Born on 7 March 1933 in Calcutta, Shrimati Sumitra Sen was initiated into
Rabindrasangeet by Soumendranath Tagore, the poet's grandson. Later, she was to
hone her art as a student of Prasad Sen and Anadikumar Dastidar, renowned
musicians of the period. Together with Rabindrasangeet, she also trained in
Hindustani music under Nanigopal Banerjee and Khitish Banerjee, practised
Adhunik Bengali songs under the tutelage of Abhijit Banerjee, and learnt
Nazrulgeeti from Durga Sen. She was awarded the Geeta Bharati degree by
Geetabitan, the institution for Rabindrasangeet, in 1956.
Since the 1960s, Shrimati Sumitra Sen has been acknowledged as a leading performer of Rabindrasangeet, and has made her mark also in other genres of the modern Bengali song. She has performed extensively in West Bengal, and before Bengali audiences elsewhere in the country. Her renderings of Rabindrasangeet and other songs have been recorded under several labels, and have been welcomed far and wide by discerning listeners. She has taught Rabindrasangeet for many years, heading the Rabindrasangeet department at Rabindra Bharati University.
Among other honours, Shrimati Sumitra Sen has been awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by HMV.
Shrimati Sumitra Sen receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Tagore Award for her contribution to Rabindrasangeet.