He tuned western instrument for Carnatic

Kadri Gopalnath learns music from his Guru N Gopalakrishna Iyer in Mangaluru.

Kadri Gopalnath, one of the pioneers of Carnatic music on saxophone, passed away following brief illness at a private hospital in Mangaluru on Friday. He was 69.

Gopalnath is survived by his wife Sarojini, two sons—Manikantha Kadri, a music director, and Guruprasad Kadri, and a daughter Ambika Mohan.

Born on December 11, 1950 at Mithakere in Sajipamooda village of Dakshina Kannada district, Gopalnath learnt music from his father at an early age. His father Taniyappa was a Nadaswara artiste. Gopalnath got a chance to listen to the saxophone recital in the bandset of the then Mysore Palace. Influenced by it, he developed passion and learnt playing Carnatic music on the saxophone from N Gopalakrishna Iyer of Kalaniketan, Mangaluru.

Gopalnath presented his first concert in All India Radio, Mangaluru, in 1978 and later at Chembai Memorial Trust. The Bombay Jazz Festival in 1980 was a turning point for Gopalnath. John Handy, a jazz musician from California who was present at the festival, on hearing Gopalnath’s saxophone asked if he could perform with him and the pair became a hit.

He had the distinction of being the first Carnatic musician to be invited for the BBC Promenade concert at London in 1994. Gopalnath had also performed at Jazz Festival in Prague, Berlin Jazz Festival, International Cervantino Festival in Mexico and Music Hall Festival in Paris. Gopalnath had performed with as many as 400 artistes in Chennai to raise funds for Kargil war victims.

In the tweet, Office of the Prime Minister of India said, "The remarkable Kadri Gopalnath epitomised excellence. Blessed with exceptional diligence and talent, he made a valuable contribution to Carnatic music. His works were popular across continents. Pained by his demise. My thoughts are with his family and admirers: PM@narendramodi."

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