H.N. Bhaskar feels forever indebted to his teachers for shaping him as a fine violinist.
He belongs to a family of musicians. He started learning violin from his father H. K. Narasimha Murthy, a well-known violinist and a teacher, and vocal music from his mother H.N. Rajalakshmi, from a very young age. Though he was not quite serious about it then, he was a regular winner at various music competitions. Soon, he developed interest in composing music and made music for his school bands, besides getting involved in all the musical activities in school and college. Today, he is one of the most sought after violinists in the country who accompanies leading artistes of Carnatic music and gives violin solo recitals too. H. N. Bhaskar received the Sangeet Natak Akademi’s Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar 2011 recently for his contribution to the field. Bhaskar, who was in the Capital last week says, “I am immensely happy to receive this award. I consider this a big honour and a responsibility to explore and achieve more in the field.”
After completing his college, Bhaskar was sent to Chennai for advanced training in the instrument under the guidance of violin maestro late M. S. Gopalakrishnan, where he trained for more than a decade, besides learning vocal music from Rudrapatnam Thyagarajan. “Learning vocal music has always complemented my violin skills”, says Bhaskar. The young lad soon started playing concerts with renowned artists, facing stiff competition from extremely talented violinists in Chennai. His career took off and there has been no looking back for this youngster since then.
An ‘A’ grade violinist of All India Radio and Doordarshan, Bhaskar is widely noted for his emotive and adept playing. He is also well-versed in music direction and has directed and performed in numerous fusion shows across the globe with internationally reputed musicians. Several albums composed and directed by him have been released in India and abroad. “Without the base laid by my parents, I would be nowhere in the music field. MSG Sir made me realise what ‘sadhana’ (practice) is. Every guru in my life has tremendously contributed in shaping me as a violinist. I am indebted to each one of them,” notes a grateful Bhaskar. Bhaskar says he has also been indirectly influenced by the playing of maestros Lalgudi G. Jayaraman, T.N. Krishnan, V.V. Subramanian and L. Subramaniam.
Did Bhaskar need to migrate to Chennai, the mecca of Carnatic music, to establish himself? “I came to Chennai to learn and not to perform. I had not thought of settling down in Chennai but the support of my gurus made me confident in becoming a professional artist in Chennai,” clarifies Bhaskar. Bhaskar says he is one of the lucky ones to have started playing for senior artistes including the Bombay Sisters, R. K. Srikantan, T.V. Sankaranarayanan and Nedunuri Krishnamoorthy at a very young age. “It gave me a perspective of what traditional music is and these were nothing less than a lesson in itself,” he avers. He accompanies the present-generation musicians too. “There is high energy level in the concerts of these artistes. Whether I accompany senior artistes or youngsters, I focus on the total output of the performance and do my best to uplift the concert,” adds Bhaskar.
Outlining his plans, Bhaskar says he wants to promote Carnatic music in every possible way. “That’s the most sensible way a musician can give back to the society,” signs off Bhaskar.