Renowned saxophone exponent Kadri Gopalnath died at a private hospital here early on Friday, family sources said. He was 69 and had been ailing for some time.
A Padma Shree awardee and one of the pioneers of music in the saxophone in the country, he had the distinction ofbeing 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 in Mangaluru on Thursday after a complaint of back pain and breathed his last early Friday following a cardiac arrest.
Apart from the sobriquet 'Saxophone Chakravarty' (Emperor of 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.
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.
Karnataka CM expressed condolences on hearing the news of Gopalnath's death. Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said in his message (via), "He successfully adapted a foreign instrument like saxophone to our Indian classical music and entertained connoisseurs with his enchanting performances. In his death the world of music has lost a great musician."
Gopalnath's last rites are likely to performed on Saturday, October 12, 2019.
In his life, Gopalnath performed in many places across the world including in Europe, United States, Canada, Australia, Sri Lanka, and West Asia.
Mangalore and Bangalore universities had conferred him their honorary doctorates. Gopalnath's was a household name especially in South India.
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