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A Delightful Carnatic Music Concert By Nishant Raj

Priya Rathnam

Nishant Raj gave a delightful performance of Karnatic music on September 22, 2012. Student of Smt. Uma Sankar, Shrutilayaa School of Music in Shrewsbury, Nishant sang under the auspices of the KHMC (Karnatic and Hindustani Music Circle). This Fall concert was part of the Junior Concert Segment and was held at the residence of Smt. Jaya and Shri. Shridhar Kulkarni.

Nishant  started with “Viriboni,”a varnam in Bhairavi raga, which he rendered with precision. This was followed by “Vathapi” in raga Hamsadhwani, that set the tone for the evening. A brisk “Sarasasamadana” was followed by a leisurely “Marakathavallim” in raga Kambhoji. The richness and vibrancy of Nishant’s voice enriched the performance from start to finish.  The singing of the ragamalika “Arabhimaanam” was reminiscent of great masters. The thillana in Dhanashree and the Thirupugazh provided a perfect ending to a well-planned concert. Nishant provided variety in the concert and demonstrated his talent in his rendition of alapanas and kalpana swaras. On the whole, the performance belied his age – he is only 16 years old and shows promise of greater things to come.

Nishant began his training in Carnatic music when he was 4 years old and was mentored by Smt. Tara Anand, Anubhava School of Music, from 2000 to 2006. He has been practicing with his current guru since 2008. He has competed in various competitions including the Thyagaraja Aradhana at Cleveland, Ohio in 2011. Nishant was ably accompanied on the violin by Smt. Vidya Raman and on the mridangam by Varun Chandramouli. Their performances accentuated the joy of the whole evening.  

Smt. Vidya started learning violin at the age of 7 from her grandmother, late Smt. Nappinnai Rajagopal.  She further received her training in music from her mother, Smt. Lakshmi Raman and learned violin from Shri. Vittal Ramamurthy, a renowned violinist who learned from the great maestro Shri Lalgudi Jayaraman. She continues to learn violin from Shri. Vittal Ramamurthy.

Varun Chandramouli started learning mridangam at the age of eleven from Shri. Mahalingam Santhanakrishnan. He is also receiving advanced training from Trivandrum Shri. V. Balaji, disciple of the legendary Padmashri Palghat Raghu.

The concert by Nishant, Vidya and Varun was a treat for the ears and much appreciated by the people gathered at the venue.

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