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He is the son of Mridangam Vidwan Ullur Nagendra Udupa, who taught him such instruments as Mridangam, Kanjira, and Ghatam. Later he became a student of Vidhushi Ghatam Sukanya Ramgopal and Vidwan Ghatam V.Suresh. He also performs Konnakol (vocal rendition of percussion syllables). He holds a graduate degree for commerce from Bangalore University.
Ghatam Giridhar Udupa is one of the leading musicians in the world of rhythm. Thumping into the musical world at an age as tender as 4, Udupa has been mesmerizing the audience with his immaculate style and innate creativity. Born into a family of music and literature, rhythm flows in his blood.
Udupa has treaded the path of music with a heart of an artist and the will of an innovator. His persistence for perfection has taken him to the league of the nation’s most sought after percussionists.
For Carnatic Classical Music he performs on the Ghatam, the Indian claypot. For other genres he also performs on varied South Indian percussion instruments including Mridangam, Khanjira and Morsing. He renders Konnakol (Vocal Syllables) with equal aplomb.
He has accompanied artists of different syles of music (Carnatic, fusion, jazz, etc.), including Sarvashree Dr. L. Subramaniam, Dr. M.Balamuralikrishna, M. S. Gopalakrishnan, R. K. Srikantan, T. N. Krishnan, T. K. Murthy, Palghat Raghu, Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman, A.K.Palanivel, Ganesh and Kumaresh, Mysore Nagaraj & Mysore Manjunath, Mandolin Srinivas, N.Ramani, K. J. Yesudas, R. K. Padmanabha, T. V. Gopalakrishnan, T.V. Sankaranarayanan, Madhurai T.N. Seshagopalan, Trichur V. Ramachandran, Jayanthi Kumaresh, R.K. Suryanarayana, Sudha Raghunathan and others. He has undertaken several overseas musical tours, since 1998.
• "ASTHANA VIDWAN " of the Sri Matam of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, 2010.
• Conferred with title " YUVA KALA BHARATHI " by Bharath Kalachar,Chennai,2004.
• " YUVA KALA BHARATHI "
• " MADHURA MURALI PURASKAR" from the Legendary Dr.M.Balamuralikrishna at Chennai, July 29 2012 .(82nd birthday Celebration of Dr.M.Balamuralikrishna )
• First Prize at the National Level All India Radio Competition in the Year 2000.
• Recipient of the prestigious Central Government Scholarship for Ghatam from 2002.
• Best Ghatam Artist Award from Gayana Samaja, Ganakala Parishat and Malleshwaram Sangeetha Sabha for the years 1992, 1996 and 1999 respectively.
• CMANA Award 2007 (Carnatic Music Association Of North America) by Percussive Arts Centre, Bangalore
• LIONS INTERNATIONAL AWARD - 2011.
• Aryabhata Award - 2000.
• Ananya Yuva Puraskara for the year 2002 as “ Best Percussionist of the year ”
• Vijaya Kalashree title - 1997
• Yuva Laya Prathibhamani title - 2009
• Rotary Youth Award - 2008
• First Indian percussionist to perform and conduct workshop at the prestigious Krakow International Music festival - 2005.
NOTABLE PERFORMANCES IN INDIA AND ABROAD :
• UNITED NATIONS - New York, USA
• Carnegie Hall - New York, USA
• Sydney Opera House - Sydney, Australia
• The Kennedy Centre - Washington D.C, USA
• Wortham Centre - Houston, USA
• Royal Festival Hall - London, UK
• Bangkok Jazz Festival - Bangkok, Thailand
• Java Jazz Festival - Jakarta, Indonesia
• International Percussion Festival – Krakow, Poland
• Miri International Jazz Festival - Malaysia
• Shanghai World Music Festival - Shanghai, China
• Forbidden City Concert Hall and Peking University - Beijing, China
• El Violin Festival - La Coruna, Spain
• Colours of India - Bangalore and Chennai, India
• ICCR Hall - Berlin, Germany
• Swarutsav - New Delhi, India
• De Bouche a oreille - Parthenay, France
• Theatre St Gilles - Re Union Island
• Rainforest World Music Festival - Malaysia
• Indishes Konzert - Heidelberg, Germany
• Theatre de la ville and Theatre Guimet - Paris, France
• Swaralaya - Kuwait
• Music Academy - Chennai, India
• Summer Guitar Festival - Wroclaw, Poland
• Flamenco International Festival - Prague, Czech Republic
• The fifth Cross-Culture Warsaw Festival - Warsaw, Poland
• Northfolk International Festival - Seattle, USA
• San Jose Center for the Performing Arts - San Jose, USA
• Lille 3000 - Lille, France
• Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall - Istanbul, Turkey
• Millennium Park - Chicago, USA
• Ethno Port Poznan Festiwal - Poznan, Poland
• Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival - India
- Namboodiripad, Narayan - A Potful Of Music in RAVE Magazine, November 2006, Issue 46. RNI No. KARENG/2002/8229
- Gupta, Hemangini (19 January 2005). "Keeping pace with the world". The Hindu. Retrieved 16 June 2013.