Noted saxophone exponent Kadri Gopalnath passes away

The Padma Shri–awardee is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter

Updated - October 11, 2019 08:20 pm IST

Published - October 11, 2019 07:45 am IST - MANGALURU

Kadri Gopalnath

Kadri Gopalnath

Noted saxophone exponent Kadri Gopalnath passed away at a private hospital here early on Frday, October 11. 2019.

He was 69 and had been ailing for some time. His name was a synonym with saxophone in the country.

A Padma Shri–awardee, Gopalnath is survived by his wife Sarojini, two sons, noted music director Manikanth Kadri, Kuwait-based Guruprasad Kadri, and daughter Ambika Mohan.

According to family sources, Mr. Gopalnath had been admitted to A. J. Hospital and Research Centre here on October 10 following back pain. He breathed his last at about 4.45 a.m. on October 11 due to cardiac arrest.

Eminent saxophone player Kadri Gopalnath receiving Padma Shri award from then-President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi in 2004.

Eminent saxophone player Kadri Gopalnath receiving Padma Shri award from then-President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi in 2004.Photo:

The family is waiting for his elder son Mr. Guruprasad to arrive from Kuwait for performing the last rites in the city.

Mr. Manikanth said that people could pay their respects to Mr. Gopalnath at the Town Hall.

As the news of his demise spread, fans in large numbers arrived at the house of Mr. Gopalnath in Padavinangady to meet the family members.

One of the pioneers of Carnatic music on the saxophone in the country, he had the distinction of being the first Carnatic musician to be invited to the BBC Promenade concert in the Royal Albert Hall at London, in 1994.

Though a native of the Mangaluru region, Chennai was the “karma bhoomi” of Mr. Gopalnath.

Mr. Gopalnath was born in Mittakere, in Sajeepa Mooda village of Dakshina Kannada’s Bantwal taluk, on December 6, 1949.

He learnt the Nagaswara from His father Taniyappa at an early age. After a young Mr. Gopalnath got a chance to listen to the saxophone recital in the of the then Mysore Palace, he developed a passion for it, and went on to learn how to play Carnatic music on the saxophone from N. Gopalakrishna Iyer of Kalaniketan. He presented his first concert in the All India Radio, Mangaluru, in 1978. Later, he came into contact with well-known carnatic musician T. V. Gopalakrishnan in Chennai, who promoted him.

Mr. Gopalnath has performed at various venues across the world, including in Europe, United States, Canada, Australia, Sri Lanka, and West Asia.

He was the holder of honorary doctorates from Mangalore University and Bangalore University. A winner of Kendra Sangeet Natak Academi Award and a number of other accolades, his was a household name especially in South India.

The last rites are likely to be done on Saturday, October 12, 2019.

Karnataka CM’s condolences

In a tribute to Kadri Gopalnath, Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa said, in a message:

“He successfully adapted a foreign instrument like saxophone to our Indian classical music and entertained connoisseurs with his enchanting performances. In his death the world of music has lost a great musician.”

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