Aneesh Pradhan

L-R:  Dr Mridula Nath Chakraborty, Ms Makia Jain (Consul General of India), Dr Aneesh Pradhan
L-R: Dr Mridula Nath Chakraborty, Ms Makia Jain (Consul General of India), Dr Aneesh Pradhan

The first ICCR Chair in Music was awarded to Dr Aneesh Pradhan, deputed to the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music to contribute to Monash’s rich history of teaching and researching musical traditions from around the world.

Tabla maestro and researcher in music, Aneesh Pradhan spent a semester promoting Hindustani classical music at Monash and in the wider Australian public sphere at Confluence: Festival of India and other venues. Dr Pradhan delivered the “ICCR Lecture on India” at the Consulate General of India on 27th August 2016.

Aneesh Pradhan is one of India’s leading tabla players and a disciple of Pandit Nikhil Ghosh from whom he inherited a rich and varied repertoire of traditional tabla solo compositions. He has received several music awards including the Aditya Birla Kala Kiran Award (2000), the Natyadarpan Award for ‘Best Background Score’ (1998) for music direction to the Marathi play ‘Tumbara’, the Vasantotsav Award (2012) and the Saath Sangat Kalakar Award (2013).

A prolific performer artist and recording artist, popular both in India and internationally, Aneesh Pradhan broadcasts regularly on television and radio recently featuring as a presenter of ABC radio series: “Perspectives – North Indian Classical Music” where his commentary about the rhythmic aspects of this system of music were of particular significance.

Apart from his work with art music, Aneesh Pradhan is a frequent participant in cross-cultural musical collaborations as both performer and composer. He has been a member of the Japan-based Asian Fantasy Orchestra since 1998 and has collaborated with the Ensemble Modern, Frankfurt since 2003. He continues to push the experimental envelope through his compositions for film, television, theatre and dance projects.

Dr Aneesh Pradhan’s holds a doctorate in history from the University of Mumbai and his teaching assignments have included artist-in-residence at the University of New England, Australia and guest lecturer at University of Mumbai. He was a Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Music, Media and Cultural Studies and Adjunct Research Fellow at the India Research Centre, Macquarie University, Australia and also Adjunct Senior Research Fellow in the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, Monash University, Australia. 

Aneesh is a keen researcher of trends in performance, music education and patronage that unfolded in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, a period that continues to fascinate him. He writes frequently on music for newspapers and other publications as well as developing educational material for Indian music. He has written books on the tabla for children and adults including: Hindustani Music in Colonial Bombay which received a medal from the Asiatic Society of Mumbai. He also directed and produced short film: Pratidhvani: Reverberations of the Nanasaheb Panse Pakhawaj Tradition.

Along with vocalist Shubha Mudgal, Aneesh is Director of Underscore Records, an independent online record label and co-curates an international music festival called Baajaa Gaajaa: Music from 21st Century India.

Based in Mumbai, India, Aneesh Pradhan lives a life that affords him the chance to be in turns, performer, composer, student, teacher, researcher, and author.