Name: Rezwana Choudhury Bannya
Birth date: 13th January
Birth Place: Rangpur, Bangladesh
Occupation: Singer, Associate Professor
Rezwana Choudhury Bannya (sometimes also cited as Rezwana Chowdhury Bonna or Rezwana Chowdhury Bonya) is a contemporary Rabindra Sangeet singer who is widely hailed in both in her native Bangladesh as well as West Bengal, India. True to say, she is one of the most versatile exponents of Rabindra Sangeet, the songs which were written and composed by Rabindranath Tagore himself. She is often acclaimed as one of the protégés of Late Kanika Banerjee.
Bannya was born in an influential Bengali family and has been singing from her very early age. Her first singing lesson started with his uncle Abdul Ali and then she took music lessons from Chhayanot and Bulbul Academy of Fine Arts (BAFA) in Dhaka. After the liberation war in 1971, she got admitted to Visva-Bharati University and took music and singing lessons under the tutelage of Rabindra Sangeet legends like Kanika Banerjee, Nilima Sen, Ashesh Bandopadhyay, Santideb Ghosh, Manju Bandyopadhyay etc. Among all these great mentors, she had a sweet relationship with Kanika Banerjee and that relationship was beyond the traditional guru-shishya relationship. Once Bannya said about Kanika Banerjee that:
Everything that I have achieved today is because of her; she was indeed the guiding beacon in my life, my true guru:-the friend, philosopher and guide. My relationship with her is beyond the traditional guru-shishya relationship. It is something very special that defies description and can only be in the feelings inside my heart....
Advised and inspired by her beloved guru Kanika Banerjee, Rezwana Choudhury Bannya founded Shurer Dhara in 1992, a musical school in Dhaka to carry out the guru-shishya parampara of Shantiniketan style of Ranbindra Sangeet in Bangladesh. In addition, this gorgeous passionate artist is currently an associate professor in the Department of Theatre and Music at the University of Dhaka.
This passionate Rabindra Songeet singer is also proficient in singing other genres of Bengali music like the folk Kirtan and the classical Tappa. Among instruments, she can play the Harmonium and the Esraj as well.
This Rabindra Sangeet exponent has achieved many awards including:
- Sangeet Samman Puroshkar-2013 (from Ministry of Culture, India)
- Gaane Gaane Gunijon Shongbardhona-2011
- Ananda Sangeet Puroshkar-2002 (best female Rabindra Songeet singer)