Kamalesh Maitra

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Kamalesh Maitra (born April 7, 1928 in the Tangail district , today part of the Dhaka Division in Bangladesh , † April 22, 2005 in Kreischa ) was an Indian musician, composer and master of the Tabla Tarang .

Kamalesh Maitra was born in what was then East Bengal into an Ayurvedic family of doctors who later moved to Kolkata . There he took tabla lessons from 1940 and worked in the cultural scene, which discovered European instruments in the 1920s. He later moved to Lucknow , where he made a living with an insurance company, but continued to take tabla lessons.

He worked for the Uday Shankar Ballet. Uday Shankar was a brother of Ravi Shankar . He later wrote compositions for the orchestra of the ballet, including new orchestral versions of Indian music for the time . He learned to play the sarod with Ravi Shankar's brother-in-law Ali Akbar Khan .

In 1976 he appeared in the Calcutta Music Night of the Metamusik Festival in the Neue Nationalgalerie and lived in Berlin since 1977 . In 1980 he founded the Ragatala Ensemble , which combines music for Indian and Western instruments in its repertoire. From 1974 he took part in the world tour of the successful Music Festival From India with George Harrison and Ravi Shankar.

Kamalesh Maitra was one of the musicians who brought Indian music closer to the West.


  • Magnificent Percussion of India. Tabla Tarang, 1969, HMV India
  • Ragas on drums. 1986
  • Masters of Raga: Kamalesh Maitra - Tabla Tarang - Ragas on Drums. 1993
  • The Voice of Sarod from the Strokes of Drums - Tabla Tarang by Kamalesh Maitra. 1994 (with Fazal Qureshi )
  • Tabla Tarang - Melody on Drums. With Trilok Gurtu , Tabla. Smithsonian / Folkways 1996
  • Tarang - Kamalesh Maitra Live at the House of the Cultures of the World. 1998
  • Raag Symphonia. First performed in Berlin in 2003
  • Publications with the Ragatala Ensemble in 1984, 1986, 1998, 2000

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