Directors’ Fund – Sagnick Mukherjee

Nevis viola player, Sagnick Mukherjee received support from our Directors’ Fund in 2020 to carry out a research project on Indian polymath Rabindranath Tagore. Here, Sagnick writes about his findings so far.

Rabindranath Tagore was a poet, playwright, author, composer, artist, and educationist who reshaped the cultural landscape of South Asia in the late 19th and early 20th century as an exponent of the Bengali Renaissance. My aim for this project is to transcribe some of his music, study various recordings of his works, and further explore these musical ideas on violin.

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Sagnick Mukherjee

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your life. Not necessarily music-related!

I was born and brought up in Calcutta, India and have been living in Glasgow for the last couple of years, studying Electronic Engineering and Music at Glasgow University.

Besides music, I would say the most important things in my life are food, family and friends!

How did you first get into music?

My earliest memory of being involved in music is singing songs with my grandfather when I was really small. When I was in junior school, I started lessons in Indian Classical singing. I also started studying the violin and music theory at the Abraham Mazumder Academy. My first encounter with orchestral music was with the academy’s chamber orchestra where I played violin and viola.

What made you decide that music would be an important part of your life?

I never consciously decided that music would be an important part of my life but over time as I found myself getting more and more involved in music, I realised that it had somehow become irreplaceable.  

What has been your musical highlight so far?

Every performance that I have experienced, both as listener and performer, has left a mark on me and have each been musical highlights in their own way. I always like to believe that my most exciting musical experience will be the next one, whatever that may be!

Who are your favourite composers/artists/musicians?

Beethoven, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Mozart, Moheener Ghoraguli, Freddie Mercury, Thelonious Monk, Scott Bradley, Jake Shimabukuro, Arturo Marquez, Rabindranath Tagore, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Stephane Grappelli, Salil Choudhury, Simon and Garfunkel……. I don’t know where this list begins or ends!

What do you anticipate for the Nevis Ensemble?

I can only describe the Nevis Ensemble as an intense, infectiously energetic and uniquely meaningful.

Playing with Nevis has showed me how music can be used to bring people together and directly make a difference in people’s lives. I particularly love performing in places where one would least expect to experience an orchestral concert and for people who would not normally engage with this type of music, which makes this experience so special and rewarding.