One of India’s leading tabla players, Aneesh Pradhan is a disciple of the illustrious tabla maestro Nikhil Ghosh from whom he inherited a rich and varied repertoire of traditional tabla solo compositions from the Delhi, Ajrada, Lucknow, Farrukhabad and Punjab gharanas.
A popular performer at prestigious concerts and festivals in India and abroad, Aneesh Pradhan has recorded prolifically for national and international record labels accompanying a host of vocalists and instrumentalists. His first tabla solo album titled “Tabla: the solo tradition” recorded in concert in 1997 and published in 2004, was followed by “Tabla solo: a continuing tradition”, a studio recording made in 2006.
Aneesh Pradhan is the recipient of several awards such as the Aditya Birla Kala Kiran Award (2000), the Natyadarpan Award for ‘Best Background Score’ (1998) for music direction to the Marathi play ‘Tumbara’ directed by Sunil Shanbag, the Vasantotsav Award (2012) instituted in memory of the eminent vocalist Dr. Vasantrao Deshpande, and the Saath Sangat Kalakar Award (2013) instituted in memory of G.L.Samant by the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, Pune.
Based in Mumbai, India, Aneesh is also a frequent participant in cross-cultural musical collaborations both in the capacity of performer and composer. He has been a member of the Japan-based Asian Fantasy Orchestra since 1998, and a composer and performer in an ongoing collaboration with the Ensemble Modern, Frankfurt, since 2003.
Aneesh is active in music pedagogy and research, and has been artist-in-residence at the University of New England, Australia, a guest lecturer at the Music Department, University of Mumbai. He was Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Music, Media and Cultural Studies, Macquarie University, Australia, and Adjunct Senior Research Fellow in the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, Monash University, Australia.
He is the author of a children’s book on tabla, which is part of a forthcoming twelve book series entitled Baajaa Gaajaa: Musical Instruments of India. He has also written Tabla: A Performer’s Perspective, which gives an overview of the stylistic features and performance contexts of the instrument. He has been awarded a medal by the Asiatic Society of Mumbai for his book entitled Hindustani Music in Colonial Bombay. His latest ebook is called Hindustani Music: Ways of Listening, a collection of articles that he had written over two years for Scroll.in, a digital publication. His latest book is entitled Chasing the Raag Dream: A Look into the World of Hindustani Music.
Aneesh is the Director of Underscore Records Pvt. Ltd, an independent online record label that he established with vocalist Shubha Mudgal. He also co-curates with Shubha Mudgal, an international music festival called Baajaa Gaajaa: Music from 21st Century India.