COVER STORY KADRI GOPALNATH: ‘SAXOPHONE SAMRAT’
Born in Panemangalore, Karnataka, Kadri Gopalnath was initiated into music by his father Thaniappa, a nagaswaram vidwan, who taught him to play the instrument as a child. An adept at playing the nagaswaram, clarionet, trumpet and the saxophone, Gopalnath went on to hone his knowledge and skills in Carnatic music under the guidance of Gopalakrishna Iyer, Sangita Kalanidhi T.V. Gopalakrishnan, and Kumbakonam Balakrishna Pillai. Starting with a concert under the auspices of the Chembai Memorial Trust, Kadri Gopalnath has performed under the banner of major sabhas in south India, creating a place for the saxophone in the field of Carnatic music. He participated in the BBC Promenade concert in London, and has also played extensively at prestigious music festivals abroad like the Jazz Festival in Prague, Berlin Jazz Festival,
the Music Halle Festival in Paris and Saxophonia in Latvia—working closely with musicians of Europe. A large number of audio cassettes and CDs of his music—Carnatic and fusion—have been released over the years. With jazz flautist James Newton he recorded the Southern Brothers. Kadri Gopalnath has also played the saxophone in films.
Gopalnath is the recipient of several prestigious honours and awards including the Padma Shri from the Government of India, the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, the Kannada Rajyotsava Award from the Karnataka state government, Karnataka Kalashree from the Karnataka Sangeetha Nrithya Academy, the Puttaraj Gavai Award, Kalaimamani from the Tamil Nadu Eyal Isai Nataka Manram, and an honorary doctorate from the Bengaluru University.
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