" 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.
A recipient of the 'First Ladies' National Award from the President of India, the 'Femina Women Super Achiever award' and the first professional female Tabla virtuoso in the World (according to Encyclopaedia Britannica & Limca Book of Records), Pandita Anuradha Pal is the Brand Ambassador of UNICEF and the 'Beti Bachao Beti Padhao' initiative and a TOP Graded artist of Prasar Bharti & ICCR.
Anuradha has been acclaimed as one of '30 Leading Women of India' by India Today, 'five prominent women musicians of India' by BBC World Radio, a 'trail blazer for societies around the World' by Encyclopedia Britannica, 'Woman of Pure Wonder' by Vodafone Foundation & as one of the 'prominent Torchbearers of Indian Classical Music' in two recently released books, featured along with greats like Shankar Mahadevan, Mandolin U. Srinivas etc.
Daughter of successful professionals Ila & Devinder Pal & a disciple of Tabla Legends, Ustad Alla Rakha & Ustad Zakir Hussain, Anuradha Pal made India proud by being the first & youngest female Indian musician to perform at the world-famous Woodstock Festival (Poland, 2008) for a huge audience of 400,000 fans & WOMAD Festival (1999) for 150,000 fans...
She stormed the male bastion of Tabla players when it was considered a strict No-go zone for women, becoming a trendsetter & has firmly established herself as a 'colossus on the percussion firmament'; thereby 'shattering gender biases & empowering women to pursue more creative paths'.
Armed with a Masters in Music and an unflinching dedication to promoting Indian culture, Anuradha's concerted efforts to adapt our rich musical heritage to the youth, while maintaining its innate classicism & high standards, is demonstrated in her popular, innovative musical offerings -
1) a) Anuradha Pal in Tabla Jugalbandi with herself - an original creation of hers, where she presents engaging interactive stories from life & the epics - Ramayan, Mahabharat, Lord Krishna's leelas & Shiva Tandav, through an interplay of rhythmic dialogue, poetry and music.
b) In Anuradha's traditional Tabla solo, you may catch a glimpse of the “grace of Pandit Samta Prasad, the dexterity of Ustad Ahmedjan Thirakwa, the gusto of Pandit Kishan Maharaj, the fluency of Ustad Ameer Hussain Khan and the dynamism and zeal of Ustad Alla Rakha and Ustad Zakir Hussain”. Here, she integrates the Six Gharanas of Tabla with panache & passion.
2) Her creative pursuits - Anuradha Pal's Stree Shakti : the first all female Hindustani-Carnatic Band, have been wowing audiences for more than 20 years now! Here she also dons the hat of a music composer & multi percussionist, thus becoming a trailblazer for women's empowerment!
3) Her fusion bandRecharge has not only topped the Fusion Music charts and continues to inspire audiences across the globe with its unique Indo-Jazz Music compositions & groovy rhythms and world music repertoire.
4) Her performances with all the revered stalwarts of Indian classical music like Pt. Jasraj, Pandita Girija Devi, Pt Hariprasad Chaurasia, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Ustad Shahid Parvez and younger maestros & dancers, as well as with renowned International Jazz, Pop, Western Classical Music have been widely appreciated for her versatility, confidence and star appeal.
5) Su-Fo-Re- is her NEW band combining the best of Sufi, Qawwali and Rajasthani Folk Music. with a rare percussion soundscape.
6) Music Composer - She composed & performed the entire background score for M.F Husain's film, Gaja Gamini, entirely on the Tabla; which was highly appreciated at the Cannes Film festival, for its evocativeness & innovative approach.
Some of her acclaimed music albums are 'Recharge Plus', 'Passion', 'Rhythm & Soul', 'Sheer Magic', 'Kesaria', 'Sensational', 'Nirvana' & are available as albums & Mobile ringtones, on all digital platforms across the globe. Her 'Learn Tabla Well' Instructional DVDs are also extremely popular.
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.
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).
SOCIAL CAUSES & PROMOTING INDIA'S CULTURAL RICHNESS
Anuradha founded a music organizationSur aaur Saaz in 1993 and has presented many concerts featuring young & veteran musicians to promote Indian heritage and culture for over 24 years.
As a part of her Mission Music for Wellness, she curated a two Music and Dance Festivals (URJA and LAASYA) for 3500 under privileged children of National Bal Bhavan in 2015, both of which received an overwhelming response.
She conducts Indian Music Workshops in prestigious universities to build International understanding & appreciation of India & its diversity.
She founded Anuradha Pal's Music Academy in Mumbai, to further the Guru-Shishya Parampara & propagate Indian culture. She also teaches students in India and abroad through online classes.
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 excelled & 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
Femina Women Super Achievers Award
World HRD Congress
First Ladies Award
Ministry of WCD, Govt of India
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, India Week Hamburg (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)