He was a prodigy who consistently sustained his talent and emerged as a genius, said the greats of Carnatic music in praise of ‘Chitraveena’ N. Ravikiran’s 40 years of contribution to music.

“A few prodigies had lived up to their childhood promises and developed into a maestro. But unlike many prodigies who turn maverick or eccentric, Mr. Ravikiran is modest, mature and level-headed and a scholar who is still learning,” said N. Murali, managing director, The Hindu and president, Music Academy at the felicitation.

While acknowledging the nurturing and rigorous teaching by his father, N. Narasimhan, Mr. Murali said imparting rigorous training alone would not make one genius. “How many three-year-olds are able to do a Ravikiran? He is a combination of rigorous training and innate talent,” he said.

Noted vocalist M. Balamuralikrishna said it was not common to sustain the fame and knowledge of childhood into adult years.

Mridhangam maestro Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman said India was a country that would always appreciate the talent of an artist or a scholar irrespective of his age.

Another vocalist T.N. Seshagopalan said “God’s grace” alone could ensure that the promise of the childhood was turned into genius.

In a graceful acceptance speech, Ravikiran said though he was blessed on many counts, the first and foremost was to have a great guru like his father.

He also acknowledged the role of his mother, the contribution of his teacher T. Brinda, whose music “opened a whole new world of minute and delicate music and remained a great influence.”

Sada Sharanam, notation and a DVD of Ravikiran’s select compositions were released by V.V. Sundaram. R.K. Ramanathan received the first copy.

Y. Prabhu, general secretary, Sri Krishna Gana Saba, represented the premier institution that introduced Ravikiran as a child prodigy in 1969.