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Striking the right cord

He needs no introduction. He was born with violin in one hand and the family legacy in the other! Talent, it seems, doesn’t need a trumpet. It speaks for itself. Mysore N Karthik’s grandfather Mysore Mahadevappa is a well known violinist of yesteryear. His illustrious father Mysore Nagaraj has carved a niche as a famous violinist. Karthik’s uncle and aunt _ Manjunath and Roopa _ too play violin and are a force to reckon with in the heritage city. The list of famous violinists from this family can only grow from here.

For Karthik, who has already made a name internationally, violin came first before toys and chocolates when he was barely eight. According to him, he has been holding and playing violin since the time his family realised he was born and blessed with immense talent. He could effortlessly replay whatever his father and uncle played. That the prodigious kid had it in its genes surprised no one and Karthik soon began learning the nuances of the stringed instrument.

Karthik is happy that he has been to able carry forward the family legacy. All of 25, he has been giving concerts for almost 15 years now. And, the number is over 500 already and the youngster is not keeping a track of it, for he knows the number is just a relative term. Karthik is too modest to accept that he has already made a mark at the highest level with unprecedented success. He owes it all to his parents and uncle for their untiring support. 

Karthik has had many memorable moments over the years. But the one that has remained etched in his mind is the standing ovation he got from a packed audience at the prestigious Jazztopad Festival in Wroclaw, Poland recently. “I also had the privilege to interact with the legendary tabla maestro Zakir Hussain, which was a `wow’ moment,” he says with a sense of satisfaction.

The youngster believes in keeping the success mantra as simple as possible. “The more you achieve, the more is left” is his line of argument. Though he has already achieved much more than what he dreamt of, Karthik wants to keep learning more and more. If the accolades happen to come by during his musical journey, he has no complaints. But right now, he is doing what he loves the most.

Tell us something about your family.

I belong to a family of violinists. My grandfather Mysore Mahadevappa is a legendary violinist who has been performing since 1946. My father Mysore Nagaraj and uncle Mysore Manjunath are my gurus and as you know, are the leading Carnatic violinists in the country today and my inspiration to take up violin. My aunt Roopa also plays violin and teaches music at JSS School.

Something about your childhood.

My life has been full of music. Coming from a family of violinists, most of my childhood was spent in the company of great artists, who used to frequent our home. If I had not chosen violin for a career, I would have taken up cricket as I love the game. But I have also been a naughty kid, playing pranks with my sister and getting reprimanded periodically.

Your schooling and college

I studied at Vijaya Vittala School and graduated in commerce from Mahajana’s College.

Something about your family of violinists…

My father Mysore Nagaraj is a violinist. My mother Leela is a homemaker and continues to inspire us.

My sister Kriti is studying medicine at Davanagere. My grandfather Mysore Mahadevappa guides me and grandmother Kamalamma is my pillar of strength.

How many concerts have you rendered so far?

I have seriously not kept any tabs as I have been performing for over 15 years.

About 500 concerts and counting…..

What are your future plans?

To be among the top performing violinists in India and impart violin education to youngsters.

Mysore is home to many famous musicians. What is your take?

It’s a pride and privilege to be born in Mysore. Apart from being one the cleanest cities of India, the fresh air makes it all the more better. The traditional music has its roots here; hence the followers of strict forms of music have found deep foothold and followers. Plus, the Royal family promoting classical music has greatly contributed too many artists originating from Mysore.

How does one take success and failure?

Equally! I can talk of music as a field or industry. You can either succeed or fail miserably. Both are in your hands. Success or failure, treating them importantly is essential as the dynamics of life itself is changing. People’s taste in music is getting more customized. They prefer more combinations and fusions as opposed to classical renditions. Sometimes balancing both of them can be challenging. It works at times, but fails at times too.




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