“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
‘One of India’s leading and most innovative Percussionists’, ‘Rhythm Queen’ & ‘Tabla phenomenon’ Anuradha Pal is the First Professional Female Tabla virtuoso in the world, an acknowledged Torchbearer of Indian Classical Music, a creative, trail blazer, Trendsetter & Multi-percussionist. Her meaningful thought leadership, entrepreneurship & incredible contribution in propagating Indian Music, culture, female empowerment & equality have made her a National pride, youth icon and inspiration to multitudes across the globe..
Anuradha Pal has been enthralling audiences with her diverse offerings, ranging from scintillating Tabla solos/ Jugalbandis to versatile accompaniment with legendary Indian musicians, to her 2 Bands- Stree Shakti– the much acclaimed, all-female group & her Sufi- Folk, Classically Recharged band called Su-Fo-Re.. Her pioneering international collaborations with New age/ Western classical/ Jazz/ Rock / Latin/ African Music/ Flamenco, along with Fashion Jewelry and a wide spectrum of Folk, semi classical to film music, painting, poetry, theatre, Kathak Dance to Fusion, are note worthy..
A recipient of the ‘First Ladies’ National Award in 2018 from the President of India, Anuradha made India proud by being the youngest & first female Indian musician to perform at the world-famous Woodstock Festival for a huge audience of 400,000 fans in Europe, 2008 & at the WOMAD Festival for 150,000 fans in U.K in 1999.
With ‘incredible Tayyari, Layakari and immaculate presentation,’ this child prodigy Anuradha Pal started performing solo when barely 10 years old, accompanying top Indian musicians in prestigious festivals since 13 years old and ‘emerged as a colossus on the percussion firmament’, being hailed as ‘Lady Zakir Hussain’ (by Maharashtra Times), when she was just seventeen years old!!!
Superb training from Legendary Ustads Alla Rakha & Zakir Hussain, extensive international concert tours with top Indian Musicians like Vidushi Girija Devi, Pandit Hariparasad Chaurasia, Ustad Shahid Parvez etc & the blessings of parents – Ila & Devinder Pal and husband Shyam Sharma, have propelled Anuradha to perform extensively in very prestigious festivals in India, U.S.A, U.K, Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Africa, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Mauritius & Reunion island.
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 dealt with unfair chauvinism, discrimination & politics with grit & charm, to turn every stumbling block into an opportunity to reinvent herself & grow her skills & offerings, “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) made her excel as ‘a prominent ‘Torchbearer of Indian music’, 2017.
Acknowledged as a ‘Woman of Pure Wonder’, Anuradha is the Brand Ambassador of UNICEF and the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ initiative and a TOP Graded artist of Prasar Bharti & ICCR. She has been the Brand Ambassador for UNICEF & NGOs like Population First, Ladli etc. for ‘female empowerment, education & achievement’.
She is the composer of the background score for short films and M.F. Husain’s Bollywood film, Gaja Gamini & top selling Fusion albums like ‘Recharge Plus’, ‘Passion’, ‘Get Recharged!’ ‘Kesaria’ & ‘Nirvana’, which are available, along with Instructional ‘ Learn Tabla Well’ DVDs, on all digital platforms across the globe, as caller ring tones and albums for download.
Anuradha is a Masters in Music & has taught at Harvard University, Berkeley School, New England Conservatory, MIT (USA), MIT (USA), Vienna Boys Choir, Palazzo Ducale (Italy), MilapFest (U.K), Monash University (Australia), IIT Mumbai, TED talk at BITS Pilani & XIE etc. She regularly teaches online and personally at the Anuradha Pal’s Tabla Academy in Andheri, Mumbai.
Anuradha Pal has regaled dignitaries like Honourable PM Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Queen Elizabeth at CHOGM Summit, President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam amongst others, at the CHOGM and SAARC Summits to name a few…
Anuradha has also 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).
She represented India in the ‘Asian Performers Summit‘ in Japan (1999) and at the Commonwealth Games Festival, UK (2000).
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."