School of Music hosts the inaugural chair in Indian Studies at Monash University

The Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music has been honoured with hosting the inaugural chair in Indian Studies at Monash University. This prestigious chair was established by the Indian Government through its cultural body, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations in partnership with the Faculty of Arts. We are really pleased to announce that the inaugural chair will be in the School of Music. The ICCR has selected Mumbai based Dr Aneesh Pradhan for this position and he will be with us for all of the second semester. Aneesh is an artist of the highest calibre, highly respected performer, composer, historical researcher, author and teacher. We are very lucky that he will be sharing his enormous store of knowledge and performance expertise with undergraduate and graduate students in the School from July to November, 2016. He will also be giving a number of major public performances and research seminars during his visit.

A little about Aneesh
Aneesh is one of India’s most respected and revered tabla players in India. A disciple of Pandit Nikhil Ghosh, he inherited a considerable repertoire of traditional tabla solo compositions from the Delhi, Ajrada, Lucknow, Farrukhabad and Punjab gharanas. Recognised by both the cognoscenti and the lay listener as the consummate soloist and accompanist, Aneesh Pradhan is the recipient of several prestigious national awards and prizes in India. At the same time he is widely recognised and in demand around the world, with performances in the Albert Hall London to Sydney Opera House. He has also recorded prolifically for national and international record labels accompanying a host of vocalists and instrumentalists. 

Apart from his work with art music, Aneesh Pradhan is also a frequent participant in cross-cultural musical collaborations both in the capacity of performer and composer. Drawn equally towards melody and rhythm, Aneesh’s compositions range from pieces composed for tabla solo repertoire, traditional vocal and instrumental forms of Hindustani music, films, music dramas, documentaries and stage productions for film, television, theatre and dance projects. Aneesh has worked extensively with many leading international ensembles as a performer and composer including the Japan-based Asian Fantasy Orchestra and the Ensemble Modern, Frankfurt. 

As a scholar he has a doctoral degree in History from the University of Mumbai. He has been 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 for its direct relation to and reason for the musical situation he finds himself in. His articles on music published regularly in newspapers, journals and other publications in India and abroad are highly anticipated and widely circulated around the world. He is the author of four books including the highly regarded authorative text Hindustani Music in Colonial Bombay. He has also directed and produced a short film entitled Pratidhvani: Reverberations of the Nanasaheb Panse Pakhawaj Tradition.

Aneesh is the Director of Underscore Records Pvt. Ltd, an independent artist run 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.