Niladri Kumar

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Niladri Kumar
Niladri Kumar.jpg
Background information
OriginKolkata, West Bengal, India
Occupation(s)Sitar Maestro and Composer

Pandit Niladri Kumar is an Indian sitar player and music composer.

Early life[edit]

He was born to sitar player Kartick Kumar, a disciple of Ravi Shankar. He started learning sitar under his father at the age of four. Kumar gave his first public performance at the age of six at Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry.[1]


[1] He was a part of the Masters of the Percussion tour alongside Zakir Hussain.[2] Kumar has also worked with Jonas Hellborg and V. Selvaganesh on their album Kali's Son[3] and with John McLaughlin on album Floating Point.[4] Kumar has also worked with various music directors in Hindi cinema, including A.R. Rahman, Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy and Pritam.[1] Niladri was conferred the Sangeet Natak Akademi's Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar, awarded to young musicians, in March 2007.[5] Niladri has also won MTV Immies award for the Best Classical/Fusion Instrumental for his album If.[1] [6] The concept initiated from a traveling sitar, which was modified by Kumar to create rock guitar sound out of it. Kumar reduced the number of strings on the instrument from 20 to five. He also added an electric pickup inside the instrument so that it would sound more like a guitar.[1] His first full album composed using the instrument, titled Zitar, was released in 2008.[7] Kumar wrote the first track for the album Priority in 2003. Over the next five years he improved the track and subsequent track by gauging audience reaction during live performances. He improvised the tracks adding components from various genres such as rock, electronic and lounge.[1] He also won the MN Mathur Award in the 51st Maharana Kumbha Sangeet Samaroh for his contribution to Indian classical music in March, 2013.



  • 2001: Together
  • 2002: Revelation
  • 2003: Dharohar
  • 2003: Saanjh Sur
  • 2003: If: Magical Sounds of Sitar
  • 2005: Sitar Gaze
  • 2005: Yoga Lounge (With Chinmaya Dunster)
  • 2006: Forever
  • 2006: De-Stress Revive (With Rupak Kulkarni)
  • 2007: Chillout Forever
  • 2007: Faith
  • 2008: Zitar
  • 2009: Priority
  • 2011: Together (With Talvin Singh)
  • 2013: Plucked
  • 2014: Sur Yajna


Music direction[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated Work Result Ref
2018 Mirchi Music Awards Upcoming Music Composer of The Year Aahista-Laila Majnu Won [8]
2019 64th Filmfare Awards Rd Burman Award For Upcoming Talent In Film Music Laila Majnu Won [9]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Vijaykar, Rajiv (2008-10-03). "Zitar Power". Screen India. The Indian Express Limited. Retrieved 2009-05-03.
  2. ^ Mitter, Siddhartha (2006-05-24). "Indian drummers find fascinating rhythms". The Boston Globe. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2009-05-03.
  3. ^ "More Indian food than music in the West". 2005-03-02. Retrieved 2009-05-03.
  4. ^ "Niladri Kumar takes the sitar to space age". Retrieved 2009-05-03.
  5. ^ "32 artistes get 'Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar'". Press Trust of India. The Hindu. 2007-03-23. Retrieved 2009-05-03.
  6. ^ "Mesmerising". Pune Newsline. Indian Express Newspapers Ltd. 2005-12-17. Retrieved 2009-05-03.
  7. ^ "Saregama offers history – and Priority too!". Screen India. The Indian Express Limited. 2008-08-29. Retrieved 2009-05-03.
  8. ^ "Winners at the Mirchi Music Awards 2019!". 2019-02-20. Retrieved 2019-03-30.
  9. ^ "Winners of the 64th Vimal Elaichi Filmfare Awards 2019". Retrieved 2019-03-30.

External links[edit]