Pandit Gopal Das
The holy city of Prayag is famous for its mystical mornings. People here wake up early with the holy chanting of Geeta, Gayatri Mantra and Hanuman Chalisa etc. in the air. Lucky are the ones who live in the vicinity of the great Clarinet Maestro Pt Gopal Das to start their mornings with the beautiful & mystical sound of his Clarinet in the air complementing these holy chants.
Born on the 15th February 1950 Pandit Gopal Das hails from a family of classical musicians of Allahabad. He received his training in clarinet from his father Pt. Gulab Das Ji. Musical environment at home became an inspiration for him and he took to music at a very tender age and after learning different instruments for many years he chose the Clarinet to be his voice.
He continued learning from great Guru Pt. Bhola Nath Prasanna and Guru Pt. Gouri Shankar ji from whom he learnt the intricacies and subtle nuances of this great music known as Hindustani Music or Indian Classical Music.
Gopal Das Ji is famous for singing through his Clarinet, he has incorporated the “Gayaki ang” ( Vocal style) in his renditions so beautifully that his Clarinet has become synonym to North Indian singing style.
He became the first person in India to introduce north Indian classic music on clarinet which became so popular that many others followed. Pandit Gopal Das is known for the unique blend of fluency and melody in his recitals, His systematic “badhat” (Gradual progression) with an aesthetic approach has been one of the main qualities of his presentation.
Recipient of “Sur Mani” Award of the Sur Shingar Samsad in 1981, Gopal Das has participated in many noteworthy Indian and international music festivals like Banaras Mahotsav, Lucknow Mahotsav, Taj Mahotsav, Jhansi Mahotsav, Gwalior Mahotsav, Saptak Ahmedabad etc. Pandit Gopal Das was for many years a staff artist at Indian National Radio, Allahabad where he worked & performed with various artists from all over India.
Pandit Anupam Rai
Pandit Anupam Rai is one of the few great accomplished artists of the percussion world. His distinguishing style and authority on the instrument makes him an unmatched ‘Tabla Wizard’. His researches and innovative contributions to Tabla subject are instrumental in restablishing it as an individual expression of music instead of just an accompaniment.
He unveiled the untold lyrics of the song imbibed in the beats of tabla and and nurtured and developed it for the common man to understand and revel in it’s majesty.
The language of table is distinguished by disciplined and sound grammer, yet poetry flows through every single beat. Panditji practiced tabla as a sadhana for years. He used to play nonstop Akhand tabla for 24 hours in one Asan on every Mahashivratri. That way Lord Shiva the God of Taal and Nritya has bestowed him the sidhdhi of Taal & Laya.
He is great composer of hundred of Qayadaas, Peshkaars, Tukraas, Parans, Gatts and Fards in the speeches of all the schools of Tabla. He composed thousands of Tihaaies in every Taal. Apart from that the greatest credit adds to his contribution is preparing a formula with table of Farmaishi Chakkardaars and Qamaali Chakkardaars from every beat in any Taal. Panditji gives all the credit of his acheivements to his Tabla gurus Prof. Lalji Srivastava, Prof. Chandra Bhan Kishore Srivastava & Prof. Bhuwan Prakash Srivastava. Pandit Anupam Rai has a tremendous command on the ancient percussion instrument Pakhawaj ( Mridang). He took the formal training of Pakhawaj with Pt. Ayadhya Prasad and Raja Chatrapati Singh Judev Bijna. His Pakhawaj playing has mesmerized the music world with the result he has been performing as solo Pakhawaj maestro as well as accompanist with reputed artistes and performed in so many Taal Vadya Kachahries.
Panditji is also a perfect example of true God given musician that he plays any instrument with perfection and excellence also like Naal, Dholak, Drums and not only percussion instruments but masterly performs Harmonium, Santoor, Jal Tarang & Xylophone etc. He has also learnt Gatkaari and several bandishes of Sainia Maihar Gharana with Ustad S. D. David.
Pandit Udhai Mazumdar
Udhai ji hails from a family of musicians and fine artistes of Allahabad. His father, the Late Partho Sarathy Mazumdar, is among the first-generation of guitarists in the field of Indian Classical music. A versatile tabla player of the Benares Gharana, and also a composer of great finesse,Udhai has over the years, consciously evolved into an evocative and expressive tabla player. This could also be attributed to his musicianship and sensitive approach both artistically and professionally. His dedication and commitment to the classical music genre and the time-tested Indian drum has made him equally adept as a soloist and as an accompanist. Udhai, thus, naturally aspires to apply his skills to integrate the tabla as part of a musical whole in the performance arena.
As Udhai’s initial training was in vocal music, it was only natural for him to be attracted towards the nuances of composing but he was also simultaneously drawn to the resonating rhythmic possibilities of the tabla. His first encounter with the tabla was at the age of 7 years. In 1981, he turned to the eminent Pandit Ashoutosh Bhattacharya, one of the foremost disciples of the legendary Pandit Kanthe Maharaj, to hone his skills. In 1989, Udhai shifted to Delhi to further his musical experience and became the disciple of the world-renowned Sitar Maestro, Bharat Ratna Pandit Ravi Shankar, lived with him and learnt the art of Tabla accompaniment.
Udhai has participated in many noteworthy Indian and international festivals, besides playing for and with Pandit Ravi Shankar in different occasions, like performing before the Royal Families of England and Sweden, accompanied Pt. Ravi Shankar together with Ustad Zakir Hussain in a concert to mark Pt.Ravi Shankar’s 75th birth year. He is a regular performer on the Indian National Radio and television channels. Udhai’s Indian travels have taken him to platforms such as the Durgalal Festival, Delhi, the Saptak Festival, Ahmedabad, Vasantahabba Festival, Bangalore etc. His international sojourns include the International Folk Festival Hungary, several International Drum Festivals, Germany, several World Music Festivals, Rome, the International Festival for the Chernobyl Victims in Minsk and the International Festivals for Contemporary Music in Mongolia, Odessa, Kyrgyzstan, Vietnam,Indonesia, Azerbaijan etc.
Establishing a rapport with music-lovers, Udhai has won critical and general acclaim of a wide range of audiences through his memorable performances of the universal language of melody and rhythm.
Based in Basel, Switzerland and New Delhi, India, Udhai is seriously engaged in performance, composing and teaching.