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Rezwana Choudhury Bannya

Rezwana Choudhury Bannya

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Background information

Native name

রেজওয়ানা চৌধুরী বন্যা

Born

January 13
Rangpur, Bangladesh

Genres

Rabindra Sangeet

Occupation(s)

Singer,  Professor

Instruments

vocal, harmonium, esraj

Website

www.rezwanabannya.com

Rezwana Choudhury Bannya is a Bangladeshi singer. She is an exponent of Rabindra Sangeet, the songs written and composed by Rabindranath Tagore. In 2002, Bannya was awarded Ananda Sangeet Puroshkar for being the best female Rabindra Sangeet artist.

Early life

Rezwana was born in Rangpur, Bangladesh to her parents Mazharuddin Khan and Ismat Ara Khan. Since her childhood, she had been attracted to music which quickly grew into a passion with the encouragement and help of her parents. Her early singing lessons started with her uncle Abdul Ali that continued later under the tutelage of Sanjita Khatun and Atiqul Islam at Chhayanat and Bulbul Academy of Fine Arts (BAFA) in Dhaka. As she continued taking lessons in music and singing, she also joined the Economics Program at the university after completion of her schooling. However, soon her inner- self-came to the realization that music was her destiny. She received a scholarship from the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) to study in Santiniketan, the university that was founded by Tagore himself on his philosophy of complete natural learning. Her true love for Rabindrasangeet started at Santiniketan and only became deeper by the days under the loving care of all of her gurus such as Kanika Bandyopadhyay (affectionately known as Mohordi), Nilima Sen, Shoilajaranjan Mazumdar, Santidev Ghosh, Gora Sarbadhikary, Manju Bandyopadhyay and Asesh Bandyopadhyay.

It was Mohordi who infused the true love for Rabindrasangeet in her by taking her under her loving and nurturing care. Rezwana honestly confesses that everything that she has achieved today is because of her; Mohordi was indeed the guiding beacon in her life, her true guru:-the friend, philosopher, and guide. Her relationship with Mohordi is beyond the traditional guru-shishya relationship. It is something very special that defies description and can only be in the feelings inside Rezwana's heart.

Bannya is currently an Professor and Chairperson in the Department of Dance at the University of Dhaka. She also founded Shurer Dhara in 1992, a school for learning music in Dhaka.