Birthdays & Anniversaries
In classical music, the young aspirant encounters many hurdles barring the way to fame and fortune. Talent and application to the art are by themselves not enough. It is vital for the aspirant and his or her guardian angels to enter and remain in the good books of organisers in order to procure concert opportunities amidst stiff competition ; acquire impressive concert techniques ; muster friends and relatives to achieve decent audience turnout; develop a fan following without alienating purists or critics ; secure press coverage by pleasing key persons ; and in general maintain positive feedback loops that sustain the momentum of progress. Many a time, a good performer gets defeated by all the behindthe- scenes activity.
In such a competitive situation where merit alone is not enough, the adaptation and mastery of an instrument quite alien to the native music tradition confers distinct advantages on the aspirant concerned. The novelty value attracts curious listeners, thereby bestowing much needed attention and recognition on the innovative artist. The marriage of U. Srinivas and the mandolin offers the best illustration of this aspect, although Srinivas' musical genius is such that he would have succeeded possibly with any other instrument as well.
Kadri Gopalnath of Karnataka has carved a niche for himself in Carnatic music by taking up the saxophone instead of his family's traditional instrument of nagaswaram. He has been on the concert stage for about 11 yearsnow and has won both attention and recognition.
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