Ace violinists of Mysore, M. Nagaraj and M. Manjunath, will be conferred the title ‘Sangeeta Vendanta Dhureena’ here on Sunday.
The award has been instituted by Rama Lalitha Kala Mandira, started by educationist and freedom fighter G. Vedanta Iyengar, which works to propagate fine arts in the city. It will be presented as part of its Spring Music Festival at the Bangalore Gayana Samaja.
Groomed by their father Mahadevappa, also a violinist, the brothers have created a niche for themselves, with classical concerts, fusion performances and jugalbandis.
“It is not easy being attuned to all genres and forms. But if we are able to do it without losing track of our ancestral musical identity, it is only because of the strict training we received from our father, whose artistry lies in bringing out the essence of the Bidaram school of music (Tyagaraja paramapare) in which the raga and pallavi elaborations are unique,” says Nagaraj.
Manjunath believes that Carnatic music is so comprehensive that it encompasses, apart from sahitya, all the subtleties of raga, gamaka, rhythm and of course the creative energy of a musician in the manodharma aspects. “This is where, we, as part of the Carnatic system, are able to appreciate and take part in global festivals. Our firm foundation in Carnatic music helps us adapt to play swinging gamakas in mercurial speed, or slither down in phrases to suit global trends. But our own Carnatic cutcheris have us wield our instruments for the soft elaborative Todi or get reflective while enjoying the sahitya of a Purandaradasa kriti,” explains Manjunath.
From a young age
The Mysore Brothers, who stormed into the concert scene from a tender age of eight, have numerous awards and titles. While Nagaraj works for Akashavani Mysore, his younger brother Manjunath, with a PhD in violin, is on the faculty of the Deptartment of Music in the University of Mysore.