Pandit Kumar Bose (born 4 April 1953) is an Indian tabla maestro and composer of Indian classical music. Bose belongs to the Benaras Gharana style of tabla playing. Having honed his skills under the tutelage of the legendary Pandit Kishan Maharaj, Pandit Bose rose to prominence with his flamboyant performances with Pandit Ravi Shankar. In a career spanning more than four decades, Pandit Kumar Bose has established himself as one of the leading exponents of the tabla and an internationally recognized face in the world of Indian Classical Music. He received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2007.
Bose’s first teacher was his father, Biswanath Bose—a distinguished table player himself. After his father’s untimely passing, he was taught by the highly respected Kishan Maharaj. Bose has been applauded for evolving a distinctive style of his own without diluting the purity of the tradition. Performing both as a soloist and an accompanist, Bose has been devoted to the classical table for 35 years and is considered one of the most powerful players alive today.
Bose gave his first public performance at the age of 4. By 14, he was performing abroad and has since played at almost every major music hall in the world. He has performed at the Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican Centre in London, the Kremlin in Moscow, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Carnegie Hall in New York, and at various venues throughout India. He also has the distinction of having performed for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles as an accompanist to Pandit Ravi Shankar. He had the rare opportunity to perform with the highly acclaimed Zubin Mehta’s Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as participating in several symphony orchestras conducted by Pt. Ravi Shankar, Yehudi Menuhin, and Arnovich in England, Italy, China, Russa and the United States.
In addition to a 10-year tour as the tabla accompanist to Pt. Ravi Shankar from 1984 to 1994, he has performed and composed with musicians globally. Over the past 40 years, he has also performed and recorded in duets with his guru. From the Benaras Gharana, he has played with Vidhushi Girija Devi, Pts. Rajan and Sajan Mishra, Pt. Kanthe Maharaj, and Pt. Kishan Maharaj.
While he has collaborated with leaders in jazz, pop and rock, it was his duet with Iranian thumba player, Professor Semurani, that drew praise. Bose’s collaborations have given an international reputation as a great musician.