Friday, 7 September 2012

Musician to watch

V Shankaranarayanan

30-year-old Carnatic vocalist V Shankaranarayanan has already been in the concert circuit for over 20 years now. In this period, he has learnt to modulate a strong voice to suit the varied requirements of the different facets of Carnatic music.

A thinking musician, Shankaranarayanan does not hesitate to consult experts in the field besides his own mentors to seek improvement in the varied components of the cutcheri paddhati.

His manodharma seems to be his foremost strength, whether in raga alapana, niraval or swaraprastara, while he also yields evidence of assiduous effort to enhance the quality of kriti rendering.

Ragam-tanam-pallavi is also a noteworthy asset in his concert equipment.

An “A-grade” artist of All India Radio and Doordarshan since 2002, Shankaranarayanan appears endowed with boundless energy and stamina judging by the considerable frequency of his appearances on the concert stage, something senior guru TR Subramaniam (from whom he takes advanced lessons) has encouraged him to pursue.

He is proud of the classicism of his music, a a result of intensive training from the age of six at the hands of Vaigal Gnanaskandan, a senior disciple of Semmungudi Srinivasa Iyer.

A national talent scholarship recipient for 13 consecutive years, Shankar has won numerous awards and prizes, and the honour of asthana vidwan of the Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt.

He has performed extensively in India and abroad, and has been involved in organisations propagating Carnatic music in Singapore and Malaysia.

He has a number of young students as well.

He is actively involved with Saraswathi and Saraswathi Vaggeyakara Trust, organisations promoting Carnatic music for over 30 years. Along with friends and associates, he has often hosted thematic concertswith a view to enhancing the general level of music appreciation.

Shankar has acquired a large number of compositions of all the major vaggeyakaras ranging from pre-Trinity to contemporary, with a preponderance of kritis by the Trinity the highlight of his song repertoire. Equally at home in compositions in Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada, he has recorded an impressive collection of commercial audiotapes of his music.

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