" If the male synonym for the tabla is Zakir Hussain, then the female equivalent has to be Anuradha Pal. "
- Hindustan Times, 2011.
" Anuradha Pal is many legends in one. She is a mind-blowing soloist like no other & an accompanist with the sensibilities of a seasoned musician, despite her young years "
- New Indian Express, 2013.
" Anuradha’s superior skill, speed & tremendous clarity coupled with a perfectionist approach, gives her a winning edge over other Tabla players. "
- Tribune, 1997.
The first professional female Tabla virtuoso in the World (according to Encyclopedia Britannica and Limca Book of Records), Pandita Anuradha Pal is a ‘TOP’ Grade artist with Prasar Bharati and empanelled as an ‘Established’ musician on the prestigious panel of ICCR and the Brand Ambassador of the ‘Beti Bacho Beti Padhao’ scheme for female empowerment.
While propagating tradition & Indian heritage, Anuradha Pal has constantly innovated, redefining boundaries and growing audiences with charm, creativity and youthful appeal. Anuradha has been acclaimed as the ‘Rhythm Queen’, ‘Youth Icon’, ‘Tabla Phenomenon’, a ‘Trailblazer and trendsetter for societies around the World’ by the Encyclopedia Britannica, a ‘Woman of Pure Wonder’ by Vodafone Foundation (2016) and one of the ‘prominent Torchbearers of Indian Classical Music’’(2017) in an acclaimed book, along with other outstanding young Indian music maestros.
Anuradha started performing professionally, as a child prodigy, in prestigious festivals from the age of 10.5 years and startled audiences with her ‘incredible Tayyari, Layakari and immaculate presentation’ and hence was hailed as ‘Lady Zakir Hussain!!!’, when she was just seventeen years old. Not belonging to a musician’s family, while struggling to find a foothold in a totally male dominated field of Tabla, meant two huge disadvantages for her... Thankfully, wonderful support from her family, superb training from Tabla Legends Ustad Alla Rakha and Zakir Hussain and extensive concert tours with top Indian and international Musicians have helped Anuradha Pal to ‘emerge as a colossus and one of India’s leading and most innovative percussionists and composers’.
She has been internationally acclaimed as ‘Taal Shiromani’, ‘30 Leading Women of India’ by India Today (1990),‘Five prominent women musicians of India’ by BBC World Radio (1991), ‘Taal Ratna’ , ‘Woman of Pure Wonder’, ‘Top Indian Women contributors’ to name a few…Anuradha Pal has made India proud by being the first and youngest female Indian musician to perform at the world-famous Woodstock Festival, (Poland, 2008) for a mammoth audience of over 400,000 fans and WOMAD Festival (1999) for 150,000 plus fans.
In addition to being the original creator of the innovative ‘Anuradha Pal in Tabla Jugalbandi with herself’ presentation, a multi-percussionist and music composer, Anuradha Pal is a versatile accompanist with some of the world’s best musicians like Padma Vibhushans - Pandit Jasraj, Pandita Girija Devi, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, Pandit Birju Maharaj, Ustad Sultan Khan, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Ustad Shahid Parvez, Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Carnatic greats like Pandit Kadri Gopalnath, Chitravina Ravikiran and young maestros in prestigious festivals in USA, UK, Europe, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Brazil, Africa, Hong Kong, Bangkok among others.
To combat discrimination, Anuradha Pal created Stree Shakti- India’s first all female Hindustani-Carnatic music band in 1996, to propagate and promote women musicians on a World stage. Over the past 21 years, Stree Shakti has performed successfully in the worlds most acclaimed festivals like WOMAD, BBC Music Live, Rhythm Sticks, Bangkok International Music Festival, Commonwealth Games etc and is till date, the only all female, North-South, Percussion based, Instrumental ensemble in the world!!
Anuradha Pal has performed for dignitaries like Honourable PM Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Queen Elizabeth at CHOGM Summit, President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Shri Venkaiah Naidu, MEA Smt. Sushma Swaraj, MWC Smt. Maneka Gandhi, Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore and at the SAARC Summit.
Anuradha composed and performed the entire background score totally on Tabla for M.F Husain’s film, Gaja Gamini, which was highly appreciated at the Cannes Film festival, for its evocativeness and innovative approach. Her music albums ‘Recharge Plus‘, Sheer Magic’, ‘Passion’, ‘Nirvana’, ‘Sensational’, ‘Kesaria’, ‘Rhythm and Soul’, ‘Get Recharged’ have topped the charts and her Tabla instructional DVDs are highly acclaimed & followed.
