Comparisons are not fair in the world of music. It could be a Lalgudi Jayaraman or a Mysore Manjunath who has made it to the top league with unparalleled distinction. Both of them have carved a niche with unmatched style of their own. Given the changing scenario and trends, there are many talented violinists from the heritage city who have the potential to make it to the big league. The list is endless…
That Mysuru, the Mecca of music, churns out quality musicians is nothing new. It has happened in the past and given its long and cherished legacy, the trend is likely to continue unabated. With over 1000 concerts behind her, both nationally and internationally, Aditi Krishnaprakash is the new face of generation next. A quintessential Mysurean, who loves to do what she likes and likes what she does, Aditi is creating ripples day after day with noteworthy solo performances.
There is always a strong driving force behind every successful person. In Aditi’s blossoming career, it turned out to be her mother Geetha, a mrindangist and father Krishnaprakash, a banker. Aditi was barely four when she happened to attend well known Hindustani violinist N Rajam’s concert. The legendary musician’s performance virtually floored the youngster. As destiny would have it, Aditi made it to Vidwan H K Narasimha Murthy’s camp the next day.
Aditi nostalgically recalls her early days as a budding violinist. “It certainly is an added advantage to have a parent who understands the nuances of music. I was fortunate to have my mother accompanying me to my music classes and the various concerts that helped mould my musicality. She motivated me during my daily practice and helped me in reproducing the lessons learnt. She guided me over understanding the mathematical exercises. Her strength and support have been nothing short of monumental,” she sets the tone of conversation.
Aditi’s potential as a prospective violinist came to the fore when she was eight. Though she struggles to recall that day for obvious reasons, Aditi knew she could make it count. An engineer by profession, the 26-year-old is employed with IBM. Though her hands are full with many things to handle simultaneously, Aditi is not complaining. “Life is all about performing a balancing act. I always find enough time to do what I enjoy. I am a fun-loving person and spend time travelling and trekking whenever I can,” is her pragmatic reply.
Music is one field where there is no room for rivalry. Every achiever lives in a world of his/her own. Aditi begs to differ when you ask her if she sees some of her contemporary violinists as a threat. “Not at all. I have my own identity and unique style for which I am known. I don’t believe in imitating other violinists either.” An ‘A’ grade artist known for rich tone and artful bowing as well as sensitive and precise fingering, Aditi is a recipient of scholarship for Carnatic music instituted by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India and Sangeetha Nrutya Academy and also by the NCERT.
Not all can be different and exceptionally good. It calls for hard work, perseverance and more importantly, patience. Aditi pretty well knows this. The youngster also knows life is all about sacrifices and compromises. If she is standing tall today, it is all due to the many sacrifices her parents, especially her mother, had to make to help their daughter achieve what lesser mortals can’t. Maybe a small price one has to pay to reach the pinnacle of success.
Something about your academics.
The entire span of my schooling has been at Mysuru. I then went to the National Institute of Engineering for my undergraduate studies in Information Science.
What is the role your parents played when you were young?
My parents have played a huge role in making me what I am today. My father Krishnaprakash’s quiet, yet unshakable support and my mother Geetha managing everything for me, bolstered my ability to straddle two horses – my academics and my music, with equal zest.
Was choosing violin by chance or choice?
Violin was by choice. When I was four, I attended N Rajam’s (the legendary Hindustani violinist) concert. It had a tremendous impact on me and as a child, I was entranced by her music and still continues to be so. The decision to learn the stringed instrument was spontaneous. This concert was the trigger and there has been no looking back.
Most memorable moment in your life.
N Rajam (Rajam mami for me) is a musician whose music has had an immense impact on my life. I recently had the opportunity to spend an entire day with her. It was an informal meeting and we ended up talking about various things. I played in Mami’s presence and she was very gracious to share her knowledge with me. This day will forever be etched in my memory.
How do you treat success and failure?
I believe that to achieve great success, one has to embrace the prospect of failure. The charm lies in understanding that failure is actually success in progress.
Mysuru is a centre for musicians. Your take.
Mysuru has always been a cultural centre and it remains so. Great musicians and composers have been patronized by the Maharajas of Mysuru. Stellar organizations like Ganabharati, Nadabrahma, Tyagaraja Sangeetha Sabha, JSS, RAAGA, Bidaram Krishnappa Mandira, to name a few have been tirelessly working towards upholding music. It has been an enriching experience to have grown up first as a discerning listener and then as a musician amidst all these wonderful organizations and organizers.
Who are your favourite musicians?
The list is too big! I enjoy listening various genres of music and I don’t restrict myself to classical music alone. I adore Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, Ramnad Krishnan, MS Subbulakshmi, T Brinda for their profound musical sensitivity.
You have been born and brought up in Mysuru. What do you think of the heritage city?
I’m immensely proud of the fact that I belong to Mysuru. Although I don’t live here anymore, I love the peace and beauty of this city and it has an alluring tranquility that draws me to it!
Where does classical music stand in the country today? Do you think it is growing?
Classical music has always held pride of place in our culture. There are an increasing number of proponents of the art both in the country and outside. Additionally, there are a growing number of enthusiastic organizations and organizers who want to propagate and nurture classical music.
What do you think is the key to success?
Purpose, practice, persistence, perseverance and patience!
How tough it is to learn violin?
The violin is a tough instrument to handle. Being a fretless instrument, it makes it all the more tough. Having said that, with the right amount of practice and understanding of the instrument, it is not a herculean task.
Your advice to budding musicians?
When I had just started practising the violin, my guru Vidwan H K Narasimhamurthy would always insist that I attend live concerts and listen to the great masters. A live concert experience opens up one’s mind to a lot of creative possibilities which one wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. This, coupled with practice and sheer love for music are the right ingredients.
Ten years down the line, where do you see yourself?
I would like to work for the cause of music and do my bit in propagating this glorious art form.
- Best violinist (2015) award from Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai.
- “TT Rangaswamy Memorial Award” for the ‘Best Concert’ (2008) from the Madras Music.
- Academy as part of the 82nd annual conference and concerts.
- Best violinist (2007) title from the Madras Music Academy in connection with the ‘Spirit of the Series.
- Winner of the All India Radio music competition–2007.