Soumya was born into a family of music lovers. His mother received some early training in the Sitar and vocal music. However, both his parents were avid music listeners and had a large collection of LPs and other recordings of classical music at home. His siblings and cousins were all learning Indian Classical music of some form by the time Soumya was a little boy and with lessons on the tabla, so began Soumya’s initiation into Indian classical music. He turned to playing the Sarod when he was eleven under the tutelage of the highly respected Pt. Samarendranath Sikdar, a senior disciple of the late Pt. Radhika Mohan Maitra of the Shahjahanpur Gharana. For nearly thirty years he has received extensive training under his guru in a multitude of north Indian Ragas, some of which are very rare and unique to his Gharana.
His solid technique and thorough grounding in the roots of his own music notwithstanding, his interests also lie in exploring the commonalities of North Indian Classical music with other music styles.
His playing style has been greatly influenced by the likes of his guru and other masters of his Gharana. It highlights a perfect blend between the Rababiya and Gayaki styles that is unique to the Shahjahanpur Gharana. He is both a purist, who likes to maintain the authentic forms of the Ragas as passed down the generations of Ustads (maestros), and at the same time, he likes to experiment with other forms of Indian as well as world music, to find common strands of melodic expression.
Soumya blossomed as a young artist on All India Radio Calcutta between 1990 and 1995, and while living in Australia, between 1994 and 1996, pursuing higher education, where he taught as well as performed regularly. Notable among his performances in Australia were the Woodford Festival in Queensland, the World Music Cafe at the Brisbane Ethnic Music and Arts Center (BEMAC), Australian Broadcasting Corporation's (ABC) Radio National, and Radio 4EB, Brisbane. He performed live with a Flamenco dancer in a production that combined the gypsy roots of the dance with Latin American percussion, Middle Eastern vocals and Indian Classical instrumental music. He has experimented with modern Jazz, performing with an Australian band LOOPS and lately, with a Baltimore-Washington fusion Jazz band called Satabdi Express, led by guitarist David Cipriani.
Soumya performing at Norfolk, Virginia with Debu Nayak and Satabdi Express, also featuring violinist Melissa Hullman
Soumya came to the U.S. in 1999 and has lived in the Washington DC area since then. He is a senior IT executive firm and has a hectic work life, but his passion remains in music. He has established himself as a musician of class with regular performances, as well as dedicating time to teaching Sarod and north Indian classical music.
Soumya performing a Dadra composition in Raga Khamaj with Dave Cipriani on the Indian slide guitar, accompanied by Debu Nayak on the Tabla.
Soumya performing at Bennington College in Vermont, USA with Yousuf Kerai on the tabla
Soumya performing with his guru, Pt. Samarendra Sikdar with Debu Nayak on the Tabla in Baltimore, USA
Audio Clip of Jor played in Raga Shudh Basant
Click on the photos below to enlarge.