Kadri Gopalnath, renowned musical maestro and saxophone wizard, passed away at the age of 69 on Friday morning.
Kadri Gopalnath, renowned musical maestro and saxophone wizard, passed away at the age of 69 on Friday morning. Admitted to a hospital on Saturday night, the musician is known to have been ill for the last three months and is survived by wife and three children, one of whom is a famous composer and singer – Manikantha Kadri.
Born in a village called Sajipamooda in the year 1950, Gopalnath’s father is known to have been a Nagaswara expert. As a child, it is said that Gopalnath was fascinated when he watched a saxophone being played by the Mysore Palace band set and decided to master the unusual instrument. He went on to learn playing Carnatic music using the western instrument through N. Gopalakrishna Iyer. Following his first concert at the Chembai Memorial Trust and the 1980 Bombay jazz festival, there was no turning back for this musician. He also earned many prestigious awards as part of his musical journey and was conferred the Padma Shri award, Kendra Sangeetha Nataka Academy Award, among others.
Having mastered the saxophone after almost twenty years of rigorous practice and that too a western instrument, the acknowledgement of his mastery reached him through none other than the legendary Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, whose name is etched in gold as one of the greatest Carnatic music geniuses of the country.
According to some interviews that Kadri Gopalnath had given earlier, the musician credited Mangalore for giving him a platform to explore his musical journey to the fullest potential.
Influenced deeply by cultural programmes such as the ‘Yakshagana’ at a very young age, the brilliant musician had spared no efforts to fully engross and imbibe the diversity of festivals, particularly the annual festival celebrating and worshipping Lord Manjunath of the Kadri temple.
The funeral rites are expected to begin upon the arrival of his eldest son who is reportedly working outside the country.