By KS Kalidas
Twenty two-year old violinist Aditi Krishnaprakash from Mysore, only child of her parents, was allowed full freedom to pursue her interest in music. The parents are passionate lovers of classical music. Aditi’s maternal granduncle was the well-known gottuvadya vidwan of yesteryear, Varahaswamy Iyengar.
Captivated by the vioilin even as a child of four after she heard a Hindustani violin concert of N. Rajam, Aditi started violin lessons with H.K. Narasimha Murthy, a staff artist in AIR-Mysore and a disciple of violin maestro M.S. Gopalakrishnan. This lasted for about twelve years. Chitravina Ravikiran used to perform often at Mysore and Aditi was greatly attracted to his music. She took the liberty of writing to him directly, expressing the wish to learn from him and was readily accepted as a student. For the past six years she has been shuttling between Mysore and Chennai for classes whenever she can take a break from her studies. She does not like learning through Skype and believes that the only way to learn music is directly from the guru on a one-to-one basis. She considers Ravikiran a complete musician-cum-guru and feels that nobody can explain the finer points of music better than he. Among the many compositions that Ravikiran has taught her are some of the most beautiful songs of Oothukadu Venkata Kavi, the propagation of which is his priority.
Aditi is quite content being a violinist rather than turn into a vocalist, a fad we see often these days. She also prefers being an accompanist rather than play solo. However, she does play solo concerts when specifically asked by organisers. Besides many cities and towns in Karnataka, she has also performed in many other places in India. Chennai too has featured her in many concerts. She has, among others, accompanied several senior artists like R.K. Srikantan, S. Shankar, O.S. Arun, Bhushani Kalyanaraman and Sangeetha Sivakumar. She is a recipient of scholarships from the Dept. of Culture, Govt. of India, the Sangeeta Nrutya Academy and NCERT. She was adjudged the best violinist in the Spirit of Youth series of the Music Academy, Madras in 2007, and was also awarded the T.T. Rangaswamy Memorial Award for the best concert in the junior category in 2008. She received the best accompanist award from the Bangalore Gayana Samaja in 2005. She was graded ‘B’ in AIR directly after her success in its music competition in 2007 and in August 2011 she appeared for upgradation and was placed in ‘A’ grade, bypassing the intermediate ‘B-High’ grade, something that is rare.
Academically, she holds an engineering degree in computer science. How well she will engage in two careers simultaneously – music and engineering – only time will tell.
(The author is a mridanga vidwan, connoisseur of classical music, and a keen follower of young talent)