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


India: Around 600 concerts on leading platforms since 1975.

Major Performances: International: Around 250 Concerts since 1975.

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: 

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

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. 


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