Taalyogi Pandit Suresh Talwalkar, is known as one of the greatest tabla exponents of the present times. As an accomplished artist and as a Guru, he has contributed immensely to the glorious tradition of Indian Classical Music.
Pandit Suresh belongs to the illustrious “Keertankar” family of Shri Dholebuva.
“Keertana” being a classical form of devotional and musical discourse, a liking for the classical music was inculcated in him right in the childhood. Further, at a very young age, his father Shri Dattatray Talwalkar initiated him into the art of “Tabla”. He then took his lessons from the veteran gurus, Pt. Pandharinath Nageshkar and Pt. Vinayakrao Ghangrekar. He also learnt the intricacies of Carnatic Layashastra ( a science of rhythm ), from the renowned Mridangam player Pt. Ramnad Ishwaran. This diverse training enabled Suresh to imbide the subtleties of both, the North and the South Indian music, transforming him into a “solo performer” with unique expression.
Being privileged with an unparalleled talent, since the early days, Talwalkar has accompanied a number of great artists in their concerts like Pt. Gajananbuva Joshi and Pt. Nivruttibuva Sarnaik, who he also regards as his Gurus.
Suresh Talwalkar introduced the novel concept of taking vocal accompaniment for the first time and added a new dimension and direction to the solo playing of tabla. His genius is highlighted by the exquisite renderings of “Taal Mala” and “Jod Taal”, a contribution applauded alike by connoisseurs and masses.
His unending quest for creativity and innovation, makes him a distinguished composer. His CDs like “Taal Yatra” or “Laya Kalpana” and the group concerts like “Taal Mala” and
“Taal Yatra” can be cited best for the same. His compositions have influenced not only the musicians from India but also from the Western countries and today, many jazz composers seek his guidance in their musical journey.
He believes that, “Guru Shishya Parampara” is the soul of Indian classical music and is an ardent follower of the same. Some of his prominent students are Vijay Ghate, Ramdas Palsule, Charudatta Phadke and his prodigious children Satyajit and Savani Talwalkar. He also trains Kathak dancers like Vidya Deshpande, Sheela Mehta, and Shambhavi Vaze who continue to be under his training for the same.
Suresh with his wide experience both as a performing artist and as a guru, with his thorough knowledge of music and musicology, and, with his abilities of communicating even the complex concepts of music, is always a prominent speaker in workshops and seminars all over the world. He has been conferred upon with a number of awards and honors. The most prestigious of them include, the Sangeet Natak Academy Award, Pt. Vishnu Digambar Paluskar Award, Vasantrao Naik Puraskar, an award from Naad Brahma as well as from Govt. of Andhra Pradesh and, the title of “Taal Yogi” rendered by the Shankaracharya.
Following is an excerpt of his performance at the ITC Sangeet Sammelan 2014, where he was accompanied by Shri Kumar Mardur on vocal support, Kumari Sawani Talwalkar on tabla support, Shri Govind Bhilare on pakhawaj and Shri Tanmay Deochake on harmonium.