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May 02 2019
The Revolver Club
Written By The Revolver Club - May 02 2019
Anthony Gonsalves wanted to compose raga-based symphonies that could be performed in the world’s leading concert halls. He travelled to Bombay in 1943, already a seasoned musician at 16. He had been recognised as a child prodigy and appointed choirmaster at a local church at age 12. He found his first job in the city as a violinist in the group of the composer Naushad in 1943. His talent was overwhelmingly apparent and he soon graduated to doing arrangements for composers around the city. He was also a highly prized teacher.
Unlike many of his Goan peers, whose western-trained ears couldn’t quite wrap themselves around the sinuous lines of Hindustani tunes (though they could play them well enough from a score), Gonsalves developed a deep passion for raga-based music. In April 1958, his dream took a voice for the first time. Gonsalves founded (and funded) the Indian Symphony Orchestra, a group of 110 musicians assembled specifically to perform his compositions.
Compared to the journey of other Goan musicians, Anthony Gonsalves’ story is unusual, not just for his singular devotion to Hindustani music but also for the brevity of his route to the studios. Even before they found their niche in the Hindi film industry, music had always proved a dependable avenue for Goans to make a living.