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Updated: July 15, 2014 17:21 IST

A class apart

Athira M.
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Prasanna Venkataraman Photo: S. Gopakumar
THE HINDU Prasanna Venkataraman Photo: S. Gopakumar

Prasanna Venkatraman on his journey with music even as he juggles it with a full-time job

Prasanna Venkatraman claims no lineage in Carnatic music. But today he is counted among the best in his generation of singers.

“It was a journey I never planned, but it happened over a period of time. I started learning music at the age of six, but never thought of taking it as a profession. Gradually music became more than a hobby, one performance led to the other and music became a part of my life,” says Prasanna, who also holds a job in Chennai.

Prasanna, a postgraduate from Indian Institute of Technology Madras, is currently working as technical lead with the company, Qualcomm.

Speaking about the balancing act, the 31-year-old says: “What comes handy is the numerous flexibilities you get. One of them is the option of working from home. As far as possible, I prefer to keep work and music separate, even though music is a great stress reliever,” he says.

A student of T. R. Balamani and T. K. Govinda Rao, Prasanna ontinues to learn from Sanjay Subrahmanyan. “He has been a great motivator and is more like a guide to me now,” he says.

Commenting on the popularity of Carnatic music among youngsters, Prasanna feels that now we have more young performers than listeners. “Definitely it can be improved. A lot of musicians are trying to take Carnatic music to the masses and the youth through concerts and programmes in schools. I believe that all those efforts would pay off one day.”

As for his plans, he is “concentrating more on performances and improving my singing. However, after sometime I would like to teach music.”

Having performed across Kerala, Prasanna has high regard for the audience here. “It is one of the best audiences you could get for Carnatic music. I have heard several musicians say that it is very difficult to impress the connoisseurs here.

“I have always enjoyed performing here, especially in places such as Thiruvananthapuram, Palakkad and Thrissur. They love listening to traditional, raga-oriented concerts and are well-informed,” he says.

Prasanna Venkatraman presents ‘Subramanya compositions’ at Brehath Sangeethotsavam at Abhedasram, East Fort, at 6.30 p.m. on Thursday.

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