Youngsters had the audience clapping along to folk tunes at a concert recently

An evening of violin music recently at the Alliance Francaise showcased the talent of four young musicians. The event, titled ‘An Evening of Fiddle Flavours’, consisted of Western classical compositions interspersed with sets of fiddle tunes — short, easy-to-hum melodies played on the violin.

Eleven-year-old Saakshi Navile fiddled her way through classical compositions for violin and piano, with piano accompaniment from Brian Angelo, Sriram Ganesan and Ramya Ramalingam. Navile studies and learns music in Pennsylvania, while the others are Bangalore-based and learn piano from the Bangalore School of Music.

The first composition was a minuet (or dance music piece) from Austrian Fritz Keisler. The early-20-century composer was a violin virtuoso, and his music has sometimes been thought of as an acquired taste. But at the concert, Navile’s short, sparkling violin phrases and Ganesan’s rumbling piano chords ensured a perky start to the evening.

A jump back in time to the Baroque era followed, with compositions by Flemish Joseph Fiocco and the well-known Antonio Vivaldi. The young performers, who had rehearsed together for two weeks before the concert, were fluent with the brisk allegro-pace sections in these compositions. The audience was instructed not to clap in between movements of the Vivaldi concerto, but did anyway.

Members of the audience clapped along enthusiastically for the ‘fiddle tunes’ section, which saw Navile play a series of short, folksy tunes of Irish and Scottish origin. These varied from classic, countryside-evoking melodies such as ‘Road to Lisdoonvarna’, to the bluesy moan in ‘In The Pines’. Another traditional Irish tune, titled ‘Growling Old Man and Grumbling Old Woman’, was a huge hit with the audience.

With a ‘Kids Helping Kids’ theme, the evening’s donations went in support of the Parikrma Foundation, which runs schools for underserved children in cities.