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Monday, March 01, 2021

Soulful strings

For over 40 years,brothers Ganesh and Kumaresh Rajagopalan have been on a musical journey together. The violin is their area of expertise.

Written by Swasti Chatterjee | Pune |
March 1, 2012 1:47:34 am

Violinists Ganesh and Kumaresh Rajagopalan bring their repertoire of Carnatic music to the Dakshinayan music festival to be held in the city

For over 40 years,brothers Ganesh and Kumaresh Rajagopalan have been on a musical journey together. The violin is their area of expertise. They are all set to present their mastery over the instrument in the city at the fifth Dakshinayan Carnatic music festival,for which they have teamed up with Padma Bhushan T V Sankaranarayanan,a Carnatic vocalist known for his vibrant music which is an inspiration of the style of his late uncle and guru,Madurai Mani Iyer.

“We are musical companions more than siblings. We share everything with each other,making it easier for us to perform on stage,” says Ganesh,the elder of the two. The hour-long Carnatic fest will commence with a varnam and end with mangalam. The violinist-duo will also showcase Raga Pravahan which is ‘music without lyrics’. “Music is considered as a way to break boundaries but it is rarely heard without lyrics. We have endeavoured to bring out the music which is beyond words and songs in Raga Pravahan,” says Kumaresh.

Ganesh and Kumaresh will perform in the “city of knowledgeable people”,as they like to describe Pune,for the sixth time now. “We have performed in cities around the world but have never found such a devoted audience for Carnatic music. It feels like a special part of the Puneite’s mind is devoted to just understanding Carnatic music,” says Ganesh with a smile. He admits that he ‘awestruck’ with the knowledge that school children have about classical music. “I was at the SPIC MACAY festival three years back. I remember how the students were so well-versed with Carnatic music albums.”

The brothers have been trained under their father T S Rajagopalan,a violinist himself. “Our father always made sure that we practised. He worked at an insurance company and trained us in the evening,” recalls Ganesh who feels that the ‘guru-shishya’ tradition is prevalent even now. “The tradition is now modernised,institutionalised and is closer to technology,” he adds. He has students from across the world whom he trains through Skype. “Even the reality shows on Carnatic music in Chennai have been responsible for the ongoing tradition. The shows provide freedom of expression to young talent,” says Kumaresh.

(Ganesh and Kumaresh will perform at the Yashwantrao Chavan Auditorium,Kothrud,along with T V Sankaranarayanan on March 3 at 7 pm)

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