.

  • Basel, Switzerland 2011.

  • Vicenza Conservatory, Milano, Verona, Assisi, Italy 2012.

  • University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 2013.

  • Encounter India, Queensland Conservatory, Brisbane, Australia 2013.

  • Concert and Workshop Mahatma Gandhi Institute, Moka, Mauritius 2013 & 2014.

  • Diwali Festival, Unione Induista Italiana, Turin & Sala Sinopoli, Rome, 2019.

  • Concert Tour in Tokyo, Kyoto, Saitama, Nagoya, Japan 2010, 2017, 2018, 2019

In1983, the memorable concert performed together with Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar at Royal Albert Hall was a great success. It was showcased by BBC Radio, introducing Dhrupad to the entire world and its characteristic of deep research into sound. The very next morning of the concert London Times publishes: “.....the range of tonal and colour in his voice is astounding from glottal outbursts to lyrical lines of exquisite beauty, from a barely audible whisper to a booming resonance. Moreover we are witness to the exhaustive study which these singers have to undergo in the spontaneity of his resonance, matched by his expressive hand gestures and echoed by his supporting singer Ritwik Sanyal"....Times, London , 5-9-83

Even today, that recording reveals the vitality of Indian Classical Music - It is a shining example of the relevance of the Guru-Śiṣya Paramparā where great music develops in a judicious blend of tradition and invention.


Pandit Ritwik Sanyal is not only a Dhrupad practitioner and vocalist, in his academic career he has also vigorously applied himself to musical and Dhrupad research and philosophy. His work weds musical theory with his own long and intense practice.

Dr. Ritwik Sanyal’s research is firmly grounded in:

  • profound shastric tradition

  • concern for Indian classical music praxis

  • his extensive, expert analysis of western aesthetic theory.

His analysis of comparative western aesthetic theories has resulted in an attractive synthesis that will never limit his audience to Indians alone. His musical wisdom generously welcomes audiences from all cultures. Music is exceedingly difficult to define as a product. Dr. Sanyal wisely bases his definition of ‘music’ through the human interactions between participants in the process of musical communication. The value of the oral tradition is rediscovered, through the classical textual traditions.

Pt. Ritwik Sanyal with Chairman of Sangeet Natak Academy, Sri Shekhar Sen, Pt. Arvind Parikh, Pt. Ajoy Chakraborty and other luminaries

major publications

  • Philosophy of Music - Somaiya Publication - Mumbai 1987.

  • Dhrupad: Tradition and Performance in Indian Music - Ashgate, UK, 2004.

  • Dhrupad Panchashika - Indica Books - Varanasi, 2013

  • Around 50 published papers in leading and outstanding Journals (Vishwabharati Journal, Dhrupad Annual, National Centre for Performing Arts, Sangeet Research Academy, Sangeet Natak Akademi, etc)

Pandit Ritwik Sanyal dedicates his life to the service of the Dhrupad tradition . He has also made remarkable academic contributions to Indian Classical Music.

His vocal articulations in the Dhrupad tradition are sublime – these are some of the most subtle and refined expressions of the mystical experience. The whole world turns to India for such exquisite spiritual treasures.

UNESCO nominated Varanasi as a heritage ‘city of music’ and lauds Ritwikji as its main Dhrupad exponent.

He continues teaching worthy disciples in the Guru-Śiṣya Paramparā.

He composes, perform concerts, teaches and conducts workshops all over the world.

His musical intuition, holistic perspective, creative communication, and dynamism makes him an extraordinary music teacher.

Today, he remains devoted to Dhrupad, musicology and Indian musical philosophy both through performance and education.

This grand Dhrupad tradition has given him personally, and our nation, such depth of wisdom, cultural wealth, sublime experience and peace, over the ages.

In performance, teaching and engagements, one is drawn to his total mystical immersion in Dhrupad.


  • Hori Dhamar: Raga Chayanat, Makar Records, France (1998).

  • Ritwik Sanyal: Makar Records, France, Bilaskhani Todi (1995).

  • Dancing to the Flute, Australia.

  • Nada Records, South Korea (SEM Nada DE 0267)

  • Nomadism Italy: Ritwik Sanyal with Gianni Ricchizzi (Raga Shree)

  • Bihan music Kolkata: Raga Bagadhishwari and Raga Basant: 2008, Harisingari: 2014.

  • CD music Excerpts in Kofomi, Mittersill, Austria 2013.

  • Part of the film on Alain Danielou, Rome, Italy 2013.

  • CD titled BHINNA SADAJ published by Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, Delhi

More than 75 concert recordings available on Youtube. Some notable recordings are listed below

  • Promenade concert: Royal Albert Hall 1983

  • Durham Oriental Music Festival 1982

  • Pandit Ritwik Sanyal's Music is also available on Spotify and Apple music.