Mousumi Banerjee is a singer, writer, and academician living in the United States. She was born and raised in Kolkata. Professionally, she lives in a world of hard science, trying to make sense of data to move cancer research and treatment forward. But her passion and deep affinity for the arts gives her sustenance in life, and counterbalances her work as a scientist.
Mousumi has been singing and cultivating Rabindrasangeet (songs written and composed by Rabindranath Tagore) for more than two decades. She performs regularly in the USA and India, and has released two albums Hriday Amar Prakash Holo, and Nijer Rabindranath. She has also appeared as an invited artist in Tara Muzik (“Aaj Shokaler Amontroney”) on multiple occasions. In the USA, she has been involved in collaborations with the Department of Jazz and Improvisation at the School of Music and the Center for South Asian Studies at University of Michigan to showcase and perform Tagore’s works. In 2012 she was the lead soloist performing with the University of Michigan Choir and Strings Ensemble in a unique event celebrating 150th birth anniversary of Tagore through Western interpretations of his music. Mousumi regularly holds workshops and lecture demonstrations in the USA with the aim of propagating Tagore’s music and poetry to the broader Western community. She is the Executive Director of a non-profit foundation “Tagore Beyond Boundaries” whose aim is to propagate Tagore’s music to the global audience by creating western classical transcriptions of Rabindrasangeet that can be adopted by the world music fraternity.
Mousumi is a writer who is equally poised in the Bengali and English languages. Her first volume of poems Eklaghor (Room Alone) was published in 2015. The hallmark of Mousumi’s writings are simple words and imageries that evoke exquisitely beautiful emotions and a deep sensitivity towards life. She writes on topics that range from intertwining existence, urban loneliness, human relationships, to immigrant life. Her poems have been put to musical score by the Sarod musician and composer Dr. Rajeeb Chakraborty in a creative album Na Howa Kathopokathon (Conversation Untold). Mousumi is currently working on her first volume of poetry in English, and a children’s book that draws from her personal experience of trying to raise two young children in a universal humanistic culture.
Mousumi did her schooling at Patha Bhavan in Kolkata where she learnt that there is no conflict between the arts and the sciences, if one has the talent and the passion. She did her graduate training at the world-renowned Indian Statistical Institute in Kolkata, and received her doctorate in Statistics from the University of Wisconsin in USA. Currently she is professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and the Cancer Center, and Director of Biostatistics at the Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy, where she teaches, conducts research, and advises doctoral students. Her academic work is focused on developing models for cancer prognostication, and understanding patterns of cancer treatment and survival in the population.