“If the male synonym for Tabla is Zakir Hussain, then the female equivalent has to undeniably be Anuradha Pal.” – Hindustan Times, 2011
Anuradha Pal’s story is that of fortitude, dedication, honesty & persistence against all odds. Anuradha Pal stands tall not only as a top class musician delivering consistently brilliant performances but also as creative, innovative and gusty Tabla maestro, who redefined herself in every setback, to become ‘Asia’s Youth icon’, ‘The First Professional Female Tabla virtuoso in the World’ (by Encyclopedia Britannica & Limca Book of Records) and an acclaimed ‘Trail blazer & Trendsetter for societies around the world’, through her Tabla Jugalbandi, virtuosic collaborations with International musicians and her dynamic, novel music bands – Stree Shakti, Su-Fo-Re- and Recharge!! Important books like ‘First Ladies’ (released by Ministry of Women & Child Development), ‘The Torchbearers’ (keeping the flame of Indian classical music alive), ‘Women of Pure Wonder’ by the Vodafone foundation and ‘The Dot that went for a walk’, have lauded ‘Rhythm Queen’ & ‘Tabla phenomenon’ Anuradha Pal for her unparalleled contribution as a ‘National pride and inspiration’ in empowering other girls & women musicians and changing society’s perception, through sheer hard work & talent.
A recipient of the ‘First Ladies’ National Award from the President of India, Anuradha made India proud by becoming the youngest Indian musician & the first female Indian Musician, to ever perform at the World-famous Woodstock Festival, 08 & WOMAD Festival ’99. Anuradha Pal ‘stormed the male bastion of Indian Rhythm’ as a child prodigy when barely ten years old, thus becoming a pioneer, firmly establishing herself as a ‘colossus on the percussion firmament’; ‘shattering gender biases & empowering women to pursue more creative paths’.
A lifelong advocate for female empowerment and inclusion, she is the Brand Ambassador for Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s Beti Bachao Beti Padhao initiative and also composed the title song for the Ministry of Women and Child Development’s Nari Shakti campaign.
Anuradha has received several prestigious awards like Maharashtra Rajya Sanskrutik Puraskar, Best Female Tabla player, Femina Super Women achievers’ award, FICCI Woman of excellence, Zee Astitva award etc., for her meaningful thought leadership, entrepreneurship & commitment. With the blessings of her family & Gurus, Ustads Alla Rakha & Zakir Hussain, Anuradha has performed extensively with World-renowned Musicians like Pandita Girija Devi, Pt. Jasraj, Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, Ustad Shahid Parvez, among many others.
Anuradha has composed the background score for many short films, M.F. Husain’s Bollywood film Gaja Gamini (the only background score till date to have been performed entirely on one instrument by a single musician) as well as top selling Fusion albums like ‘Get Recharged!’, ‘Passion’, ‘Kesaria’, ‘Recharge Plus!’ & ‘Nirvana’.
Anuradha is a Masters in Music and has contributed in research & taught at several prestigious IVY league US universities. She takes online classes & also teaches at the Anuradha Pal Cultural Academy, Andheri, Mumbai. As Founder – Director of Sur aaur Saaz Music label & events, Anuradha releases diverse albums/ caller tunes & organises Music for Wellness workshops & Concerts / festivals. “Anuradha’s deep reverence for tradition, spiritual upbringing with youthful energy, broad perspectives, humility and boundless commitment to her art” (India Abroad Weekly, USA, 2006) has made her excel and establish herself as a ‘prominent Torchbearer of Indian music’. (2017)