“If the male synonym for Tabla is Zakir Hussain, then the female equivalent has to undeniably 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 Pal has been internationally appreciated as the ‘First Professional Female Tabla virtuoso in the World’ (by Encyclopaedia Britannica & Limca Book of Records). A recipient of the ‘First Ladies’ National Award 2018 from the President of India; Maharashtra Rajya Sanskrutik Puraskar, Zee Astitva award among many others, she holds the honour of being the Youngest and first female Indian Musician to perform at two of the most prestigious music festivals in the world – Woodstock Festival (2008) & WOMAD Festival (1999) for a mammoth audiences of 4 lakh and 1.5 lakh people respectively.
Daughter of accomplished professionals, Devinder and Ila Pal and a favourite disciple of Tabla Legends Ustad Alla Rakha & Zakir Hussain, Anuradha has been hailed as a ‘Rhythm Queen’, ‘Tabla phenomenon’, ‘Trail-blazer & Trendsetter for societies around the world’, ‘Woman of Pure Wonder’, ‘National pride and an inspiration’; and is the Brand Ambassador of ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ initiative, for which she has composed the anthem too.
Anuradha is credited in the ‘Outstanding‘ category of artistes in the Ministry of Culture and is a TOP Graded Musician of Prasar Bharati & ICCR. She is also a versatile accompanist with India’s Master Musicians like Pt. Jasraj, Smt. Girija Devi, Pt. Shivkumar Sharma, Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pt. Birju Maharaj, Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Ustad Shahid Parvez, Kadri Gopalnath, C. Ravikiran to name a few…
Anuradha has performed extensively in prestigious festivals in India, USA, Europe, UK, Japan, Australia, Africa, Brazil, Middle east, Hong Kong, Bangkok; presenting her popular presentations like –
- Anuradha Pal in Tabla Jugalbandi with herself – Interactive stories through innovative rhythmic dialogue on the Tabla.
- ANURADHA PAL’S STREE SHAKTI – First all-female percussion based Hindustani Carnatic music band.
- ANURADHA PAL’S RECHARGE – A unique confluence of Latin, African, Jazz and Indian music with world percussion.
- Su-Fo-Re- – Folkroots band combining Sufi, Qawwali, and uplifting Rajasthani folk & Classical music.
- Collaborations with Western classical, New age, Jazz, Latin, African, Flamenco, painting and poetry.
She has regaled dignitaries like Honourable President & Prime Minister of India & Queen Elizabeth at major diplomatic events like SAARC Summit, Commonwealth Festival and other international events.
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’.
Anuradha composed the background score for many short films, M.F. Husain’s Bollywood film Gaja Gamini & 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’s Tabla Academy, Andheri, Mumbai. As Founder – Director of Sur aaur Saaz Music label & events, Anuradha releases diverse albums/ caller tunes & organizes Music for Wellness workshops & Concerts / Festivals.
Anuradha Pal’s story is that of courage, fortitude, commitment & creativity. In the face of rejection for being a girl from a non-musician family in the male dominated field of Tabla, she has dealt with chauvinism, discrimination & nepotism with grit, to turn every stumbling block into an opportunity to reinvent herself & grow her skills & offerings and become a prominent Torchbearer of Indian Music.
The New Indian Express
" Anuradha carries the methodical intuition of her Ustads, their clarity & showmanship in finger movements. Then, she has the dynamism, temperament & ‘presence’ of Pandit Kishan Maharaj, the tough lure for softness and detail of Pandit Shamta Prasad & a shooting madness for intrinsic fireworks of Ustad Ahmed Jan Thirakwa."
" Anuradha Pal, the country’s celebrated Tabla player has many firsts to her credit. Apart from being the only woman to have ever mastered this difficult art from Ustad Alla Rakha, she has gone beyond her guru’s celebrity glare. Today, she stands as a woman known for her talent, her firm ethics and one who has made it big on her terms. Anuradha is that kind of fiery artist who has not only talked the talk but also walked the walk."
" The world-renowned star Tabla virtuoso and percussionist Anuradha Pal is reigning supreme as the only female percussionist to have represented India to major festivals. She has emerged as a colossus on the percussion firmament as a tabla soloist and accompanist with top Indian and foreign classical musicians and dancers in major festivals in the UK, USA, Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok and Africa."
" 'Who is the next big percussionist?' Interview with Ustad Zakir Hussain on 29th Jan 2010. There are at least 15 percussionists who play as well as me, if not better. There are many fine tabla players but the media needs to discover them like Swapan Chowdhury, Anuradha Pal, Yogesh Samsi... Just Google ‘Tabla’ and you will find them all."
" 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."