Anuradha Pal
tabla

Anuradha Pal Anuradha Pal has been internationally acclaimed as an accomplished soloist and a versatile and sought after accompanist. A disciple of the world-renowned tabla maestros, Late Ustad Alla Rakha and Ustad Zakir Hussain, she has performed extensively in India, USA, UK, Europe, Australia, Japan and the far- east with top ranking musicians like Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pt. Jasraj, Vishwamohan Bhatt, Shahid Parvez, Smt Veena Sahasrabuddhe amongst others in prestigious festivals all over the world.

An irrepressible creativity, tremendous clarity and a fine tonal quality along with exciting rhythmic improvisations and spontaneity are the hallmarks of her style. An unremitting devotion to practice and learning have given Anuradha a meaningful identity amongst the musicians of today helping her to carve a distinct niche of her own. The prestigious Encyclopædia Britannica, the Asian-American Who’s who journal as well as the Limca Book of Records have lauded Anuradha for her contribution to music as well as her well balanced musicianship.

An A grade artist of the All India Radio, a recipient of many prestigious awards, Anuradha has several cassettes and CDs both as a tabla soloist and accompanist released both in India and abroad. An added dimension is her amazing foray into music direction and composition both in the medium of films like ‘Gaja Gamini’ as well as for commercial music albums like ‘ Shanti, Stree Shakti’

In 1996, Anuradha formed India’s only all female percussion based instrumental and vocal fusion group called ‘ Stree Shakti’. Stree Shakti has performed extensively in India and the UK in the WOMAD Festival, Rhythm Sticks Festival, BBC Music Live Festival, Asian Music Festival, amongst others enthralling audiences not only by their amazing prowess in male dominated fields of Indian percussion but also for their well evolved interesting Hindustani–Carnatic Combination. (North and South Indian music) Their album, also titled ‘Stree Shakti’, became one of the best selling classical albums in 2001.

Anuradha was featured in the BBC Radio World Service Program as one of the ‘Five Prominent Women Musicians of India’ in 1991. She has been widely featured on ITV, Asia TV (USA), BBC world service television and radio (UK), Australian and Japanese TV - Radio channels and Indian channels like Star TV, Zee, Alpha, ETC, ETV, Doordarshan and Radio amongst others around the world. Anuradha is on the prestigious panel of artists on the Indian Council of Cultural relations. She represented India in the ‘Asian Performers Summit’ in February 1999 where she spoke on Performers rights amidst an august gathering of International Musicians in Japan.

The Films Division of India made a documentary film titled ‘Aaj ki Nari’ and featured Anuradha along with a galaxy of great women achievers in 1999. Recently, the renowned USA based Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) made a film titled ‘ Adventure Divas’ featuring Anuradha Pal as one of the great women achievers of India and the World. This film was telecast in USA in September 2001.

Anuradha did an extensive concert tour of UK in July 2002 where she presented ‘Stree Shakti’ in the World Premier in the ‘ Commonwealth Games Festival City of London festival at the Barbican Centre (London), Cardiff Jazz Festival amongst other concerts in Reading & Manchester. Here she also collaborated and composed two pieces with the Pan African Orchestra in a unique fusion titled ‘ India & Africa in Conversation’ which was a great success.

FROM THE PRESS

The article was titled ‘Anuradha Pal- raising the standards of Musicianship.’
“... Listen to Anuradha Pal’s latest offering, a four-track tabla solo CD simply titled ‘Anokha’, and you will be captivated by her nimble fingers executing complex rhythmic patters at great speed. The magnitude of Anuradha’s spirited effort shines through every note and syllable. A true groundbreaker!!” - BBC Folk Roots Magazine, London, 1999.

“This brilliant accompanist with the most pliable fingers in the world improvises freely and felicitously in any speed. Not for Anuradha to ever flinch in step while accompanying two hardened male performers, Shahid Parvez and Vishwamohan Bhatt, both of whom hold rhythm by the scruff.” - The Hindu, 1996

“Synchronization and perfect balance coupled with wonderful tonality, clarity and immaculate presentation makes Anuradha’s accompaniment with Hariprasad Chaurasia special”. - Japan Times, 1998

“Serene and sometimes almost detached, a glint would come into her eye and her lips would purse when moving into a ferocious top gear. Then she would push the energy to explosive levels without sacrificing her uncanny accuracy.” - Sydney Morning Herald, 1999

“Rapturous applause punctuated her entire solo recital, which was interspersed with her command over different layakaris casting a magical sway over the packed audience. Amazing knowledge, control and balance reflects in every performance. An outstanding consistent performer.” – Punjab Kesari, 2001

“Anuradha displays a full understanding of playing in tandem with other musicians on stage and moves with an alert sense of improvisation and the give and take which are the inner principles of classical music performance. Anuradha Pal’s tabla enunciation is bold and can be full of explicit expression especially because she belongs to that school of tabla playing which emphasises the animation of the ’Dagga’. As an accompanist, she could become the additional voice like Zakir Hussain, her teacher.” - Times of India,1990

“Besides great speed, she displayed brilliant hand co-ordination and amazing control”.
– Midday, 2001

“A power packed performance by Anuradha Pal.. Anuradha’s forte lies in the unique blending of the most traditional forms of tabla playing with the most modern forms of all major gharanas of India”.- The Tribune, 2001

“Anuradha Pal amazed the packed audience with a burst of energy unknown before. A flow of speed and clarity marked her tabla solo performance where she presented an inexhaustible collection of Kayadas, gats, and relas in unimaginable speeds. The clarity of her vocal pronunciations and tabla reflects her total mastery of laya and Tala.Simply a treat not to be missed!” - Maharashtra Times, 1998

“Anuradha’s superior skill, speed and tremendous clarity coupled with a perfectionist approach, gives her a winning edge over other tabla players.” - The Tribune, June 1997

“Anuradha is not just a tabla accompanist. She is a top class musician who has perfected her music under great gurus and who by devotion and hard work has brought the tabla on its own and revealed its tremendous potential, its vibrant power and its hidden mysteries and magic”. The Afternoon, 1996

“Petite and barely in her teens, Anuradha Pal almost brought down the house with a rousing recital of the tabla playing Teental. Anuradha’s mastery over the tabla is undoubtedly exceptional. She plays with a spirited verve and obvious enjoyment. It would be no exaggeration to say that she is a ‘Zakira’ in the making.” - Maharashtra Times, 1997

“The tabla now took the lead…Played by Anuradha Pal, a virtuoso in her own right, we were virtually aware of the vigour and force of Durga through her throbbing drums as she accompanied the Kathak Dancer, Uma Dogra with accuracy, grace and ease.” - The Afternoon Newspaper, 1994

DISCOGRAPHY

Stree Shakti - Unafraid, To Be Oneself
Sensational- Ustad Shahid Parvez and Anuradha Pal – Live concert Release on 2 Volumes
Anu - tabla solo by Anuradha Pal
Shanti – In Search of Peace - Music, concept and direction by Anuradha Pal
Jugalbandi, Sultan Khan & Anuradha Pal, India Archive Music, 1990
Jugalbandi of Vishwamohan Bhatt, Tarun Bhattacharya and Ronu Mazumdar with Anuradha Pal, Tips Music, 1994