Violinist Jyotsna Srikanth to perform in the city
She was about six years old when her mother caught her playing pretend violin with two broomsticks. This was after she had watched the legendary Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan perform live. The vivid memory from her childhood brings a smile on Jyotsna Srikanth’s face as she explains her mother’s role in her life. “I started learning vocal music from my mother from the age of four. After attending a concert by Vaidyanathan, I was impressed with the art form, and understanding my craze for the violin, my mother put me under the tutelage of RR Keshavamurthy,” says Srikanth, who will be performing in Bengaluru this weekend.
She later trained in Western classical music on the violin, got a fellowship from Trinity College of Music in London even as she practised medicine simultaneously before she gave up a lucrative career as a pathologist to pursue her passion.
Though she’s played for an esteemed audience that includes the Prime Minister of United Kingdom David Cameron, Srikanth recalls an instance from her childhood that is dear to her. “I was to open for Vaidyanathan. Due to some reason, the legendary violinist was late for the concert so I had to continue from 6 pm to 9.30 pm instead of playing for just one hour between 6 pm to 7 pm. I was only nine years old at the time,” she recounts.
Today, Srikanth, apart from being the most sought-after Indian violinist and composer in Europe, is popular in the genre of world fusion too. “It appeals even to the common man,” she says. Known for her versatility and ability to collaborate with different genres seamlessly and with ease, Srikanth is intensely rooted in South Indian classical music.
At the show in Bengaluru, she will be performing Indian contemporary music with influences from around the world. It will be an eclectic mixture of Indian classical, Irish folk, Italian Tarentella, and hip-hop.
Among her latest compositions is Paneer 65. “You must be wondering what paneer 65 has to do with a song,” she addresses our amusement. “We were rehearsing for my collaborative show with Shlomo for the Southbank Centre, London recently, when we went to an Indian restaurant and ate this dish. We got inspired and composed this song,” she explains. About her excitement to revisit Bengaluru and play in front of home audience, she says, “Apart from Mumbai, I feel that this is the only place in India which has audiences for all genres of music. It is great to come home and perform in my hometown.”
December 20. Tickets (Rs 1,000) onwards at the venue. At blueFROG, Church Street. 9 pm.
— Nandini Kumar