Lahiri, Chinmoy

Lahiri, Chinmoy (1916-1984) classical musician, was born in pabna, but brought up in Lucknow, where his engineer father, Jibchandra Lahiri, was working. Chinmoy's musical education began in Lucknow under Robin Chattopadhyaya. Chinmoy later studied at Morris College of Music, Lucknow, where he took music lessons from Pandit Srikrishna Narayan Ratanjhankar, principal of the college. Subsequently, he studied under Dilip Bedi, Khurshid Ali Khan, and Chhotey Khan. Indian musical performers usually belong to some specific musical families. Chinmoy Lahiri, however, did not belong to any established musical family. It was through his own aptitude, enthusiasm, initiative and hard work that he acquired expertise in music.

Though Chinmoy practised music under many famous Indian musicians, he eventually became so famous that he created his own gharana. His songs are marked by a melody along classical lines. He impressed connoisseurs all over India with a performance of Nandakos raga composed by Sureshchandra Chakraborty. HMV released his first record in 1944.

Chinmoy Lahiri started his professional career as a part-time employee of Lucknow Radio. He joined Dhaka Radio, but ultimately moved permanently to Kolkata where he joined Calcutta Radio. He was an instructor at the Gramophone Company for some time. He then joined Rabindra Bharati University as professor, a position he held till his death.

His performance at the 'All-Bengal Music Conference' in 1952 made him popular overnight. Chinmoy also directed music and recorded songs for films. His duet with Pratima Bandyopadhyaya, 'Tribeni tirthapathe ke gahila gan', in Shapmochan, was very popular.

Chinmoy created many ragas, including Shyamkos, Yogamaya, Prabhati Todi, Rajanikalyan, Kushumi Kalyan, Gandharika, Nagravjani, Mabgalati, and Shrubhra. He was not only a singer of repute but also a renowned music teacher and was awarded the title of 'Sangitvisharad' by Morris College. He wrote two books on music. One of his books on musical notations, Magangit o Tanmavjari, has been published in four volumes. [Mobarak Hossain Khan]