Ravikiran gives a heart-warming and humor-laden description of the anatomy of his instrument – the chitravina, before he begins his recital of a Thyagaraja composition set to Pantuvarali. He pegs improvisations ranging from the subtle to the robust around the pallavi-anupallavi-charanam, developing the raga with his swashbuckling virtuosity harnessing both technique and poetry. Jyotsna Srikanth (violin) and Yella Venkateswar Rao (mridangam) bring a magical touch in this recital.
Ravikiran was born with a precocious musical talent. He learned music from his father Chitravina Narasimhan. He belongs to a lineage of musicians who have not only made this instrument popular, but have also contributed towards its physical evolution. Ravikiran was two years ol when he first went on stage. In this program, he was able to identify 325 ragas and 175 talas of the Carnatic repertoire. From age 5 to 10, Ravikiran performed in major concerts in India as a vocalist for which, he won critical acclaim from the media and audiences. He also performed the chitravina alongside his vocal recitals, once, setting a world record with a 24-hour non-stop solo concert in Chennai. He is one of those few artists who won an exemption to perform professional concerts for Indian Radio and Television (Doordarshan) at age 12 and was invited to represent his country in Festivals of India in all the five continents of the world.
Jyotsna Srikanth is trained in both Carnatic and Western classical violin. She began rigorous training with her mother in vocal music when she was 5 years old. At 6, her interest in violin was kindled after she attended a concert of Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan. She has her gradation in Western classical from the Royal School of Music, London.
Yella Venkateswara Rao is a leading musician and percussionist of India. He was born to musical parents under whom he started training in vocal music, violin and veena from age 7. He later went under the tutelage of his uncle Yella Somanna to study mridangam. Venkateswara owns a master’s degree in Public Administration and has worked at the Potti Sreeramulu Telegu University for 27 years in various prestigious capacities. This was alongside a very successful career in music for which, he received the Indian government’s highest civilian award – the Padma Shri in 2008. He has been featured in the Guiness Book of World Records for playing mridangam for 36 hours non-stop.
Chitravina Ravikiran (chitravina)
Jyotsna Srikanth (violin)
Yella Venkateswara Rao (mridangam)
Thyagaraja Swamy composition in Raag Panthuvarali