String Theory

Violinist Anupriya Deotale, who will perform at the Delhi classical music festival, on learning to play the violin and creating her own style.

Written by Suanshu Khurana | Published:October 5, 2014 12:15 am
Violinist Anupriya Deotale Violinist Anupriya Deotale

While growing up in poet Chandrakant Deotale’s house, where most evenings resonated with protest poetry, and other days were spent poring over powerful prose, his daughter, Anupriya Deotale (in picture), never thought of becoming a musician. “Until my mother decided to put me into a vocal music class in a neighbouring school in Ujjain,” says Anupriya, who instead of attending her vocal classes and learning the basics of voice training, hung around outside the school’s violin class for hours, mesmerised by the lush tones she heard. “The instrument would execute difficult sequences of notes so easily. I would come home and force my parents to get me a violin. It surprised them as violin was a difficult instrument. But I was prepared for the finger gashes,” says Anupriya, who will perform on Tuesday at the Delhi Classical Music Festival (October 4-8), being organised by Punjabi Academy and Government of Delhi. Her performance will be followed by a sitar recital by Ustad Shahid Parvez, one of the finest sitar players in the country.

What is interesting about Deotale’s training is that she never trained under a violinist. She learnt the violin from sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and famous sarangi player Pandit Ram Narayan. “Khan saheb helped me with a scholarship through which I could come to Delhi and learn. He would sing for me or play the melody on the sarod and I would replicate. This helped me develop my own technique,” says Anupriya, who learnt from Khan for 12 years. For a better bowing technique, she approached the Indian sarangi to understand rhythm divisions, paltas and gamakas better. But why not learn from a violinist who plays Hindustani classical? “I thought of N Rajam, but then her daughter Sangeeta is already playing her style. The idea was not to replicate anyone and have my own finger technique for a unique sound,” says Anupriya, who also performs regularly with her band Parindey, where she blends Indian classical music with rock.

The festival, which began on Saturday, featured recitals by dhrupad legends Gundesha Brothers and Ulhas Kashalkar. Today’s highlight will be Ustad Rashid Khan, one of the scions of Kirana gharana. The third day will feature a recital by Kumar Gandharva’s grandson, Bhuvanesh Komakali followed by a medley of ragas by 103-year-old Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan. The final day will conclude with a performance by Pandit Jasraj.

The five-day festival is on till October 8 at Kamani auditorium. From 7 pm onwards. Entry by passes.

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