Apoorva Krishna becomes first Indian to bag the prestigious Tarisio Scholarship

“Whenever I saw a violin, I would be fascinated by it,” says 21-year-old violinist Apoorva Krishna who has bagged the Tarisio International Scholarship for 2017-18. The first Indian to bag this prestigious honour, Apoorva’s ‘Bahudari,’ created with percussionists Vinod Shyam and Sunaad Anoor, was selected third in the Top-5 scholarship contest.

“We got $5000. We had communicated to the organisers that if we won the contest we would be utilising the money to conduct outreach programmes on Carnatic music,” Apoorva says.

The trio completed their first music awareness programme with nearly 1,000 children at Badrikashrama at Madehalli village in Tumkur district. “Such exercises help create awareness for Carnatic music. We would be addressing autistic children at Amaze Foundation in Coimbatore next,” says Apoorva.


At the recently-concluded music season at Chennai, Apoorva was on stage for 21 concerts, accompanying senior musicians such as Aruna Sairam and Chiraveena Ravikiran. “I wouldn’t know if I bagged the maximum concerts as a Bangalorean, because I was busy sharing the stage with stalwarts. Having completed my graduation in Business Administration, will help me concentrate more on music.”

Apoorva started learning the violin as a six-year-old in California then. It was there that violinist Anuradha Sridhar and the senior Lalgudi Srimathi Brahmanandam trained her, as she discovered the subtle distinctions of the Lalgudi School.

Her initial vocal training was a bonus as the Lalgudi School believes “vocal knowledge should direct the bows on the violin.” Every violin class saw guru Anuradha singing before translating it onto the violin.

Apoorva’s interest in composing was stoked by Lalgudi R Jayaraman insistence on active sessions in composing. This helped Apoorva compose a tillana in Ranjani raga two years ago. The video was posted on virtual platforms by IndianRaga and attracted 30,000 hits in a week from connoisseurs across the world.

“The tillana, presented by eight young musicians from Bengaluru was a hit and that led me into composing more in Nagaswarali, Charukesi, Hamir Kalyani and Vasantha. I brought out a dedicated Tillana album of my compositions that was released online by the mobile app Twaang recently,” she says.

“Tillana includes lyrics and musical syllables to punctuate the rhythm, and this musical form has been the signature of the Lalgudi School,” adds Apoorva.

Shankar Mahadevan asked Apoorva to play with him for Bengaluru Ganeshothsava. “I was overwhelmed to share the stage with Shankarji and play the violin as he sang ‘Sapnon Se Bhare Naina.’

What came up as a surprise was his skilful fuse of the raga Sindhubhairavi here gradually slipping into another regional song,” says Apoorva who had earlier bagged the Berklee College of Music scholarship where she was exposed to Bulgarian music, rock and funk-fusion.

It is in the genes

Apoorva comes from a musical family which includes, S Rajagopala Iyer (whose Sangeetha Akshara Hridaya is a reference guide to interpret calculations used in kalpana-swara, tala-vadya-laya and jathi) and mridangist R Krishnamurthy (who brought out the mathematical approach in his book Laya Vinyasam). Her grandmother, vocalist Shakuntala Murthy and parents Murali Krishna and Arathi also helped her channel her interests.

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Printable version | Jun 17, 2022 8:01:06 am |