Saxophonist and Padma Shri awardee Kadri Gopalnath passed away in Mangaluru

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Kadri Gopalnath, the celebrated saxophone wizard, passed away on Friday morning at a hospital in Mangalore, Karnataka. He learnt playing Carnatic music through saxophone from N Gopalakrishna Iyer.

Apart from the sobriquet "Saxophone Chakravarty" (Emperor of Saxophone), Gopalnath was conferred many awards such as the Kendra Sangeet Natak Akademi, Kalaimamani of the Tamil Nadu government, Karnataka Kalasri, Gana Kala Bhushana and Naada Gandharva just to name a few.

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The last rites of the pioneer musician are expected to take place after one of his sons who works in Kuwait returns to India on Friday evening, as per Deccan Herald. In an interview to The Hindu earlier this year, he said how at the age of 8, during a visit to Mysuru, he became "fascinated by the sounds emanating from a shiny musical instrument" being played by a musician in the "Mysore Band" patronised by the royal family.

Following his death, senior journalist Madhavan Narayan recalled, "He turned a jazz instrument into a Carnatic staple, retaining sensitive roots in a global exploration. Shraddhanjali to the man who played Anjali, Anjali Pushpanjali". Starring Prabhu and Ramesh Aravind, the movie was a hit for its Anjali Anjali Pushpanjali song. In 2004, he received Padma Shri from then-President APJ Abdul Kalam. He is survived by his wife and music director son Manikanth Kadri.

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