Keeping the legacy of Carnatic music alive, one young woman has made the country proud by becoming the first person to receive the Tarisio Trust Young Artists Grants for 2017.
Apoorva Krishna is a 21-year-old violinist, whose composition ‘Bahudari’ in collaboration with percussionists Vinod Shyam and Sunaad Anoor, stunned the organisers and went on to win the third position amidst the top-5 performers in the scholarship competition. They received a grant of $5000.
When Apoorva had applied for the grant, she had reached out to the organisers to explain the purpose of the team’s participation. They wanted to use the money to conduct outreach programmes on Carnatic music and raise awareness about the form that has few takers at present.
The young violinist is already a distinguished name across the Carnatic music fraternity and has shared the stage with stalwart musicians like Aruna Sairam and Chitravina N. Ravikiran.
In fact, during the iconic Margazhi music festival in Chennai this year, Apoorva, who is a resident of Bengaluru, was a part of 21 concerts! She had also performed along with noted singer Shankar Mahadevan on his request during Bengaluru Ganeshothsava.
“I was overwhelmed to share the stage with Shankarji and play the violin as he sang ‘Sapnon Se Bhare Naina.’ What came up as a surprise was his skilful fuse of the raga Sindhubhairavi here gradually slipping into another regional song,” Apoorva told The Hindu.
Apoorva also has the credit of receiving a scholarship from the celebrated Berklee College of Music, under which she had the opportunity of exploring Bulgarian music, rock and funk-fusion.
Hailing from a family of musicians, which includes noted musicologist Rajagopala Iyer and mridangist R Krishnamurthy, it was her grandmother, vocalist Shakuntala Murthy, and parents Murali Krishna and Arathi Murthy, who helped her find her vocation and laid the stepping stones to her interest in Carnatic music.
At a tender age of six, she began learning the violin in California, where she was trained by world-renowned violinists Lalgudi Srimathi Brahmanandam and her daughter Anuradha Sridhar.
Two years ago, her interest in composing tillanas was fueled by Lalgudi R Jayaraman, and there was no looking back.
The signature style of the celebrated Lalgudi School of music, a tillana is a rhythmic piece in Carnatic music that is generally performed at the end of a concert, and is widely used in classical Indian dance performances.
A video by IndianRaga, which showcased Apoorva’s first tillana composition in Ranjani raga, garnered 30,000 hits within a week from Carnatic music lovers across the world!
This further stoked the fire in Apoorva and led her into creating more tillanas in different ragas. Recently, an album comprising all of her tillana compositions was released by the mobile app Twaang.
As part of her outreach programmes, Apoorva and her team have already completed their first music awareness session at Badarikashrama in Madehalli village of Tumkur district with over 1,000 children. “Such exercises help create awareness for Carnatic music. We would be addressing autistic children at Amaze Foundation in Coimbatore next,” added Apoorva.