Kanika Bandyopadhyay (1924-2000)

Kanika Bandyopadhyay, gifted with an inimitable voice, a result of her culture, training and experience, earned a special place among lovers of Rabindra-Sangit. 

Kanika was brought up and educated in the atmosphere of Santiniketan asrama where her talents were nurtured. She was trained in both classical and Rabindranath Sangit in Sangit Bhavana. She had the good fortune of being trained by Rabindranath himself. Among her other teachers were Dinendranath Tagore, Indiradevi Chaudhurani, Sailajaranjan Majumdar and Santidev Ghosh. She participated in dance-dramas directed by Rabindranath and toured all over India as a member of his cultural troupe.

Kanika Bandyopadhyay joined Sangit Bhavana as a teacher and in due course became Head of the Department of Rabindra Sangit and later its Principal. She was made Professor Emeritus of Visva-Bharati. 

Since 1943, Kanika had been a regular artiste of the Calcutta station of All India Radio and gave performances at the national level in the musical programmes arranged by other stations as honoured artiste. Her gramophone records came out even in the lifetime of the Poet and there are over 300 gramophone discs to her credit. She was also an outstanding singer of Bhajans, Nazrulgiti and Atulprasad's songs. 

Kanika was invited to sing by Programme Organizers not only in India but also in Europe and America and was acclaimed everywhere for her unique rendering of the subtle nuances of emotions expressed in Rabindranath' s lyrical compositions. Her contribution in popularising Rabindra Sangit is noteworthy. She has written three books on this genre. Her life has been well-documented on film by noted film directors. She was associated with the Elmhirst Institute of Community Studies during the last years of her life. 

Visva-Bharati offered her its highest accolade, the Desikottama, in 1997.