Manik Banerjee, sarodiya

See the videos on YouTube.

Shri Manik Banerjee plays Hindustani classical music on the sarod in the style of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. At present, he teaches sarod at Banasthali University, located about 70km outside of Jaipur, India, having moved there from Lucknow, where he had been settled for many years as a teacher and performer. Manik Banerjee has presented many live concerts, as well as performed on All India Radio and Doordarshan.

Born in August 1952, Manik Banerjee started learning music at a very young age in the tradition of the Shahjahanpur Gharana from his father the late Durgadas Banerjee, who was the department head for sarod and sitar at Gandhi Sangeet Vidyalaya in Kanpur. Manik-ji started his training on sarod, sitar and vocal music, but soon started focusing on the sarod primarily.

Manik-ji first heard Ali Akbar Khan at the age of 11 years, and was immediately entranced by his music and his style of playing the sarod. He met Khan-sahib himself in April 1964 on one of Ali Akbar's visits to Kanpur, and on learning of Manik-ji's deep interest in his style of music, Ali Akbar Khan blessed him with all his heart and suggested that he learn from him in his school in Calcutta. Unfortunately, Manik-ji was unable to follow up on Khan-sahib's suggestion because his parents did not give him permission to travel so far away from home at such a young age.

Even so, encouraged by Ali Akbar Khan's blessing, Manik-ji persisted in inculcating Khan-sahib's style into his own music, alongside his traditional training from his own father. He did learn Ali Akbar's style more formally some years later from his son Dhyanesh Khan, and currently Manik-ji's music continues to be informed by Ali Akbar Khan's music, while incorporating elements of vocal music according his own conception of the raagas.

Manik Banerjee plays a professional-grade Hemen sarod custom-made for him by Hemen Sen in 1980.

Some of his notable performances and recognitions are:

  • Music conference organised by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Lucknow 2009.
  • Lucknow Festival, Nov 2007.
  • Musical evenings of National and Internaional Conferences at IIT Kanpur, 1994–1995.
  • Invited to perform at the Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan Memorial Society Conference, Lucknow, Aug 1989.
  • Selected to perform with a Sangeet Natak Academy tour of South India, Feb 1989. Only non-member selected for the tour.
  • Participated in Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Natak Academy workshop on accompaniment of the duggi with shehnai and sarod, Lucknow, 1988.
  • Award for best performer and silver medal at Baiju Bawra Music Competition, Kanpur, 1973.
  • Concert organised by Shruti at Jawaharlal Nehru Rashtriya Yuva Kendra, Kanpur 1972.
  • Silver medal from 14th commandant, Bn PAC, Kanpur, 1964.

Manish Mohan Upadhyay is the son of Pandit Madan Mohan Upadhyay, who is a reknowned tabla artist from the pakhawaj gharana of Gaya. Manish himself performs on radio and TV, and has performed in concerts in India and abroad.

Tulika Joshi is pursuing her Masters of Performing Arts degree from Bhatkhande Music University, and is a long-time student of Manik-ji. She has also given some private stage performances.

Manik Banerjee with sarod


Manik Banerjee tuning sarod


Headstock of Hemen sarod

Manik Banerjee now teaches sarod at Banasthali University, outside of Jaipur, India, following a long teaching and performing career in Lucknow, and Kanpur. In the past, he has taught both vocal and various instruments such as sitar, Hawaiian guitar, violin, mandolin, tabla etc. apart from sarod, and has also prepared students for various music examinations. Manik-ji is a graded artist for All India Radio and Doordarshan, and is available for private and public concerts.

Manik-ji has served as a judge/examiner at:

  • Bhatkhande Music Institute, University of Lucknow, 2009.
  • Awadh University
  • Antaragni cultural festival, IIT Kanpur, 1990.

and at many other music competitions.

sarodiya at manikbanerjee dot com
+91 9694851553, 9889377176, 9559395374


Plucking of Hemen sarod