Gopeshwar Banerjee was a musicologist and famous singer of Hindustani music, belonging to Bishnupur gharana, originated in Bishnupur of West Bengal. He was excellent in thumri renditions, apart from khyal and dhrupad forms of music. Kon Gali Gayo Shyam, in Raga Mishra Khamaj is a popular thumri which he popularized. He started his career as a court musician of the Maharaja of Burdwan in 1895, and later started live concerts. He was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship in 1962. A musicologist he also published many books on music. Sangita-chandrika: A Treatise on Hindu music in two volumes is one of his noted contributions. All his three sons and younger brothers popularized Bishnupur gharana of music.
Also pronounced as Gopeshwar Bandopadhyay he was born in 1880. He inherited music from his father who served as a court musician of Ramkrishna Singhadev of Bishnupur. Gopeshwar also learnt music from Ram Shankar Bhattacharya in Bishnupur tradition and later popularized it through his compositions and renditions. He also served as a teacher at Bishnupur Sangeet Vidhyalaya, which was later renamed as Ram Saran Music College. He also received training from Betiya gharana of Bihar.
In 1895 he became the court singer of Maharaja of Burdwan, a position he held for long 29 years. He also spent his time in the research of music and wrote many books. He travelled across India with the Maharaja where he got acquainted with musicians across the country to collect data. On such tours he learnt to play surbahar and sitar from different musicians. In 1924 he moved to Kolkata where he got settled. He compiled a large number of Dhrupad compositions with the help of his cousin Surendranath Banerjee after he got settled in Kolkata. He passed away in 1963.
Updated: April 03, 2016