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Keeping the family legacy afloat

What you sow is what you reap. It has come to true in the family of Mahadevappa, the famed violinist of yesteryear. A couple of decades back, the veteran violinist wanted his sons Mysore Nagaraj and Dr Mysore Manjunath to follow the family tradition. That the two brothers went a step ahead to keep the family name afloat in the world of music is a different story. The Mahadevappa family, it seems, has made it a practice to churn out violinists. The list of musicians is a testimony to what the family stands for.     

Famous sons of Mysuru, Nagaraj and Manjunath have carved a niche the world over with their indomitable style. In tune with the family legacy, Nagaraj’s son Mysore Karthik and Manjunath’s son Mysore Sumanth, both violinists, are creating ripples with stellar performances.  

All of 18, Sumanth is better known as Mysore Manjunath’s son. The youngster has no qualms about it, but at the same time, he knows he can’t be basking in the glory of his father for too long. Though there is added pressure, as he puts it, Sumanth says it will make him all the more determined to achieve what his uncle and father have achieved.

II PUC student of arts at Marimallappa’s College, Sumanth fondly remembers his first-ever concert with his grandfather, uncle and father. Barely nine then, the youngster says he was too scared to play with his father. He is quick to add he was showered with a lot of goodies by the audience at the end of the concert.

That he is only 18, it is too early to predict if the youngster will be able match strides with his illustrious father. Sumanth says he is ready for a few sacrifices to reach the pinnacle of success.   

Something about your school and college.

Staying in tune with the family tradition, though I started learning violin when I was six, I gave equal importance to academics. I took part in most of the music competitions and never failed to secure 1st place every time I represented my school (Vijayavittala Vidya Shala). Now, I am pursuing II PUC in art at Marimallappa’s College. I am getting more time now to concentrate on music.  

How much of your childhood do you cherish?

My whole childhood was very blessed and educative in every way. I remember my in practice sessions with my grandfather Mahadevappa.

Why did you choose to become a violinist? Was it thrust upon you or..?

I had seen my dad Mysore Manjunath and uncle Mysore Nagaraj perform and capture people all around the word. This made a huge impact on me and I decided to follow the family tradition. I want to continue the family legacy which I think is the best.

Your father is a well established violinist and so is your uncle. Don’t you think there is an added pressure on you to perform better?

Of course there is a lot of pressure but I think it is what is essential to rise to their level.

Given your father’s exploits over the years, do you think you can match strides with him?

I am hoping to….. With all my efforts, proper education and god’s blessings.

Who are your favourite musicians?

Mysore Nagaraj, Lalgudi Jayaraman, mysore Manjunath, M S Gopalakrishnan, Maduri Somu, Rashid Khan.

Your first-ever concert… Do you remember it?

I do remember it as it was so memorable. I was 9 years when I played …. It was with my grandpa, uncle, my brother Karthik and my sister Kruthi at SJCE. I remember all the chocolates I got from the audience after the concert. I was too afraid to play with my father.

Some important awards that you have won so far.

I have won so many important awards and performed at big sabhas… Gayana Samaja, Indian Institute of World Culture, Lalgudi Music Foundation.

From the list of famed violinists of yesteryear, who has impressed you most?

Mysore Nagaraj.

Have you ever got a chance to play violin alongside your father?

Till now I have played once with my dad and it was in Dubai which was the first concert with him.


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Murali R

A senior journalist in the business, R Murali started his career with The Times of India as a reporter in sports. He has covered a lot of local, national, international events in cricket, hockey, volley ball, motor sports and table tennis. Over the years he has done a lot of special stories including general stories. Before Joining City Today, he worked in Deccan Chronicle and DNA. At City Today, he is an integral part of the team handling national, sports edit and op-ed pages. He also actively contributes to City Sunday features.

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