The New York Times, reviewing a 1978 New York concert

"Nikhil Banerjee's first recital here in five years at CAMI Hall was an evening of the rarest pleasure This was sitar playing of the most poetic, technically dazzling sort imaginable, and lovers of Indian music should try to hear Mr Banerjee's second New York recital tonight... From a purely technical standpoint, two aspects of his playing seemed particularly special. One was his active left hand, which moved at enormous speed over the long expanse of his sitar's fingerboard to produce brilliant octave jumps in climactic passages. The other was his command of ornamentation. The melody on the sitar is articulated over its twanging drone with sharp attacks, which decay quickly into mellow sound. A great sitarist can shape and twist these fading echoes to expressive ends. Mr Banerjee's microtonal elaborations of the principal notes were quite remarkable in their complexity and in their directionality, always floating with serene assurance toward the next note. In other words, Mr Banerjee's technical skills are always at the service of the music -- as with any great artist on any instrument"

© 1978 The New York Times Company


Nikhil Banerjee