Brothers Arun and Shiva Ramamurthi come down from Los Angeles during the December music season every year, to attend as many concerts as they can.
“We make the most of the time we are here. We manage to perform and also take in the seasons’ flavours,” says Arun.
On Sunday, the duo performed a violin duet on day one of the three-day music festival at TAG Auditorium in Ramakrishna Mission Higher Secondary School on Burkit Road.
“Though we started learning Western classical, we switched over to Carnatic when Arun was 10. The manodharma aspect is something you don’t find in any other music… we find that exciting and enchanting,” says Shiva, a student of cognitive science.
Devesh Vashishtha from California is among the 30-odd artistes who are here this year to perform at the festival organised by Maarga, Sadthguru Vidyalaya, USA, and Sri Chandrasekhara Gurukrpa, Chennai. Devesh says he learns over Skype and also tries to spend as much time as possible with his guru. “We also get recorded lessons,” he says.
Musician Delhi P. Sunderrajan says this is a festival only for young artistes. “The average age of the performers is between 11 and 17. Most of them are from the USA.”
Earlier, speaking at the inauguration of the event, Cleveland V.V. Sundaram said young artists should not worry if there aren’t many in the audience. Cleveland Balu, co-founder of the Cleveland Festival in the US, also spoke.
A listener at the concert, G. Subramaniam, a resident of West Mambalam, said youngsters from other countries bring in a welcome change to the season. “Most of them perform like seasoned singers. Almost every sabha is organising a festival for NRIs,” he said.