The first drummer in India to have worked as Professor of Tabla at a centre of higher learning, Sudhir Kumar Saxena (1923-2007), retired from Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, in 1983 as head of its music department, after serving the institution for thirty-three years. Besides teaching Tabla to generations of students, a lifetime work which he lovingly continued in retirement at his residence, Professor Saxena had, in his long career (1945-1995), participated in most of the major music conferences of the country as a Tabla accompanist to almost every front-ranking musician and Kathak dancer.
His pupils abound. Some of them are themselves distinguished teachers in India and other countries. Many more are serving All India Radio; and some of them, the very university where he worked as a teacher. All of them are proud of the authentic training they had received – authentic because Professor Saxena himself had the privilege of learning the art for years from Ustad Habeebuddin Khan, the doyen of the Ajrada gharana of Tabla.
As an accompanist, Professor Saxena had always delighted not only audiences, but the main artiste as well, be it a musician or a Kathak dancer. As a teacher, he was analytic, and therefore easy to follow. This book should bear it out.As an accompanist, Professor Saxena has always delighted not only audiences, but the main artiste as well, be it a musician or a Kathak dancer. As a teacher, he is analytic, and therefore easy to follow. This book should bear it out.
1. Awarded ‘Gaurav Puraskar’ by the Sangeet Nritya Natak Academy, Govt. of Gujarat in 1983 for outstanding services in propogating and popularizing music in Gujarat state.
2. Awarded the honorific title “Sharangdev Puraskar” in 1992 by Sur Singar Sansad, the leading Sangeet Society of Bombay, for distinguished services in the field of music.
3. Honoured by TRIVENI, a renowned Cultural Institute of Baroda for excellent contributions in the music field.
1. “The Art of Tabla Rhythm, Past and Present”, Sangeet Natak Akademi, July-Dec. 1995.
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