One of the brightest and most innovative Maestros of her generation, Anuradha Pal is also an enthusiastic collaborator with Jazz, African, Latin, Flamenco, Crossover Classical, Pop, Rock and New-age musicians and composers, both as a studio recording & live concert musician, the world over.
She has contributed in research of ‘Study of Tabla, Aesthetics and complexities’ at Harvard Science Centre and the ‘Relationship between Brain, Music and Language’ at Neurosciences University (USA).
Featured as one of the ‘pre-eminent Torchbearers of Indian Classical Music’ in a book released in 2017 along with young maestros like Mandolin U. Srinivas, Shankar Mahadevan, Rakesh Chaurasia, Kaushiki Chakraborty, Rahul Sharma, Jayateerth Mevundi, Niladri Kumar amongst others.
Featured as a ‘Woman of Pure Wonder’ in a book by Vodafone Foundation in 2016 along with Justice Leila Sheth, Sanjana Kapoor, Ritu Kumar, Shovana Narayan, Deepa Malik, Bina Sheth, Ritu Dalmia, Shereen Bhan, Sooni Taraporewala etc.
Featured on Polish TV’s major European channel as Asia’s Youth Icon in 2008.
Featured in Documentary ‘Gender Bender’ on women who have exceled & broken barriers in male dominated fields in 2006.
BBC Radio World Service Program featured her as one of the ‘Five Prominent Women Musicians of India’ in 1991
Featured in film ‘Woman of Substance’ by Doordarshan National Archives in 2006.
Documentary ‘All about Her’ produced and shown on the Times Now channel in 2004.
Featured in film called ‘Adventure Divas’ by USA based Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in 2001.
BBC World Service broadcast Stree Shakti LIVE at WOMAD Festival in 56 countries in 1999.
Featured in the documentary titled ‘Aaj ki Nari’ by the Films Division of India in 1999.
Featured extensively on TV and Radio channels in USA, UK, Australia, Japan and India.
Prominent Awards and Recognition
Name of Award
Womens’ Achiever’s Award
Inner Wheel Club of Bombay Airport
Rotary Vocational Appreciation Award
Rotary Club of Bombay West
Woman of Excellence Award
FICCI FLO Ahmedabad
Doordarshan / AIR Top Grade
Prasar Bharati, New Delhi
Women Achievers’ Award
Dagar Gharana Samman
Maharana Mewar Foundation
Adwitiya Stree Shakti Puraskar
Kalidas Academy Ujjain
Malva Taal Shiromani Samman
Malva Sangeet Manch Samiti
State of Canada
Star Taal award
Zee Astitva Award
Maharashtra State Govt.
Best Musician Award
Bhatkhande Lalit Shiksha Samiti
Vocational Excellence Award
Rotary Club, Mumbai
Mahakaleshwar Samiti, Ujjain
Sur Singar Samsad, Mumbai
All India Youth Festival
National Merit Scholarship
Mumbai University-educational excellence
Performances at Major International Music Festivals
Masters of Indian Music Festival, Young Music Wizards of India, Asia Society, Ali Akbar Khan Festival, Basant Bahar Festival, MITHAS, Learnquest Music Festival
WOMAD (Reading), Bath International Music festival, MilapFest, Commonwealth Games Festival, City of London Festival, Asian Music Festival, Rhythm Sticks Festival, Greenwich & Docklands Festival, Darbar Festival, Cardiff Jazz Festival, BBC Music Live Festival (Scotland)
Woodstock Festival (Poland), Voices of the World Festival (Denmark), Sangam Indian Music Festival (Germany), Museum Rietberg (Switzerland), Festival Musicale del Mediterraneo (Italy), Theatre de la Ville (France), Night of the Virtuosos Festival (Reunion Islands), Amrita Sher-Gil Cultural Centre, University of Esztergom (Hungary), The Music Academy, Zadar Puppet Theatre, Croatian National Theatre (Croatia), Madlenianum Opera and Theatre (Serbia).
Global Fusion Festival (Dubai), Vrindavan Festival (Hong Kong), Bangkok International Music Festival (Thailand), Victoria Arts Hall (Singapore), Tokyo Music festival, Japan Music Festival, Phoenix Music Festival (Japan)
Night of the Virtuosos Festival (Mauritius), CHOGM Summit (Nigeria)
AUSTRALIA / NEW ZEALAND
Bellingen Global Carnival, Carnevale Festival, Queensland Performing Arts Complex, The Octagon
Festival of India (Brazil), Festival Musique Multi Montreal (Canada)