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Saxophone exponent Kadri Gopalnath passes away at 69

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Bengaluru, Oct 11: Noted Padmashri Kadri Gopalnath, one of the pioneers of Carnatic music on the saxophone passed away at a private hospital in Mangaluru early on October 11. He was 69 and was ailing for some time.

Saxophone exponent Kadri Gopalnath passes away at 69

Born on December 11, 1949, in Mangalore, Kadri Gopalnath in his childhood, he once saw the saxophone being played in the Mysore Palace band set. Upon hearing the vibrant tone of the saxophone, Gopalnath decided to master it. It took him nearly 20 years to conquer the complex western wind instrument, and he was eventually crowned as the "Saxophone Chakravarthy".

Kadri Gopalnath won many titles and honours. One of the most cherished being the Asthana Vidwan of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, Sri Sringeri Sharadha Peetam, Sri Ahobila Mutt and Sri Pillayarpatti Temple. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 2004.He had the distinction of being the first Carnatic musician to be invited in the BBC Promenade concert in the Royal Albert Hall at London in 1994. Gopalnath's son, Manikanth Kadri is a noted music director.

Family sources said he was admitted to hospital here on Thursday after a complaint of back pain and breathed his last early Friday following a cardiac arrest.

Apart from the sobriquet 'Saxophone Chakravarty' (Emperorof Saxophone), Gopalnath was bestowed with many awards such as Kendriya Sangeet Natak Akademi, Kalaimamani of the Tamil Nadu government, Karnataka Kalasri, Gana Kala Bhushana and Naada Gandharva just to name a few. He had played the saxaphone for Tamil film 'Duet' helmed by the late director K Balachander with musical score by A R Rahman, popularising the otherwise lesser known instrument among audience in Tamil Nadu.

Condoling his death, Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa tweeted: "Kadri Gopalnath's death is an irreparable loss to the music world. I'm deeply saddened with his demise." The funeral will be held on Saturday after his elder son Guruprasad who is working in Kuwait reaches here.

Gopalnath's body will be kept at the town hall here for the people to pay their last respects, sources said.

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